U.S. mining sanctions target Nicaragua’s Ortega By Stocksak

© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO. U.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks on student debt relief at Delaware State University (Dover, Delaware), U.S.A., October 21, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis

(Stocksak). The U.S. president Joe Biden’s administration intensified economic pressure on Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Monday by taking steps to attack the country’s mining, gold, and other sectors.

Biden signed an executive directive that allows U.S. companies to stop doing business in Nicaragua’s precious metals industry. Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the head Nicaragua’s mining authority along with another top government official.

The expanded sanctions powers of this order could also be used by the United States to block investment in certain other areas of Nicaragua, including the importation of certain Nicaraguan goods or the export of certain items to Nicaragua.

“The Ortega-Murillo regime’s continued attacks on democratic actors and members of civil society and unjust detention of political prisoners demonstrate that the regime feels it is not bound by the rule of law,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said. He claimed that the U.S. actions were intended to deny them “the necessary resources to continue to undermine democratic institutions in Nicaragua.”

Two sanctions were announced Monday against Nicaragua’s General Directorate of Mines. This is a unit of Nicaragua’s Ministry of Energy and Mines and manages most of Nicaragua’s mining operations. Reinaldo G. Gregorio Cerna Juarez, a trusted confidante of Ortega, Treasury said.

The move would freeze any property they may have in the United States and prohibit any U.S. person from doing business with them.

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