US Implements Sanctions on Nicaragua, Cites Exploitation of Migrants

The Biden administration announced sanctions and restrictions targeting Nicaragua on Wednesday with the aim of curbing migration at the southern border. The administration accused Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo of profiting from the plight of “irregular migrants” seeking passage to the United States.

According to a senior Biden administration official briefing reporters on Wednesday, the Nicaraguan regime sells visas upon arrival at their airports to migrants, requiring them to leave the country within 96 hours. The official highlighted the regime’s substantial profit from facilitating irregular migration toward the U.S. southwest border.

In response, the Biden administration issued a policy alert advising airlines and private companies to exercise caution regarding Nicaragua’s treatment of migrants and possible human rights abuses linked to migration issues.

The alert warns that smugglers and human traffickers are exploiting legitimate transportation services by using Managua as a disembarkation point for migrants headed towards the U.S. southern border.

The administration’s actions include visa restrictions imposed on over 250 individuals associated with the Nicaraguan government and non-governmental actors supporting the Ortega-Murillo regime. The State Department spokesperson, Matthew Miller, cited attacks on human rights, repression of civil society organizations, and exploitation of vulnerable migrants as reasons for the sanctions.

Additionally, the Department of the Treasury sanctioned three Nicaragua-based entities. Among these are a Russian training center in Nicaragua, which Miller claimed contributes to violent repression in the country, and two gold companies that generate revenue for the Ortega-Murillo regime and the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Managua.