The United States on Tuesday barred Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, his wife and his government from entering, following a series of illegal elections.
Ahead of the November 7 vote, Nicaraguan authorities arrested about 40 protesters, including seven future presidential candidates, in a bid to secure the victory over longtime governor Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo.
“The repressive actions of the Ortega government and its supporters are forcing the United States to take action,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.
“Ortega’s unprofessional, authoritative actions have crippled the electoral process and deprived Nicaraguans of their right to elect their own leaders in free and fair elections.”
On Monday, the United States announced various financial sanctions against Nicaraguan officials, describing the recent election as “fraudulent.”
Britain and Canada also announced new sanctions against Nicaraguans.
“The physical and psychological abuse of political prisoners at the hands of the police and prison authorities is unbearable and we will not tolerate it,” Biden said, accusing Ortega of overseeing corrupt, police and security courts.
A fiery Marxist in his youth, Ortega ruled Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990, after leading a terrorist army to oust US-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza.
Returning to power in 2007, he has re-elected four times, grew into a dictatorship and overthrew the presidency.