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European Parliament to debate possible Nicaraguan sanctions


European Parliament to debate possible Nicaraguan sanctions

Nicaraguan Sanctions
Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/ Reuters

The European Parliament will meet today to discuss a motion for a resolution condemning the Nicaraguan government’s introduction of a controversial “Foreign Agents” bill.

The legislation, submitted to the National Assembly by President Daniel Ortega, has drawn intense criticism from diplomats, politicians, human rights advocates and business associations worldwide. If ratified, the law would require nearly every entity in Nicaragua receiving foreign funds to register with the Ministry of the Interior and disclose any resources along with their intended purpose(s). Any entity receiving overseas funds would be registered as a “foreign agent” and subsequently be forced to “refrain from intervening in domestic political affairs or matters.”

Opponents claim the bill would prohibit several opposition members from running in next year’s elections and suppress journalists’ right of association and movement within the country. But as Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) party holds a National Assembly supermajority, expect the bill to pass as soon as next week.

The European Parliament has already written to Ortega denouncing the bill and threatening sanctions, and will most likely vote to suspend Nicaragua from the EU-Central America Association Agreement, a geopolitical and economic treaty formalising close policy cooperation.

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