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U.S. House passes bill to halt aid to Nicaragua

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Staff Writer | October 5, 2017
The United States House of Representatives approved the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act 2017 (Nica).
Trade relations   Free, fair and transparent elections
This is a bill designed to limit financial aid from international institutions to Nicaragua until it holds free, fair and transparent elections.

Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Democrat Albio Sires said that the US Congress unanimously endorsed the bill.

The bill will be passed to the US Senate for further debate and evaluation.

The main opposition party was prevented from participating in the election last year in which President Daniel Ortega won his third consecutive term in office and his fourth in total.

The objective of the “Nica Act” is to instruct the US Administration to oppose the granting of loans to the government of Daniel Ortega, worth from $250 million to $300 million annually, except for humanitarian reasons or to promote democracy.

“We consider this bill a violation of Nicaragua’s sovereignty, and a denial of all political, social, cultural and economic processes in our homeland,” said Rosario Murillo, vice president and first lady of Nicaragua.

The Nicaraguan government reiterated its “commitment to democracy,” while calling the “Nica Act” an “irrational, offensive and damaging action against the human rights of Nicaraguans,” in a statement read by Murillo.

The United States is the main destination for Nicaragua’s exports and is the main source of its remittances, which reach up to 6 percent of gross domestic product, while U.S. investments generate about 300,000 jobs in the Central American country.