The United States calls on the Nicaraguan government to immediately release opposition leader Cristiana Chamorro and her two colleagues from the recently shuttered Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for Reconciliation and Democracy. Their detention on trumped up charges is an abuse of their rights, and it represents an assault on democratic values as well as a clear attempt to thwart free and fair elections.
Ms. Chamorro’s arrest comes amid unrelenting attacks on pro-democracy presidential candidates and independent media. The Ortega regime has pledged to bar Ms. Chamorro from participating in November elections and, in May, baselessly canceled the legal status of two opposition political parties. Rather than implement electoral reforms by the May deadline established by the Organization of American States, President Ortega instead instituted further restrictions and reduced electoral transparency.
The current conditions of repression and exclusion are not consistent with credible elections. The region and the international community must stand together with the Nicaraguan people in support of their right to freely choose their government.