The United States Congress presented a bill that seeks to affect the Nicaraguan economy
The Congress of the United States received, for the second time, the "Nicact", Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act of 2017. This bill seeks that the US Government votes against any Nicaraguan loan in any multilateral organization; the act has bipartisan congressional support. It was presented by the republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the democrat congressman Albio Sires.
According to Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American member of the House, the bill would try to maintain "the international standard for every Government in Central America in Human Right, Corruption, and Transparency issues while we study where to use the taxpayers' money".
The Nicaraguan Government said that the Nic Act was an "irrational and offensive action against the Nicaraguans' Human Rights".
Many other countries in the region and some international organizations refuse the initiative. The Organization of the American States declared that the bill "is not a constructive contribution to the joint effort of the Nicaraguan Government and this General Secretary had been making to strengthen the democracy and the institutions in the country".
This is not the first time that the US Congress tried to approve the Nicact. In September 2016, 25 congressmen from both parties introduced the bill. The initiative was approved in the lower Camera but it didn’t reach Senate.
The bill needs at least two thirds of the House of Representative's votes to be approved and then it will be a subject of discussion in the Senate.
The sanctions towards Latin American countries are not new. During Donald Trump's administration, the US Government approved several individual sanctions towards Venezuelan politicians and businessmen close to the Venezuelan Government.
The American authorities explained that the sanctions were to push Maduro's regime to free opposition leaders, call for presidential elections, and to remove the Constitutional National Assembly. Trump also applied a sanction towards Citgo, a US subsidiary of PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company. However, the Venezuelan Government hasn't ceded due to the pressure of any of these punishments.
The island has endured 55 years of the US embargo. The American Government imposed these measures to force the Cuban regime to call for new elections and to respect free speech and Human Rights. However, after more than a half century of the embargo, the Castros are still in power.
Under Obama's administration, the US used a different approach towards Cuba. Obama restored diplomatic relationships between both countries; the management also thought about lifting the embargo.
Now days, Trump's administration already took distance from the legacy of his predecessor. The republican president also assured that his Government would not lift the sanctions until Cuba provided humane rights to their citizens.
Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto