Biden Imposes Penalties On Nicaragua For “Weaponizing” Migration

( – The US government regularly issues sanctions against foreign entities and individuals for engaging in behavior that violates human rights or puts national security at risk. It recently slapped Nicaragua with penalties for engaging in “exploitation of migrants” and “continued repression of [its] people.” Senior officials in President Joe Biden’s administration went into details of the sanctions in a teleconference that took place on Wednesday, May 15.

The Treasury Department took measures against three entities in Nicaragua. One was a Russian military training center and the other two were gold companies. The former “supports repressive activities,” while the latter “generate[s] revenue and enrich[es] the Ortega regime.” That’s not all, though. The State Department took measures the same day, imposing visa restrictions on more than 250 Nicaraguan government members and non-government actors, as well as their immediate families.

The Biden administration is accusing Nicaragua of “weaponizing and profiting off of desperate and vulnerable migrants.” They charge for visas and mandate the migrants leave the Central American country within 96 hours, helping to facilitate “irregular migrants,” many of whom eventually make their way up to the US-Mexico border. The border is already overwhelmed with immigrants seeking asylum or a better way of living. Millions have poured into the country since President Joe Biden took office, and the problem isn’t going anywhere. By enacting sanctions, the US hopes to minimize the profits the Nicaraguan government is making off some of these migrants.

The federal government is also asking the aviation sector to work in partnership “with governments and international organizations” to address the issue of irregular migration. They’re asking officials to consider taking commercial measures that would “minimize illicit travel.” Noting that migrants are increasingly using the capital city of Managua, Nicaragua, to disembark and then continue their journey northward, this raises the need for “greater enforcement of airline policies” to flights arriving and departing from the region.

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