Daniel Ortega Has Become Increasingly Similar To Maduro

Comparte este artículo

Daniel Ortega's future seems closer to that of Maduro. It seems that Nicaragua's international relations are in a serious crisis .

Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua

For the fourth time in a row, the Nicaraguan president once again won the elections in his country and will remain in command for 4 more years. Photo: Nicaraguan NGO

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

Listen to this article

Leer en español: Daniel Ortega, cada vez más parecido a Maduro

For the fourth time in a row (and five in total), the Nicaraguan president once again won the elections in his country and will remain in command for another 5 years. However, very few countries recognize the Sandinista victory, since the low electoral participation, the opposition's political persecution and the lack of guarantees for the elections leave Ortega very weak on the international scene, in a quite similar position. to that of his Venezuelan counterpart and friend Nicolás Maduro.

Last Sunday, Ortega got 75% of the support at the polls. However, the lack of international observers, the systematic persecution of the opposition, and the low participation reported by independent media (but denied by the Government) cast doubt on the legitimacy of the elections.
Will Ortega face a scenario similar to that experienced by other Latin American rulers?

International pressure

Costa Rica and the United States made it very clear,  they will not recognize Ortega's victory. The United States, the main enemy of the Sandinista regime, cataloged the elections as a pantomime due to the heavy persecution suffered by several opposition leaders.

The first to ignore the results in South America were Colombia and Chile, known for their strong stances against socialist governments.

Read also: Latin America in Short: Elections in Nicaragua and COP26 Advances

Declaración Conjunta de Costa Rica ???????? y Ecuador ????????: https://t.co/wyQVWT3sYL

Hace un llamado a la comunidad internacional para respaldar un diálogo con todas las partes para recuperar en Nicaragua la vía de la democracia. pic.twitter.com/XiaxdrcjKA

— Cancillería del Ecuador ???????? (@CancilleriaEc) November 9, 2021

In his defense, Ortega classified all those attacks that delegitimize his election as strategies used by enemies of peace to destabilize his government, an argument that Nicolás Maduro himself has appropriated. The attacks on peace have been the perfect excuse for Maduro to increase the persecution of various opposition leaders and politicians.

Now Ortega will face an even more difficult reality in the international system. Possible economic sanctions and persecution of his loyal followers around the world are the risks that the Nicaraguan government will be facing.

Precisely, Washington approved last week the RENACER law that gives President Joe Biden the ability to impose diplomatic and administrative sanctions, something very similar to what the Chavista regime in Venezuela has had to face for several years. Sanctions that the United States has already been carrying out against people close to President Ortega. For example, in June of this year, the Biden administration sanctioned the president's daughter, Camila Ortega; the president of the Central Bank, Leonardo Ovidio; Congressman Edwin Castro; and Julio Rodríguez general of the Nicaraguan Army.

Another great actor in the international system, the European Union, has already spoken out against the elections that gave the presidential candidate a clear and overwhelming victory. Josep Borrel, head of foreign relations for the group of 26, said that the elections in the Central American country lacked legitimacy and guarantees and did not accept democratic elections.

Likewise, the United Nations and the IACHR had already warned of the lack of guarantees in the elections that were finally held on Sunday, November 7. Both organizations recalled the various investigations the country is facing for possible human rights violations.

Given all this rejection of the Central American elections, it is very possible that Ortega faces an international scenario similar to the one Maduro is experiencing today: without international recognition, with freezing of accounts, with poor international relations that impede cooperation with various countries.

Isolated but not alone

Ortega seems increasingly isolated from the rest of the international community. But this is not entirely true, despite major Western governments closing ranks against the regime, several traditional allies voiced their support for the elections.
One of Ortega's greatest allies in the region, Nicolás Maduro, celebrated the victory of Sandinismo. However, Maduro, now facing an investigation before the ICC for human rights violations, is not the strongest ally for Nicaragua. 

Other Nicaraguan allies who also expressed their support for the government are Russia, Cuba and Iran. It is precisely these who have kept Nicolás Maduro afloat, despite strong diplomatic repression by United States allies. And although the Nicaraguan economy does not have the large oil reserves of Venezuela, it is much more stable than the Bolivarian Republic, but a large part of its GDP comes from exodus remittances living, mainly in the United States. Therefore, any sanction that involves this aspect will have devastating consequences for a fragile economy strongly affected by the political and health crisis.