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Rubio, Kaine Applaud Committee Passage of Nicaragua Sanctions Bill

Apr 16, 2024 | Press Releases

During a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations business meeting, the Restoring Sovereignty and Human Rights in Nicaragua Act, co-led by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), was favorably reported. The bipartisan and bicameral bill now heads to the full Senate. 

  • “The Ortega-Murillo authoritarian dynasty has doubled down on its repressive tactics against Nicaraguans and all while it illegally profits off of a lucrative human trafficking scheme. I’m thankful my senate colleagues in the Foreign Relations Committee have taken meaningful action and urge others for swift passage of this important bill.” – Senator Rubio

  • “What happens in Latin America affects us right here at home. The Ortega regime has committed horrendous human rights abuses against the Nicaraguan people, which have resulted in political instability, violence, and a surge in migration. I’m glad the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to pass my bipartisan legislation with Senator Rubio to support human rights in Nicaragua. I urge the full Senate to pass this legislation as soon as possible.”– Senator Kaine

Specifically, this bill: 

  • Reauthorizes sanctions imposed by the previous Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act of 2018 (NICA ACT) (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; P.L. 115–335) and the Reinforcing Nicaragua’s Adherence To Conditions for Electoral Reform (RENACER) Act of 2021 (P.L. 117–54), in order to hold the authoritarian regime of Daniel Ortega accountable for crimes and human rights abuses perpetrated against the people of Nicaragua and democratic political actors, civil society organizations, religious institutions, media, and academic institutions in Nicaragua. 
  • Enforces Executive Order (EO) 14088, to impose sectoral sanctions on the Nicaraguan economy; requires a strategy to encourage American allies and partners to deny financing to Nicaragua through the Central American Bank of Economic Integration (CABEI), requires a review on the benefits enjoyed by the Ortega regime as a result of the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and authorizes human rights and democracy promotion programs to support the Nicaraguan opposition.

U.S. Representatives María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced companion legislation in the House.

Want more information? 

June 2023: English/Spanish: Rubio, Kaine Introduce Groundbreaking Legislation to Confront Nicaraguan Crisis