Dec 6, 2021
In mid-November, following the re-election of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Congress passed and President Biden signed the RENACER Act, which escalated an ongoing economic war against President Daniel Ortega. In this episode learn about what the RENACER Act does as we examine the situation in Nicaragua and find out and why Daniel Ortega has a target on his back.
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CD167: Combating Russia (NDAA 2018) LIVE
CD186: National Endowment for Democracy
CD187: Combating China
CD041: Why Attack Syria?
CD067: What Do We Want In Ukraine?
CD108: Regime Change (Syria)
CD131: Bombing Libya
CD156: Sanctions – Russia, North Korea & Iran
CD172: The Illegal Bombing of Syria
CD176: Target Venezuela: Regime Change in Progress
CD190: A Coup for Capitalism
CD191: The “Democracies” Of Elliott Abrams
CD208: The Brink of the Iran War
CD224: Social Media Censorship
CD225: Targets of the Free Marketeers
CD229: Target Belarus
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Antony Blinken. November 15, 2021. “New Sanctions Following Sham Elections in Nicaragua.” U.S. Department of State.
Ned Price. August 6, 2021. “The United States Restricts Visas of 50 Additional Nicaraguan Individuals Affiliated With Ortega-Murillo Regime.” U.S. Department of State.
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U.S. Department of the Treasury. June 9, 2021. “Treasury Sanctions Nicaraguan Officials for Supporting Ortega’s Efforts to Undermine Democracy, Human Rights, and the Economy.”
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Carlos Dada. October 6, 2021. “La prioridad ahorita es que no nos maten; luego, la justicia y la democracia.” El Faro.
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Tom Phillips. October 22, 2021. “Nicaraguan business leaders arrested in Ortega’s pre-election crackdown.” The Guardian.
“Nicaragua: Police arrest 2 more opposition contenders.” September 6, 2021. Deutsche Welle (DW).
Ismael López Ocampo and Mary Beth Sheridan. June 9, 2021. “As election looms, Nicaraguan government arrests Ortega’s challengers.” The Washington Post.
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The Guardian Staff and agencies in Managua. June 2, 2021. “Nicaragua police detain opposition leader and expected Ortega challenger.” The Guardian.
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Mabel Calero. July 26, 2018. “Daniel Ortega buries his model of alliance with private companies that lasted 11 years.” La Prensa.
Max Blumenthal. June 19, 2018. “US govt meddling machine boasts of ‘laying the groundwork for insurrection’ in Nicaragua.” The Grayzone.
Associated Press. August 26, 2021. “Nicaragua Orders Closure of 15 More NGOs.” U.S. News and World Report.
William I. Robinson. August 20, 2021. “Crisis in Nicaragua: Is the US Trying to Overthrow the Ortega-Murillo Government? (Part II)” North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA)
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Sponsor: Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Passed by Voice Vote in the Senate
November 3, 2021 House Vote Breakdown
Signed into law on December 20, 2018
Sponsor: Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
November 10, 2021
*Hearing not on C-SPAN
Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ): The regime has rounded up nearly every potential challenger to Ortega and has not even tried to hide these arrests and forced disappearances under the veneer of legality.
05:42 Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ): Having written the NICA Act with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), I am frustrated that the International Monetary Fund recently provided $350 million to the regime. The IMF should not take Ortega's us word for it that these funds will be used to address the COVID pandemic.
06:53 Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ): We should also begin preparing a number of severe diplomatic consequences, assuming Nicaragua's election in November becomes a coronation for Ortega. Nicaragua should be suspended under the International Democratic Charter on November 8, and its participation under the Central America Free Trade Agreement should be reconsidered.
10:39 Rep. Mark Green (R-TN): On November 7 a political farce will be held, claiming to resemble elections. No one should be fooled about the outcome -- any hope of unseating the socialist dictatorship is sitting inside of Ortega's prisons.
13:56 *Emily Mendrala: As you are well aware, the Ortega-Murillo government has carried out a ruthless crackdown over the past several months, canceling the registration of opposition parties, incarcerating journalists, opposition leaders, potential presidential candidates, students, private sector leaders and others who defend free and fair elections, attacking the free press, closing long standing NGOs that provide humanitarian and medical assistance to Nicaraguans in need.
15:06 Emily Mendrala: In the face of sham elections in Nicaragua, we and our international partners must continue to denounce and push back against the Ortega-Murillo government's anti-democratic rule as well as its use of Russian-inspired laws to carry out repression.
17:56 Emily Mendrala: Through USAID we continue to support Nicaraguan civil society, independent media and human rights defenders. Our continued support assures Nicaraguans that the outside world has not forgotten them.
