The US Foreign Relations Committee today approved the “Nica Act,” a bill designed to curb international disbursements to Nicaragua until Nicaragua holds “free, fair and transparent” elections.
The initiative won the unanimous support of the committee, which voted to speak out, Republican lawmaker Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement, pushing forward the legislative proposal.
“The Nica Act is an important and necessary bill that will help the Nicaraguan people in their struggle for human rights, the rule of law and a free, fair and transparent electoral system,” said Ros-Lehtinen, born in Cuba and well-known For its opposition to a US opening to the island.
Now, the “Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act” will be considered in the House of Representatives plenary, where the initiative needs at least two-thirds approval from lawmakers to pass and be evaluated by the Senate .
A similar version of this bill was unanimously approved last September by the US House of Representatives, weeks before a controversial election was held in Nicaragua in which the main opposition group and President Daniel Ortega, Secured his fourth term and third in a row.
Following the congressional renewal with last year’s legislative and presidential elections, a group of congressmen led by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen re-introduced the initiative so that it could be considered during this new session.
The objective of the “Nica Act” is to make the US Administration oppose the granting of loans to the government of Daniel Ortega, from 250 million to 300 million dollars annually, “except for humanitarian reasons, or to promote democracy in Nicaragua “.
The Nicaraguan government has labeled the “Nica Act” as “irrational, untimely and improper,” and has acknowledged that it would destabilize Nicaragua.
The United States is the main destination of Nicaragua’s exports and is the main source of its remittances, which reach up to 6% of gross domestic product (GDP), while US investments generate 300,000 jobs in the Central American country.