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Tags: nicaragua | ortega | chamorro | blinken | oas

US Could Face New Refugee Crisis As Nicaragua Sinks Back To Dictatorship

US Could Face New Refugee Crisis As Nicaragua Sinks Back To Dictatorship
A line of riot police stand guard outside the house of Cristiana Chamorro, former director of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation and presidential pre-candidate, in Managua on June 2, 2021. (Inti Ocon/AFP via Getty)

John Gizzi By Saturday, 26 June 2021 05:37 PM Current | Bio | Archive

As Nicaragua’s Marxist-Leninist ruler continues to clamp down hard on opposition figures, the Central American nation of just under 6.5 million appears headed to dictatorship not unlike that of Venezuela.

These tumultuous developments could also lead, experts say, to an exodus of Nicaraguans headed for the U.S. — thus creating a fresh crisis at the border.

“A new border crisis is certainly possible, given the increasingly brutal nature of what [strong President] Daniel Ortega is now doing,” Ryan Berg, Senior Fellow in the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Newsmax.

Since the beginning of June, Daniel Ortega has jailed 15 opponents (including five candidates in the presidential election this fall) and incarcerated 130 others — including scores of journalists who have been critical of his conjugal regime (wife Rosario Murillo is Ortega’s vice president).

Among the opposition candidates jailed by the Ortega government are Cristiana Chamorro Barrios, publisher and daughter of former President Violeta Chamorro (who unseated Ortega in 1990 to become Central America’s first woman president), and Arturo Cruz, Jr., former Nicaraguan ambassador to the U.S.

“There are perhaps three reasons for this broad crackdown, which is becoming increasingly violent,” Berg told us, “First, that the president and vice president are foregoing legitimizing their government and don’t even care about having faux opposition; second, they are clamping down on opponents in preparation for a transition from Ortega to Murillo.”

Berg’s third reason for the Ortega’s outright repression of critics—which he freely concedes is “outlandish”—is that “his jailed opponents could be used in negotiations to lift sanctions from the U.S. and other countries.”

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Tony Blinken issued a statement endorsing the Organization of American States that “condemns the Ortega-Murillo regime’s repression in Nicaragua and calls for the immediate release of the..presidential candidates recently detained, along with over 130 other political prisoners.”

Whether this will lead to stronger actions against Nicaragua by the US and OAS and what happens next in that country will undoubtedly be one of the major stories of the Western hemisphere in the coming weeks.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
As Nicaragua’s Marxist-Leninist ruler continues to clamp down hard on opposition figures, the Central American nation of just under 6.5 million appears headed to dictatorship not unlike that of Venezuela.
nicaragua, ortega, chamorro, blinken, oas
366
2021-37-26
Saturday, 26 June 2021 05:37 PM
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