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Official: US told Nicaragua it would respect free elections

Last Updated Jun 10, 2021 at 5:41 pm EDT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A senior U.S. official said Thursday that less than two week 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 political opponents and members of Nicaragua’s civil society,” Julie Chung, the acting U.S. assistant secretary of state for Wester Hemisphere affairs, told reporters.

A day earlier, the U.S. Treasury Department slapped sanctions on four people close to Ortega, including his daughter and a top army official. The sanctions followed the arrests of four potential opposition candidates for the presidency since last week.

Blinken was in Costa Rica on June 1 and 2 to meet with member countries of the Central America Integration System, and Chung said he talked with Nicaraguan Foreign Affairs Minister Denis Moncada.

“Secretary Blinken did speak to Foreign Minister Moncada and relayed that we want to see a free and fair elections,” Chung said. “The whole world would love to see free and fair elections in Nicaragua, and we would abide by the results of that if they were certified by an independent institution.”

The Associated Press