The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, announced on Tuesday (6) that he will propose “in the coming days” to the EU Council the adoption of new restrictive measures and specific sanctions against Nicaragua, for the detention of several opposition leaders.
“In the coming days, we will propose to the Council the possibility of taking restrictive measures in the style of those that have already been taken in the past, seeking that they do not affect the citizens” of Nicaraguans, he told the European Parliament.
The adoption of sanctions by the EU requires the unanimity of the 27 member states, and Borrell pointed out that he can “drive” their adoption, but that the final decision rests with the countries of the bloc.
The European Parliament convened Borrell to discuss the situation in Nicaragua, and the head of diplomacy pointed out that the crisis in the Central American country “has reached such an extreme that [EU] member states will no doubt have to consider taking actions”.
The EU adopted a sanctions regime against Nicaragua in October 2019, which in 2020 was renewed for one year, until October 2021.
According to Borrell, this mechanism “will probably have to be used again”.
In 2010, the EU signed an Association Agreement with Central American countries, which serves as a framework for European cooperation, and now several European lawmakers have asked Borrell to exclude Nicaragua from the benefits of this instrument.
Borrell, however, said that the suspension of cooperation would not affect the Nicaraguan government, only the population.
“We want to put pressure on the government, not punish the people of Nicaragua anymore,” he said.
In his speech, Borrell emphasized that the wave of arrests of opposition leaders and presidential candidates removes any legitimacy from the elections scheduled for 7 November.
“There is no way to hold these elections as something that resembles a political competition that deserves to be considered as such,” he said.
The head of EU diplomacy said the head of the European delegation in Managua and the bloc’s ambassadors “met with the foreign minister [of Nicaragua], and made it clear that the government has no intention of abandoning its intransigence.”
“For us, a democratic solution is the only possible way out of the crisis in which Nicaragua is immersed. (…) We are evaluating the tools we have, starting with new sanctions,” said the Spanish diplomat.
Source: with Agencies