Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez and members of the House of Representatives, Albio Ceres and Maria Elvira Salazar, leaders in approving the Law Enhancing Nicaragua’s Compliance with the Terms of Electoral Reform (Renacer), met on Wednesday with seven other colleagues, to celebrate the The approval of the House of Representatives on this draft legislation.
When the Rebirth Act is passed it’s ready for the final step: the signing and promulgation of the President of the United States, Joe Biden.
“Today, as the Renacer Act heads to President Biden’s office for its signature, I am proud to see Congress meet, in a bicameral fashion and common sense, so that the people of Nicaragua know that we are not turning a blind eye to their cries of despair,” said Senator Bob Menendez, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator Menendez noted that it is not usual for Republicans and Democrats to meet, especially these days, “To find common ground and tackle a serious challenge.”
“This law is a rare exception. We are witnessing the worst authoritarian attack on democracy in Latin America in decades, I am proud to lead this effort for Congress to act decisively so that Ortega Murillo’s regime knows there will be major consequences for the false coronation of its dynastic dictatorship. “I look forward to working with President Biden to ensure rapid implementation of the Renacer Act,” Menendez added in a press release.
They expect the law to be signed immediately
For his part, Senator Rubio said the Renacer Act – amended to make penalties tougher against collaborators with the Ortega regime – is a message “against the corrupt and authoritarian Ortega Murillo regime and its attempt to undermine the will of Ortega Nicaraguan people.”
Rubio stressed that “the Biden administration must quickly sign this law and work with international allies to coordinate sanctions against this regime.”
Congressman Albio Ceres was cynical about Sunday’s vote in Nicaragua, calling the electoral event a “coroning ceremonies.”
Ceres said that “the approval of the Renaissar Act shows that the United States Congress will not remain on the sidelines, while consolidating Ortega’s one-party dictatorship” and also considered it to reflect “support for the democratic aspirations of the people of Nicaragua.”
“I am grateful to my colleagues in the House and Senate who worked so hard to pass this bipartisan legislation, which would improve sanctions coordination with allies, expand the supervision of loans from international financial institutions to Nicaragua, and hold Ortega to account for crimes against the humanity of his regime.”
“We must not deal with tyrants”
Congresswoman Elvira Salazar explained that the Renacer Act clarifies the message from the United States that “access to American markets is a privilege and we should not deal with tyrants.”
“It is time to review Ortega’s ability to benefit from free trade with the United States,” the congresswoman said.
“The approval of the Renacer Act will reach Ortega, where it suffers only a few days before the consolidation of its dictatorship through a sham presidential election,” Salazar added.
Other senators who supported the Rebirth Act were the Chair of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, Tim Kaine, Dick Durbin, Ben Cardin, Chris Murphy, and Ted Cruz.
Tim Kaine said the law is a strong US message of support for Nicaragua “in its search for democracy and freedom”.
Senator Durbin said he was pleased that “the House of Representatives has taken a major step forward to hold Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega and his family accountable for their corruption, human rights abuses and undermining of democracy in Nicaragua.”
“Since the cowardly Ortega imprisoned the main voices of the opposition, the upcoming elections lack any legitimacy. His release and a credible election is the only way forward.”
“Nicaragua deserves an inclusive and fair electoral process”
Senator Ben Cardin said that “the people of Nicaragua deserve better than Ortega’s oppressive regime.”
“Nicaragua deserves an inclusive and fair electoral process and a government that responds to people’s needs for fairness, accountability and justice,” Cardin said. He also said that “the United States must continue to defend democracy in the Western Hemisphere.”
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Senator Chris Murphy asserted that this act against the Ortega regime underscores the United States’ struggle to defend democracy and protect human rights.
The protection of human rights and democracy abroad should be at the heart of US foreign policy. This bipartisan legislation helps us attack the corruption of the Ortega regime and protect democracy ahead of this month’s elections in Nicaragua, and I hope President Biden enacts it.”Murphy expressed.
Nicaragua is a country that lives in fear and oppression
For his part, Senator Ted Cruz emphasized that Nicaragua is not free, if not a country that lives in fear and oppression.
Daniel Ortega and his Marxist strongmen have hijacked democratic institutions and criminalized dissent, resulting in an essentially unfree society with a declining economy, ruled by fear and oppression. Bipartisan and bicameral support for the Renacer Act shows that the United States unequivocally supports the brave Nicaraguans Demanding their freedom,” Cruz said.
Representative Stephanie Murphy declared that she was proud of the bipartisan law, “to encourage free and fair elections in Nicaragua and to hold Nicaraguan officials to account who are trying to thwart the democratic aspirations of the people of Nicaragua.”
“Florida is home to 160,000 people who were born in Nicaragua or of Nicaraguan descent, who, like me, care deeply about Nicaragua’s future,” Murphy noted.
What makes Renacer?
The legislation proposes new initiatives to monitor, report and address corruption in the government and family of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, as well as human rights abuses by Nicaraguan security forces.
The Renacer Act also requires the US government to increase sanctions against key actors in the Ortega regime that have prevented democratic elections in Nicaragua, and to expand sanctions coordination with Canada and the European Union.
The bill also requires the executive branch to open a formal review to determine whether Nicaragua should be allowed to participate in the United States’ Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic (DR-Cafta).
In addition, the bill requires more intelligence reporting on Russian activities in Nicaragua and a review of Russian arms sales to Nicaragua for potential sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).