The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament have denounced the 7 November 2021 general Nicaraguan elections as a farce, which will only further cement authoritarianism under Daniel Ortega.
S&D MEPs reiterated their call on the Ortega regime to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners; to end the repression and breaches of human rights; to allow the return of international organisations to the country; and the reinstatement of legal personality of human rights monitoring bodies, such as CENIDH (Centro Nicaragüense de los Derechos Humanos).
Javi López, S&D MEP and co-chair of the Eurolat, said: “The only solution for Nicaragua is to return to the national dialogue the government deplorably abandoned. Ortega and Murillo are isolated in the international community. Their cruel dictatorship prevents the progress of the Nicaraguan society, one of the poorest on the American continent.”
Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, S&D MEP and spokesperson on Latin America said: “As long as the government of Nicaragua imprisons political opponents and bans alternative electoral platforms, there won’t be free elections in the country. All political prisoners must be released immediately and unconditionally. They are being imprisoned under truly deplorable conditions. The Ortega regime violates human rights in Nicaragua on a daily basis.”
“This election is a farce. Today, Ortega resembles a member of the Somoza dynasty that ruled Nicaragua with an iron fist in the last century”Alicia Homs
Alicia Homs, S&D MEP, responsible for Nicaragua and member of the delegation for relations with the countries of Central America, said: “Ortega has betrayed the democratic principles of the Sandinista Revolution and his repression has hit former colleagues, including Dora María Téllez, Sergio Ramírez or Víctor Hugo Tinoco, among many others. We stand with them and with the Nicaraguan society that one day will bring democracy back to their country.”
During his 15 years in power, Daniel Ortega has step-by-step dismantled democracy in Nicaragua. Once a revolutionary who fought against the Somoza dictatorship, Ortega betrayed the democratic spirit of the Sandinistas and accumulated power for himself and his wife, vice-president Rosario Murillo.
Since the protests of April 2018, political opponents have been systematically oppressed. The elections scheduled for Sunday 7th of November are expected to cement the transition to an authoritarian regime. The violence of Ortega’s regime has led to at least 328 dead and 155 imprisoned for political reasons. More than 108.000 Nicaraguan citizens have fled the country seeking refuge elsewhere.
Last spring, Nicaraguan authorities destroyed any hopes for free elections when they banned all opposition electoral platforms and imprisoned several opposition leaders and seven presidential pre-candidates who had announced their intention to run, including Cristiana Chamorro, Juan Sebastián Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Madariaga, Medardo Mairena, Miguel Mora and Noel Vidaurre.
In October 2019, the EU introduced a sanctions regime against Nicaraguan authorities responsible for the repression, which currently applies to 14 individuals, including vice-president Rosario Murillo. On 18 October 2021, EU High Representative and vice-president Josep Borrell declared that Nicaragua has turned into one of the world’s “worst dictatorships” and that the November elections will be “fake”