Salazar, McCaul Welcome Released Nicaraguan Political Prisoners

Salazar, McCaul Welcome Released Nicaraguan Political Prisoners

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
February 10, 2023

Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) and Texas Rep. Michael McCaul (R) are welcoming the release of 222 political prisoners. McCaul is the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Salazar is the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere.

222 political prisoners were released from Nicaragua this week, and the release includes a U.S. citizen. All people released are now en route to the United States, and the Republican lawmakers released a statement praising their release.

In a statement, Salazar and McCaul commented that they welcomed "the news of the release of political prisoners in Nicaragua." A Judge in Nicaragua called the individuals "traitors" and said that they had been deported from the country. Among the individuals are five former presidential hopefuls and other prominent leading critics of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

"Many of these prisoners were opposition political figures and key members of civil society who worked to combat the socialist Ortega-Murillo regime. For years, they faced brutal and inhumane conditions, including torture," the Republican lawmakers added, calling on President Joe Biden "to use the tools authorized in the RENACER Act to hold the Ortega-Murillo regime accountable and support the Nicaraguan people’s efforts for freedom."

Salazar and McCaul also called on Democratic lawmakers "and allies to further address this brutal dictatorship by replicating U.S. sanctions and travel restrictions against regime officials.”

The RENACER Act passed in 2021.

According to a 2021 press release from Salazar's office after the passing of the bill, the legislation significantly increases sanctions against the Ortega regime in Nicaragua in addition to enacting sanctions against Ortega's "henchmen, and his security forces responsible for killing and kidnapping dissidents. Additionally, it exposes Russian meddling in Nicaragua, requiring reports on Russian government activities and military sales to the regime, and adds Nicaragua to the list of Central American countries subject to corruption-related visa restrictions.

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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