Ortega Rigs Nicaragua Election, Biden Weakly Protests

Ortega Rigs Nicaragua Election, Biden Weakly Protests

Ortega Rigs Nicaragua Election, Biden Weakly Protests

The presidential election in Nicaragua took place on Sunday, and – surprise! – Daniel Ortega is likely to win a fourth term as president.

The election was a surefire win once Ortega had all his strong rival candidates arrested. It’s little wonder that both the United States and the European Union considered this vote nothing less than a joke.

At least half a dozen likely presidential contenders were detained ahead of the vote, clearing Ortega’s path to another five years in office. Though five other presidential candidates were listed on the final ballot Sunday, none are seen as strong challengers.”

Among the arrested were former candidate and journalist Cristiana Chamorro Barrios (whose mother defeated Ortega at the polls in 1990); her cousin, the economist Juan Sebastián Chamorro García; former diplomat Arturo Cruz; political scientist Félix Maradiaga; journalist Miguel Mora Barberena; and rural labor leader Medardo Mairena Sequeira.”

Dozens of other prominent critics and opposition leaders were also detained and investigated for alleged national security concerns, according to Nicaraguan law enforcement — moves that much of the international community has criticized as political repression.”

Many people in Nicaragua didn’t even bother voting, because the outcome was all but assured.

From exile, Nicaraguan opposition parties have called for voters to boycott the polls. “I am not going to participate in this electoral circus,” said a woman who sells plastic products at a market.”

“My candidate is in prison,” she added, referring to Cristiana Chamorro, who has been under house arrest since she was detained in June and charged with money laundering, an accusation she denies and is widely believed to be a trumped-up charge.”

At the time of her arrest in June, Ms. Chamorro enjoyed the highest favorability rating of any politician in the country, with 53% approval, compared with 39% for Mr. Ortega.”

Ms. Chamorro is the daughter of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, who unexpectedly defeated Mr. Ortega in a 1990 presidential race, paving a way out of the decadelong civil war between the Sandinista army and U.S.-backed Contra rebels, a proxy Cold War conflict that killed thousands.”

Even better, Ortega’s wife Rosario Murillo won her second term as his vice president. (Jill Biden is probably wondering why she didn’t think of this before now.)

A senior U.S. official says key decisions in Nicaragua are made together by Mr. Ortega and his wife, the 70-year-old vice president. The presidential couple are also preparing their children, four of whom have been sanctioned by the U.S. along with Ms. Murillo, for more prominent public roles. “I think of it as a dynastic project,” the U.S. official added.”

Daniel Ortega is now 75 years old, and Nicaragua has been under his dictator-like grasp for fifteen years now. It’s pretty obvious that Ortega merely overthrew one dictator in order to become one himself, but there are concerns that Murillo has become the real power in the relationship and in the government. How convenient that if Ortega should happen to die in this next term of office, Murillo would be able to simply take over. (Again, Jill Biden is probably taking notes for 2024.)

The White House released a statement on the “election” in Nicaragua, supposedly from Biden himself. Read it for yourself, and decide whether President Houseplant penned a single word of it.

What Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, orchestrated today was a pantomime election that was neither free nor fair, and most certainly not democratic. The arbitrary imprisonment of nearly 40 opposition figures since May, including seven potential presidential candidates, and the blocking of political parties from participation rigged the outcome well before election day. They shuttered independent media, locked up journalists and members of the private sector, and bullied civil society organizations into closing their doors. Long unpopular and now without a democratic mandate, the Ortega and Murillo family now rule Nicaragua as autocrats, no different from the Somoza family that Ortega and the Sandinistas fought four decades ago.”

The United States stands in support of the inalienable right to democratic self-determination of the Nicaraguan people, and those of any other country in the hemisphere where popular sovereignty is compromised by the erosion of democratic norms, stifling of civic space, or violations of fundamental rights. The Inter-American Democratic Charter obligates the hemisphere to stand up for the democratic rights of the Nicaraguan people. We call on the Ortega-Murillo regime to take immediate steps to restore democracy in Nicaragua, and to immediately and unconditionally release those unjustly imprisoned for speaking out against abuses and clamoring for the right of Nicaraguans to vote in free and fair elections. Until then, the United States, in close coordination with other members of the international community, will use all diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to support the people of Nicaragua and hold accountable the Ortega-Murillo government and those that facilitate its abuses.”

Yeah, Biden didn’t write this. This sounds like standard boilerplate political speak that Ron Klain and Jen Psaki workshopped over a Zoom call. And no one will be able to ask Biden about it, because Biden doesn’t take questions without sounding completely uninformed. And does anyone see any actual teeth in this statement? This is a pathetic scolding put into the mouth of a weak old man, and has about as much force as a fart in the wind.

It’s also a fine bit of irony for Biden/Biden’s handlers to be calling Daniel Ortega an “autocrat,” given that the Biden administration just shoved down a vaccine mandate on PRIVATE businesses through the OSHA bureaucracy. Just because it is now being (rightly) challenged in the courts doesn’t change the intent. Autocrat? Tell President Brandon there to look in a mirror.

What happens now? Nothing. The Biden White House has paid lip service to The Bad Thing, and now they will promptly forget about it. At least, they will until Nicaraguan refugees start streaming across the southern border. Then they’ll welcome them with open arms, because that’s what this administration does. The “root cause” of Nicaraguan migration? Sorry, Kamala Harris isn’t going to be trying to fix that one. That would actually mean showing a backbone to a Central American dictator, and neither Joe Biden or his handlers have one.

Welcome Instapundit Readers!

Featured image: Daniel Ortega (via Cancillería del Ecuador on Flickr, cropped, CC BY-SA 2.0) and Joe Biden (via Gage Skidmore on Flickr, cropped, CC BY-SA 2.0), composite collage

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