MEXICO CITY (HPD) — Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on Thursday rejected the latest U.S. sanctions on his country’s mining industry and 500 of its officials, warning that if Washington continues to punish his government “it will have more immigrants.” at its border.”
Speaking at a ceremony for the anniversary of the Ministry of the Interior (Interior), Ortega said that the United States is the country “that has applied the most sanctions in the world” and “has caused the most damage,” and “then they are there complaining about the immigrants”.
This week Washington announced sanctions on the General Directorate of Mines and former Colonel Lenín Cerna, former head of Sandinista intelligence. He also withdrew the visas of 500 Nicaraguan judges, prosecutors and other government officials.
The executive order virtually makes it illegal for Americans to do business with the Nicaraguan gold industry. It is the first time that the United States has focused on a specific sector of the Nicaraguan economy, and in the future it could expand to include other industries considered sources of financing for the Ortega government.
“Keep putting sanctions and more immigrants will go to the United States. As much as they want to close the doors, there is no door they can close to immigrants, ”said the Sandinista ruler, in his first reaction to the new Washington sanctions.
The decision also paves the way for the US government to restrict investment and trade with Nicaragua, measures that evoke the severe embargo imposed by the United States in the 1980s on the first Sandinista government of Ortega, during the bloody civil war.
Ortega condemned the sanctions that the government of President Joe Biden is also applying to Cuba and Venezuela, and argued that they are “terrorist policies” that “are violating the right to work” in those countries.
The president made his statements hours after the publication in digital media of reports and videos that showed a large number of Nicaraguans making long lines at the main Migration offices in Managua, apparently to process passports and emigrate.
Since the social protests of 2018, which caused a serious political crisis, more than 100,000 Nicaraguans have left the country, according to figures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The majority, according to that organization, are people who suffered political persecution and have requested refuge in Costa Rica.