Thursday, April 06, 2017

Nica Act

The U.S. Congress has revived the Nica Act from last year, while making it more stringent. The idea is that the United States should block international loans if Daniel Ortega doesn't follow some required conditions. An initial version passed the House in late 2016 but didn't get further than that. The new version has more conditions. From Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's own description, arguing that it's the same for other countries:

The act placed numerous conditions on aid for Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador including certification that the governments were taking effective steps to address 16 conditions, including combating corruption, protecting human rights, combat human smuggling and trafficking, and improving border security.

Nicaragua is a poor country and I don't tend to see depriving the poor as a great way of fostering democratization. It also has more than a whiff of forcing drug tests on welfare recipients. Plus, unless I am missing something, Ros-Lehtinen is talking about aid, whereas the bill is about loans. It's worth noting that some in the Nicaraguan opposition thinks it matters, though.

I am liable to listen to Luis Almagro, clearly no shrinking violet on such matters, who does not support it.

The OAS General Secretariat considers that the bill, in the context of the present legislature, is not a productive contribution to the tasks that the Government of Nicaragua and the this General Secretariat are carrying out in terms of cooperation for democratic, electoral and institutional strengthening in the country, that have as a direct reference the principles and values of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

Meanwhile, the Nicaraguan government issued a flowery and lengthy denunciation.


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