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  • Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega (L) hugs his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales before the march of the torches in celebration of the 161th birth anniversary of Cuba's independence hero Jose Marti in Havana January 27, 2014.

    Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega (L) hugs his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales before the march of the torches in celebration of the 161th birth anniversary of Cuba's independence hero Jose Marti in Havana January 27, 2014. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 September 2016

"Some gentlemen in the North American state think they can do to countries the same thing they did 100, 150 years ago."

Nicaragua's vice president spoke out on Tuesday about a proposal in the U.S. Congress that would threaten Managua's access to funding from international lenders.

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"It's something that in this day and age provokes embarrassment. We're in the 21st century. I believe that some gentlemen in the North American state think they can do to countries the same thing they did 100, 150 years ago," Moises Omar Halleslevens told reporters.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously in favor of a bill aimed at punishing the administration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, accusing him of trying to rig the upcoming general election. 

The Nicaragua Investment Conditionality Act is designed to "stop Ortega from accessing international funds until he adopts reforms that promote democracy, strengthen the rule of law, respect human rights, and celebrate free, fair, and transparent elections supervised by electoral observers."

If approved by the Senate and signed into law, the measure would require the U.S. government to use its influence over international institutions such as the World Bank to block loans for Nicaragua, the second-poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

Ortega is seeking a third consecutive term—and fourth overall—in the November ballot.

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