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Washington, D.C. – The House today passed H. Res. 981, which condemns the Ortega regime’s attacks on the people of Nicaragua that have killed hundreds and left thousands more injured. 

On the House floor prior to the vote, Chairman Royce delivered the following remarks (as prepared for delivery):

“I want to thank Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Emeritus Ros-Lehtinen, as well as Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Chairman Cook, for their work on this timely and important measure.

Nicaragua’s authoritarian president, Daniel Ortega – yes, that Daniel Ortega, who lost the presidency all the way back in 1990 – is tightening his grip on power. He has now resorted to using brutal force against the Nicaraguan people, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.

One of the civilians murdered on a village street in Nicaragua by Ortega’s thugs was a former neighbor of an Orange County friend of mine.

This resolution represents broad bipartisan condemnation of the Ortega regime’s violence and supports the people of Nicaragua in their pursuit of freedom. Nicaraguans understandably want self-determination, an end to corruption and free and fair elections.

The international community – in particular the Organization of American States regional leaders – must continue to stand with the brave protestors who are being targeted and assassinated by their own government. Ortega’s fellow authoritarian partner, Nicolas Maduro, uses these same tactics against the Venezuelan people. Venezuelans and Nicaraguans deserve better than this, and this resolution shows this body’s commitment to standing shoulder to shoulder with people seeking freedom from murderous dictators.

The administration was correct earlier this month in sanctioning three senior Nicaraguan officials for human rights abuses and corruption under the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act – something this resolution affirms. But more can still be done, and this resolution encourages the administration to continue to pressure Ortega to stop the violence and to move forward with free and fair elections.

I urge my colleagues to support this measure.”

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