The United States government has issued sanctions against four officials and close associates of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, it was reported in Washington on Wednesday.

The sanctions were approved by the Treasury Department against the president’s daughter, Camila Ortega Murillo; Congressman Edwin Castro, head of the bench of the ruling Sandinista Front in Parliament; the president of the Central Bank of Nicaragua, Ovidio Reyes, and General Julio Rodríguez, head of the Army’s Military Welfare Institute.

In a statement it was stated that these people “support the Ortega regime, a regime that has undermined democracy, abused the human rights of civilians, enacted repressive laws with serious economic consequences, and tried to silence the media. independent ”. With these names, there are 31 close associates of Ortega sanctioned by the United States since 2017.

As a result of the sanctions, all the properties and interests of those people in the United States are “blocked”, as well as the entities where these people own 50% or more of property, it was indicated.

The measures are released after the arrest of opposition presidential hopefuls Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastián Chamorro, the latter two arrested by the police on Tuesday, accused of carrying out acts that “undermine independence, sovereignty and self-determination and inciting foreign interference ”, among other charges.

“President Ortega’s actions are harming Nicaraguans and leading the country to greater tyranny,” said the director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Andrea M. Gacki. “It is clear that the Ortega regime intends to continue with the suppression of the Nicaraguan people. The United States will continue to expose those officials who continue to ignore the will of their citizens, ”he added.

The Ortega government reacted through the vice president, first lady and official spokesperson, Rosario Murillo, who described them as “illegal, arbitrary, coercive and unilateral.”

“Our government denounces the imperialist and colonialist government of the United States of North America, which has just pronounced as it has been and is its style of interference and interference in the internal affairs of our countries, and has just pronounced, once again, dictating measures. illegal arbitrary, coercive and unilateral acts against Nicaraguan citizens whose only crime is to represent very highly the dignity and heroism of our people, ”Murillo told official media.

The opposition assures that Ortega, 75, wants to eliminate opposition candidates from the electoral process, as he fears he will not be able to achieve his third presidential re-election, for what would be his fourth consecutive term, in the elections of November 7, 2021.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the United Nations general secretariat expressed concern about the recent arrests and the invalidation of the candidacies of opposition leaders. “These events can seriously undermine the confidence of the population in the democratic process ahead of the general elections,” he warned.

Later, Joe Biden’s administration spoke again through State Department spokesman Ned Price: “We call on President Daniel Ortega and the Nicaraguan government to immediately release the presidential candidates Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz , Félix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastián Chamorro, and other leaders of civil society and the opposition who have been arrested since last week ”.

The Ortega government assures that Cristiana Chamorro committed the crime of money laundering and that the other three detained candidates “attacked national sovereignty” for having requested sanctions from the United States and other countries as part of a “coup plan to destabilize” his government and that began with the social protests of 2018.

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