The United States describes Nicaragua as a “dictatorship”

Daniel Ortega has imposed "a dictatorship based on personalism" in Nicaragua, Ricardo Zúñiga, assistant secretary for Americas affairs at the US State Department, said on Tuesday.

"It is a dictatorship pure and simple", a "authority lacking any democratic mandate"he said during a telephone press conference after Ortega won an election on Sunday preceded by the arrest of opponents, the outlawing of parties and repression.

Ortega and his wife and vice president Rosario Murillo "they have imposed a dictatorship based on personalism and family power"said the official.

"With the pantomime of choice", the country "it has gone from being a fragile democracy to a completely autocratic regime"he insisted.

"It is paradoxical that Ortega and Murillo are establishing a family-led dynastic dictatorship just like the Somoza dictatorship did.", abounded.

Ortega helped the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN, left) overthrow dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979.

Despite calling the country a dictatorship, the United States advocates combining sanctions with diplomacy to support "to democratic actors".

On Monday, the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, threatened to impose new sanctions, which Ortega, Murillo and people around them have already been subjected to before the elections.

Last week, the United States Congress approved the RENACER law, still pending enactment by the White House, to increase diplomatic pressure on Managua with a battery of measures.

This Tuesday, the eve of the beginning of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), the United States calls for a "strong regional response".

"The region must now promote accountability by the government of Ortega and Murillo and promote actions"Zúñiga insisted on the assembly to be held virtually with Guatemala as host.

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"The OAS countries must together demand, he added, the restoration of democracy in Nicaragua and the immediate unconditional release of the detained political prisoners.".

Since June, the Nicaraguan authorities have outlawed three parties and arrested 39 social activists, politicians, businessmen and journalists. They join the 120 opponents imprisoned since the 2018 protests that demanded Ortega’s resignation and that resulted in hundreds of deaths.

Asked if the United States asks for new elections, Zúñiga replied that "these elections totally lack credibility".

"True, free and transparent elections are needed (…) They have not happened for us", Held.

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