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    Protests Against President Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua

    US Ready to Sanction Nicaragua to Support 'Calls for Democracy' - State Dept.

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States is prepared to use sanctions against the Nicaraguan government in response to its siege of a church in the city of Masaya where protesters on hunger strike are being denied water and electricity, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a press release on Thursday.

    "The United States stands ready to use all economic and diplomatic means at our disposal to support the Nicaraguan people’s calls for a restoration of democracy", Ortagus said.

    The statement comes after US President Donald Trump welcomed on 11 November the resignation of Bolivian President Evo Morales, saying that this is an important signal for other “illegitimate regimes” in the Western Hemisphere, such as Nicaragua and Venezuela. The US Treasury Department announced earlier this month that it was imposing economic sanctions on three officials in the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

    In April 2018, mass protests were organised in Nicaragua with demonstrators calling for the resignation of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. According to Human Rights Watch, over 300 people were killed during the protests. 

    US Sanctions on Latin American Countries

    Trump's statement has come amid a tense situation in Latin America with mass protests in Bolivia and economic crisis in Venezuela following rallies against presidents of the countries. Venezuela has already lost access to foreign assets worth billions due to unilateral US sanctions, including hydrocarbon holdings, according to Foreign Trade Minister Felix Plasencia. 

    The US administration intensified efforts to topple the Venezuelan government this year by imposing economic sanctions that US officials said were designed to exacerbate the nation’s already acute economic crisis.

    The US State Department has also imposed a row of sanctions on Cuban officials and entities for alleged violations of human rights and ties with Venezuela. 

    The situation in Venezuela has deteriorated since January when opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself the country’s interim president amid anti-government protests.

    Maduro has said Guaido is a US puppet and accused the United States of organizing a coup in Venezuela to force a change of government and claim the country’s vast resources.

    Democracy, sanctions, United States, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Latin America
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