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Sen. Cruz Commends Senate Passage of the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act

Cruz-led bipartisan legislation responds to Nicaragua crisis and holds regime accountable for human rights abuses

November 29, 2018

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued the following statement praising the U.S. Senate’s final passage of H.R. 1918, the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (NICA). The NICA Act imposes targeted sanctions and conditions U.S. approval of international loans to the Government of Nicaragua, ensuring the Ortega regime will be held accountable for its systemic corruption, human rights violations, and assault on democratic order. Senate passage of the NICA Act comes alongside a new Executive Order issued by the Trump Administration that imposed sanctions on Nicaragua’s First Lady Rosario Maria Murillo De Ortega and National Security Advisor Nestor Moncada Lau.

“For years the Ortega regime has operated with almost total impunity as it systematically repressed the people of Nicaragua, targeted political opponents for torture and murder, and aligned with hostile governments like Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, and China. Hundreds of Nicaraguans have been imprisoned or killed,” Sen. Cruz said. “Meanwhile the regime exploited international loans to advance their policies. The NICA Act ensures that international loans will no longer be doled out to keep the regime afloat, and signals to Ortega and his cronies that the U.S. will continue to increase pressure until they pursue meaningful democratic reform and human rights protections. The NICA Act and President Trump’s recent executive order demonstrate the commitment of the entire United States government to ensuring that pressure works.”

The bipartisan legislation combines two legislative measures authored by Sen. Cruz in partnership with Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Albio Sires (D-N.J.), becoming a comprehensive package to address the crisis in Nicaragua:

The Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (S. 2265), authored by Sens. Cruz and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) directs the United States to oppose international loans to the Government of Nicaragua until the State Department can certify effective steps are being taken to hold free and fair elections, strengthen the rule of law, combat corruption, and protect the fundamental freedoms for all people of Nicaragua. This bill was joined by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). A similar effort led by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Albio Sires (D-N.J.), passed the House of Representatives. 

The Nicaragua Human Rights and Anticorruption Act (S. 3233), authored by Sens. Cruz and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) requires the imposition of sanctions on Nicaraguan government officials responsible for the deaths of protestors, human rights violations and acts of corruption. It calls for a negotiated political solution to Nicaragua’s crisis, including the commitment to early elections, and requires reporting on the involvement of Nicaraguan government officials in corruption and human rights abuses. This measure was joined by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

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