Senior Nicaraguan Election Official Sanctioned by the Trump Administration

The Trump administration has blacklisted Robert Jose Rivas, the president of Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council. The Council or Consejo Supremo Electoral is somewhat similar to the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC), but it has a lot more powers including maintaining a national voter registration list. Yesterday the Trump Administration launched a new sanctions regime targeting …

Congress Urges Trump Administration to Crack Down on Nicaraguan Corruption

A bipartisan group of Members of Congress from in the House and the Senate is urging President Donald Trump to impose visa restrictions and block assets in the United States of Nicaraguan officials engaging in acts of corruption. Led by the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the letter will …

Congress Takes Aim at Nicaragua Corruption

This week in the U.S. House of Representatives Members of Congress approved, by voice vote, an anti-corruption measure that seems to have struck a political nerve in Managua. Among other things, the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (NICA) of 2017 could result in less U.S.-backed lending to Nicaragua from international financial institutions such as IMF and the …

US Congress Seeks to Expose Corruption in Nicaragua

On September 21, the House of Representatives approved passage H.R. 5708, the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (NICA) of 2017 that, if it becomes law, will prohibit loans by international financial institutions (“IFIs”) to the government of Nicaragua unless Nicaragua takes steps to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections as well as strengthen the rule of law. The left-wing …

Leading Nicaraguan Lawyer: Rule of is Law Dead in Nica

After watching just a few minutes of the CNBC Republican debate yesterday, I was off, channel surfing, then reading. Mark Levin is on to something. It is time for the Republican National Committee (RNC) to take control of this process and host its own debates. With RNC funds and technology, we can have a Republican primary …

Trouble Brewing in Nicaragua

If an American corporation engaged in unlawful property confiscations in rural areas of Nicaragua, with the full cooperation of the Nicaraguan military, it would be front page news at the New York Times and other progressive news organizations. The international NGO network would see to it and then some. However, since it involves a left-wing Sandinista government …

Tackling Cold War Demons in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is undergoing a political transformation that has the small Central American nation teetering right on the edge of it becoming another policy problem for the United States. Most of the issues come from atop the government as well as the lack of rule of law and transparency. Then there are longer term challenges that include …

Iran’s Tango with Latin America

DC Dispatches Editor Yleem Poblete penned an op-ed for the National Interest on Iranian adventurism in the Western Hemisphere, particularly in Latin America. The core message: the United States needs to move beyond a “drugs and thugs,” or pure law enforcement mindset when addressing regional challenges: Networks have been uncovered operating in Latin America that …

China-Nicaragua Canal, News to Many Nicaraguans

There have been news reports floating around the web for some time now about a canal that the Chinese government allegedly wants to build in Nicaragua. The latest articles were published in the UK’s Daily Mail and the Daily Caller. Yet when I ask non-Sandinista Nicaraguan political types about it, they insist that there is …

Nicaraguan Anti-Communist Freedom Fighters Coming Back?

According to a blog posting at The Nicaraguan Dispatch (no relationship with our DC Dispatches), and similar articles in Spanish from the region, there are a group of fellows that claim to be a modern-day version of the Nicaraguan freedom fighter movement, the Contras. I’ve had folks well connected in the region tell of simliar …

Around Town …

Seattle resident Yuri Montgomery (aka, Yuri Malinkovski) received a New Year’s present of sorts from Uncle Sam. He was slapped with a $340,000 civil penalty and was banned from exporting from the U.S. for 30 years. If he behaves for ten years, the government will only require an up front payment $17,500. The balance of …

Not Your Ordinary Border Latin American Border Dispute, Potential Iranian Meddling

It is time for the U.S. to stop talking and start acting.  Send the Iranian regime packing.  It is not welcome in our backyard. One of the unique traits of the Western Hemisphere are interstate border disputes.  A great majority of these border matters date back centuries, kept politically fresh for parochial, political, and security …

Guest Post: Constitutional Danger in Nicaragua, Ortega Up to His Old Tricks

This morning in Managua, Nicaragua there are reports that the U.S. Embassy was vandalized by supporters of the leftist Sandinistas party.  Borrowing a page from the Castro-Chavez playbook for re-making Latin America in the Bolivarian image – just take a look at what they are doing over in Honduras – the Sandinista government is accusing …

Obama Administration Racks Up Policy Failures in the Western Hemisphere

It is difficult for most of us who have never lived under the yoke of communism, or lived in fear of it, to make sense at what has transpired in Honduras during the past several months.   There is a lot more at stake in tiny Honduras than democracy and rule of law.  Regional stability …

MCC Cancels U.S. Taxpayer-Funded Program to Nicaragua

The Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors announced last week that it was going to “partially terminate MCC’s compact assistance to Nicaragua for activities previously suspended in December 2008.”   According to the MCC the “termination will result in a reduction of approximately $62 million from Nicaragua’s original $175 million compact with MCC.”  You can read …

A Win For U.S. Taxpayers in Nicaragua, Nica Opposition Needs to Rally

Nicaragua’s newspaper La Prensa reports this morning that the U.S. has frozen a foreign assistance program to Nicaragua funded by U.S. taxpayers through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).  Kudos to the MCC CEO, Ambassador John Danilovich, for moving swiftly to protect U.S. taxpayer monies and, in the process, send a clear message to the Sandinistas that resorting …

Sandinistas, Nothing Changed for Them

A new chapter in a once promising story for Central American democracy is being written in the streets of Managua. Faced with possible defeats at the ballot box, it appears as if elements of the Sandinista Party have devolved to their old, Cold War ways.   In an speech before a Joint Session of the …

Foreign Assistance to Nicaragua Needs to Be Reviewed and Likely Curtailed

It appears as if elements of the leftist Sandinista Party of Nicaragua are back to their old, Cold War ways. Sandinista supporters donning masks and wielding weapons attacked the opposition leader yesterday while he was on his way to greet opposition supporters.   The violence stems from alleged wide-spread electoral fraud during last week’s election …

Iran’s Growing Penetration of the Americas, Courtesy of Latin American Leftist Leaders and Interests

“The core of this effort is fueled primarily by Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and Communist Cuba.  This Lernaean Hydra also breathes its ideological poison with fellow travelers in Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and political parties and business interests throughout Latin America and the Caribbean…”  The incoming Obama-Biden Administration has been making the perfunctory statement that it will …