Sen. Cruz: The U.S. Should Not Turn a Blind Eye to Nicaragua’s Brutal Thuggery
Reintroduces Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today reintroduced the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act of 2017 (NICA), a companion to the bipartisan measure spearheaded by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) in the House. This legislation would direct the United States to use our voice and vote at international financial institutions to oppose loans for the Government of Nicaragua until President Ortega’s regime is held accountable for its oppressive policies and anti-democratic actions, and the Secretary of State certifies that Nicaragua is taking effective steps to hold free and fair elections and combat corruption.
“Last year’s presidential election in Nicaragua further confirmed what we already knew – President Ortega’s authoritarian tactics have escalated and he continues to persecute those who seek to live in freedom,” Sen. Cruz said. “The United States should not turn a blind eye to this brutal thuggery. If President Ortega wants the benefits of financial assistance from institutions to which the United States contributes and where it has a voice, he must enact basic democratic reforms. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and the new Administration to advance the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act, and promote a stable, secure region with the ability to foster growth and prosperity. Nicaragua and all freedom-loving people in Central America depend on U.S. leadership.”
Carlos Ponce, Freedom House Director of Latin American Programs, praised NICA saying, “The NICA Act enables the United States to hold the Ortega government accountable for its violations of fundamental freedoms. It shows U.S. commitment to standing in solidarity with hundreds of human rights defenders in Nicaragua and sends a clear signal for the need to uphold free and fair elections and rule of law.”
Sen. Cruz previously introduced NICA in the 114th Congress. In December, Sen. Cruz penned an op-ed with Sen. Jim DeMint outlining the fraudulent elections of Nicaragua’s president. Full text of the bill can be viewed here.