The Socialist Parliamentary Group has asked the Government of Pedro Sánchez to request, “within the framework of the European Union”, the “necessary” sanctions against the political leaders of the regime of Daniel Ortega, in Nicaragua, for non-compliance with its international commitments on human rights.
Ortega takes office today for a new term as President of Nicaragua, after being re-elected on 7 November, in an election marked by the absence of serious rivals following the imprisonment of dozens of opponents, including several pre-candidates for the presidency. Spain, which did not recognise the elections, did not send a representative to the inauguration ceremony.
In a non-legislative motion presented on December 14 for debate in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Congress of Deputies, the Socialist Group recalls that “Nicaragua, like any other country, has the obligation to comply with its international human rights commitments and its own constitutional precepts, guaranteeing the rights and guarantees of all its citizens”.
Despite this, in the country there is an “alarming deterioration” of freedom of demonstration, especially since the mobilizations of April 2018, in which the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS) quantified 328 people killed.
Apart from that, “since October 2020, the State initiated the approval of a package of laws that endanger the exercise of basic human and civil rights of the citizenry,” especially the right to freedom of association and freedom of expression, and “journalists and human rights defenders live in an environment of permanent harassment by the authorities,” it continues. “The constant threats and harassment have caused thousands of people to be forced to leave Nicaragua to safeguard their freedom and rights,” which has resulted in the flight from the country of more than 106,000 Nicaraguans since 2018 for political or economic reasons, according to UNHCR data.
The motion also recalls that the presidential elections of last November 7 did not comply “with the minimum electoral guarantees to be classified as democratic” and so that “their results can be recognized”, and that the electoral process was “marked by the constant violation of rights and democratic guarantees”, including “the detention of seven presidential aspirants, the cancellation of three opposition political parties and the imprisonment, harassment and intimidation of journalists, businessmen, social, student and rural leaders, indigenous peoples, as well as the closure of one of the country’s main newspapers, La Prensa“. “The Nicaraguan government has not only deprived the people of Nicaragua of the civil and political right to vote in credible, inclusive, fair and transparent elections, but it has also failed to fulfill its own commitments to human rights and fundamental freedoms under the Nicaraguan Constitution, the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the international covenants to which the country is a party,” added the PSOE.
According to the Socialist Group, “during all these events, the Government of Spain, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has exercised intense diplomatic work in favor of compliance with international legality and human rights in Nicaragua”, including “the call for consultations of its ambassador in Managua on August 11, 2021”, the “non-recognition of the elections” and the request, within the framework of the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union, “for different kinds of sanctions for the political leaders of the Government” of Daniel Ortega.
For all these reasons, the Socialist Parliamentary Group urges the Government to “request those sanctions that may be necessary against the political leaders of the Nicaraguan government, within the framework of the European Union”, to carry out the “diplomatic actions that may be necessary and appropriate with the objective of putting an end to the violation of human, political and civil rights in Nicaragua”, to demand “urgently to the Nicaraguan government the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and demonstrators arbitrarily imprisoned, as well as the annulment of the judicial proceedings opened against them”, and to urge the Ortega government to comply “with its international commitments on human rights and with its own constitutional precepts”.