19:06 Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ): Are we using our voice? Is the administration using its voice and vote with international financial institution to oppose loans and other financial assistance to Ortega? Because I have to tell you, it's very upsetting to me that we do all this work here. We asked the administration to put sanctions on different people. And yet the IMF, which we probably contribute the largest amount of money, or if not, one of the largest amounts of money, they seem to just ignore what's going on in Nicaragua. And it has to -- I intend to write a letter to the IMF. And hopefully we'll have them before this committee, because this is not acceptable.
20:22 Emily Mendrala: We are using our voice and our vote and every opportunity in front of multilateral institutions to oppose lending to the Ortega-Murillo government. We will continue to use our voice, vote and influence to advocate against lending from international financial institutions to the Ortega-Murillo government and we will also continue to collaborate with international partners where appropriate: EU, Canada and others to do the same.
30:43 Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX): The upcoming November 7 elections will be neither free nor fair
1:04:30 Berta Valle: Even though Félix [Maradiaga] has dedicated his life to serving our country, the regime has charged him and others with a conspiracy to undermine national integrity. The government is alleging that Félix and others were part of a global conspiracy to use foreign resources, including from the US Agency for International Development, the International Republican Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy to harm the interests of the nation.
1:16:33 Ryan Berg: As well as November 7, I think we need to declare Nicaragua's elections illegitimate under current conditions.
1:27:16 Ryan Berg: Thank you, Congressman Green, for the question. Yes, the two countries that I would point out as extra-hemispheric actors who have have come into the hemisphere to shore up the Ortega regime are Russia and Iran. Russia, we've seen with a significant presence in Nicaragua for a while. Its increased its presence in past years, to an extent that I think should be very alarming for the US government. Not only does it have a number of port agreements with Nicaragua, and access to the Caribbean, where it can engage in anti access and area denial capabilities, potentially. But also in cyberspace. We saw recently the Russians and Nicaraguans sign a major agreement in the cyberspace, particularly to help the regime not only increase its domestic security apparatus, but to spy potentially on the opposition on our own citizens, and indeed, potentially on on other governments in Central America, depending upon the strength of the equipment transfers that we'll see in future. So they have a whole number or whole range of capabilities that they are developing within Nicaragua, that there are signals intelligence stations that are actually quite close to the US Embassy in Managua. And so that's that's Russia, Russia has an interest in shoring up this regime on the cheap. And I think Iran has approached the regime in a number of ways, most specifically, in offering partnerships to circumvent US sanctions architecture, in which it excels, because of the sanctions architecture that it has been under for so long. And we haven't seen as deep I would say, as a presence of the Iranians in Nicaragua, but it's it's there and it's also concerning. I think, in general, Congressman, part of the Ortega regime's plan for survival is to sort of recreate a situation of rivalry and enmity in Central America again, and lend a platform for major geopolitical competitors to the United States to increase their capabilities on the US doorstep and I think that's a significant aspect of this political, economic and social crisis here.
1:35:50 Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ): If the Ortega regime moves ahead was stealing this November's elections the international community must come together to impose a very steep price.
November 1, 2018
John Bolton: The "Troika of Tyranny" in this hemisphere -- Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua -- has finally met its match.
John Bolton: Today in this hemisphere we are also confronted once again, with the destructive forces of oppression, socialism and totalitarianism. In Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, we see the perils of poisonous ideologies left unchecked.
September 25, 2007
16:50 President Daniel Ortega: The General Assembly is simply a reflection of this world where a capitalist and imperialist minority is imposing global capitalism to impoverish the world continue to enslave us all and promote apartheid against Latin American immigrants and against African immigrants in Europe. This global capitalism is one beast and it has tentacles everywhere.
25:30 President Daniel Ortega: They have to understand once and for all, that just as they have managed to profit from privatizations that have given rise to these huge multi-nationals that then set up in developing countries, they say that they are helping us. No business person provides assistance, they simply go to earn as much money as they can, they don't go to invest. Developing countries are considered to be insecure countries, and we are simply being ransacked. If we compare the volume of riches that they're extracting from our countries -- the capitalists in developed countries I'm talking about -- through their major companies, the globalized multinationals. If we can compare that wealth with what the Latin American immigrants send back to their families from the U.S. or the Asian and African families in Europe send back to their families, it is a miserable amount compared to the volume of wealth that is extracted on a daily basis by these forms of institutionalized oppression.
28:30 President Daniel Ortega: These companies are simply using cheap labor. They are benefiting from clauses in free trade agreements. I've got us free trade, why not? Free trade for societies and nations. But clearly in that system, it's the law of the jungle the strongest will impose themselves on the rest. What well the world needs is fair trade. What the world demands is really a genuine change in the capitalist, globalized, imperialist economies, that is where we need to have a change. They have to change this concept that they have of a free market. They have to change the slant of these free trade agreements.
April 16, 1991
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