A senior US official says less than two weeks ago Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Nicaragua’s foreign minister that the Biden administration would respect the results of free and fair elections in November.
Since then, the U.S. has seen Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega “unleash a wave of repression against Nicaragua’s political opponents and civil society members,” Julie Chung, acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, told reporters.
The day before, the US Treasury Department slapped sanctions against four people close to Ortega, including his daughter and a senior military official. The sanctions followed the arrest of four potential opposition presidential candidates last week.
Blinken was in Costa Rica on June 1 and 2 to meet with Central American integration system member states, and Chung said he had talked with Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncado.
“Secretary Blinken spoke with Moncada’s foreign minister and said we want free and fair elections,” Chung said. “The whole world would love to see free and fair elections in Nicaragua, and we would stick to their results if they were confirmed by an independent institution.”