President Joe Biden called the Nicaraguan elections a “pantomime” this Sunday and threatened to use “all the diplomatic and economic tools” at his disposal to hold Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega accountable.
“What Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, orchestrated today was a pantomime election that was neither free nor fair, and certainly not democratic,” Biden said in a statement distributed by the White House.
The president urged the “Orega-Murrillo regime” to take “immediately” the necessary steps to “restore” democracy and called for the release “immediately and unconditionally” of opponents who were imprisoned before the elections, including They include seven presidential hopefuls.
Until that happens, warned Biden, Washington, in coordination with other members of the international community, “will use all the diplomatic and economic tools” at its disposal to help the people of Nicaragua and hold Ortega, Murillo, and those who “facilitate their abuses. “
The US Administration had already advanced that it was coordinating with other countries to respond to the elections.
Although the president did not offer details about what his strategy will be, he recalled that the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) obliges the American continent to “defend the democratic rights of the Nicaraguan people.”
Biden did not go so far as to expressly say that he does not know the electoral results of this Sunday, although he did consider that Ortega and Murillo no longer have a “democratic mandate.”
“Unpopular for a long time and now without a democratic mandate, the Ortega and Murillo family now rule Nicaragua as autocrats, without differentiating themselves from the Somoza family that Ortega and the Sandinistas fought four decades ago,” Biden said.
With the support of Washington, three members of the Somoza family (first Anastasio Somoza García and later his two sons) ruled Nicaragua from 1934 to 1979, when they were overthrown by the guerrillas of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) during the Sandinista Revolution.
More than 4.4 million Nicaraguans were called to vote this Sunday with the aim of electing the president and vice president of Nicaragua, 90 deputies before the National Assembly, and 20 representatives before the Central American Parliament.
The FSLN is the favorite to win an election that opponents and human rights defenders have described as “fraudulent”, while the OAS, the European Union, and various countries have expressed their reservations about the legitimacy of the results.
Ortega, a former Sandinista guerrilla who returned to power in 2007, was seeking reelection for five more years this Sunday.
The president, who is about to turn 76 years old and who coordinated a Governing Board from 1979 to 1984 and presided over the country for the first time between 1985 and 1990, has accused opposition leaders of trying to overthrow him with the support of the United States, something that Washington strongly denies.