Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
👀 Bezos, Buffett & Berkowitz: What's in Their Portfolios? Unlock Data

Exclusive-U.S. to announce new Nicaragua sanctions 'very soon,' official says

Published Nov 09, 2021 11:38AM ET Updated Nov 09, 2021 02:21PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman watches a televised speech by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega during an event where he agreed with his Honduran counterpart Juan Orlando Hernandez to define their borders in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, including the Gul

By Matt Spetalnick and Daina Beth Solomon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Biden administration plans to announce new U.S. sanctions and other punitive actions "very soon" in response to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's re-election in a vote that Washington has denounced as a sham, a senior State Department official told Reuters on Tuesday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the measures would be the first in a series of steps that the U.S. government will "ramp up over time."

Washington expects a strong resolution against Ortega when the Organization of American States meets this week in Guatemala but is not likely to use the event to formally seek Nicaragua's suspension from the bloc, the official said.

President Joe Biden is expected in the coming days or hours to sign congressional legislation aimed at ratcheting up pressure on Nicaragua, the official said.

Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla leader, clinched a fourth consecutive term in Sunday's election after jailing political rivals ahead of a vote that drew international condemnation.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that Washington will coordinate with other governments and was ready to use a range of tools, including sanctions and visa restrictions against those complicit in "undemocratic acts."

"We'll see some actions we take very soon," the State Department official said. "I don't want to leave people the impression that it's going to be kind of one announcement and done... This will continue to go over time."

The official declined to elaborate on the types of sanctions in the works. But a U.S. government source last week said initial targets would likely be individuals, security force members and government-controlled companies.

Ricardo Zuniga, U.S. special envoy for Central America, told reporters the United States was evaluating measures to hold Ortega's government accountable. He declined to say whether Ortega might be personally sanctioned.

Ortega on Monday night derided his U.S. critics as "Yankee imperialists" and accused them of trying to undermine Nicaragua's electoral process. Cuba, Venezuela and Russia all have offered Ortega their backing.


Twenty-six OAS members voted last month on a resolution that expressed alarm at Ortega's actions but seven countries abstained. Washington is working to forge a more united stand at the bloc's general assembly.

The State Department official said "realistically, in terms of the votes," now is not the time to seek Nicaragua's suspension.

Asked if Nicaragua could be kicked out, Zuniga said it would be important for OAS members to jointly define next steps, calling expulsion a "very serious matter." Biden’s aides are wary because such action against Cuba in the 1960s failed to change Havana’s course.

Biden is poised to sign into law the so-called RENACER Act, which received bipartisan approval last week in the U.S. House of Representatives, the official said.

The legislation calls for sanctions on Nicaraguans deemed responsible for unfair elections, increased coordination of such measures with the European Union and Canada, and expanded U.S. oversight of international lending to Managua.

Zuniga said elements of the bill correspond well to the administration's views. It would also require U.S. government reports on alleged corruption by the Ortega family, human rights abuses by security forces and Russian activities in the country, including military sales.

In addition, the administration is asked to review Nicaragua's participation in the Central America Free Trade Agreement, which gives preferential treatment to exports to the United States.

Exclusive-U.S. to announce new Nicaragua sanctions 'very soon,' official says

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email