The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a resolution condemning the Nicaraguan government just days after President Daniel Ortega warned that President Donald Trump and U.S. lawmakers are pushing for a coup.
Ortega said the United States is sponsoring the violent protests against him, and should “think carefully” before approving the congressional resolution which was submitted to the House earlier this month.
The resolution was presented by congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American Republican from Florida, and a staunch detractor of late Cuban president Fidel Castro, Chavismo and progressive politics in Latin America.
On July 3 Ros-Lehtinen submitted a resolution to the committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives “condemning the violence, persecution, intimidation, and murders committed by the Government of Nicaragua against its citizens,” and supporting “the people of Nicaragua in their pursuit for democracy, including their call for free and fair elections.”
In an interview with teleSUR's president Patricia Villegas, Ortega said that the United States has attempted to carry out a coup against his government and seeks to undermine the Sandinista revolution through supporting the violent elements of the protests.
The president said that Nicaraguan businesses negotiate with U.S. officials to create U.S. laws that damage his country, especially the NICA Act, which aims to cut the government of Nicaragua off from loans by international financial institutions. “This is the root of the problem. … The U.S. should respect Nicaragua’s sovereignty.”
A day earlier Ortega also spoke to the U.S.-based Fox News and slammed the new resolution being proposed in the U.S. Congress against his government.
The Nicaraguan political crisis began in mid-April when protesters took to the streets against a proposed social security reform that sought to overcome the system’s financial crisis by increasing contribution by both employees and employers to avoid raising the retirement age.
Employers would have faced a 3.5 percent hike while workers a 0.75 percent hike. President Ortega withdrew the reform and issued calls for dialogue to avoid a spiral of violence, but the protester’s demand had shifted towards getting President Ortega to step down before his term ends in 2021.