Freedom House Welcomes Senate Introduction of NICA Act

Washington, D.C.

In response to the introduction of the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality (NICA) Act in the Senate, Freedom House issued the following statement:

"We applaud Senator Cruz's introduction of the NICA Act, which marks the next step toward bringing accountability to the Ortega government," said Carlos Ponce, director of Latin America programs.  "We urge Congress to stand in support of fundamental freedoms for the people of Nicaragua by voting this bill into law."

Background:

The Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality (NICA) Act (H.R. 5708) introduced in the House by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27), Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ-08), and eight other members, and in the Senate by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), directs the Administration to oppose loans for Nicaragua from international financial institutions until the Secretary of State certifies the Government of Nicaragua is taking effective steps to hold free and fair elections, promote democracy, strengthen the rule of law, and respect the right to freedom of association and expression. The bill also directs the Administration to “strongly advocate for an Electoral Observation Mission to be sent to Nicaragua in 2016 and 2017,” in accordance with recommendations made by the Organization of American States.

Nicaragua is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016 and Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2016.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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