Daniel Ortega’s first speech after claiming victory in what US president Joe Biden called a “pantomime” election has seen the Central American country’s leader insult EU members – including Spain. He claimed the Spanish government is occupied by “the descendants of the Franco regime” in reference to General Francisco Franco who overthrew the democratic-republican government in the 1930s and remained head of state until his death in 1975.
Mr Ortega, who has served as the President of Nicaragua since 2007 after having led the country between 1979 and 1990, said fascism reigns in Europe.
He added: “They are Franco’s fascists, Hitler’s little brothers, who remained in power and who now want to impose fascism in our America.”
The attacks follow Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, announcing “additional measures” against Mr Ortega’s regime.
In a communiqué, he called upon Mr Ortega to return sovereignty to the Nicaraguan people, saying the country’s government had deprived them of the right to vote in a “credible, inclusive, fair and transparent election”.
In retaliation, Mr Ortega claimed most Members of the European Parliament are “fascists” and “Nazis.”
“They were Hitler’s partners and now they have become instruments of his colonialist policy. Now they are instruments of the interventionist policy of the United States,” he claimed.
Meanwhile Mr Biden described Mr Ortega and his wife, Nicaragua’s Vice President Rosario Murillo, as autocrats, saying they had orchestrated “a pantomime election” on November 7 that was neither free nor fair nor democratic.
He said the US and members of the international community would use all diplomatic and economic tools at their disposal to support the people of Nicaragua and hold the Ortega-Murillo government accountable and those that facilitate its abuses.
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On Monday, representatives of Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council offered their first assessment of the vote in Nicaragua.
In a bulletin released yesterday, Mr Ortega’s Sandinista Front came out ahead with 74.99 percent of the votes out of 49.25 percent of votes counted, the South American news website infobae.com reports.
Spain’s socialist government has joined the EU and US in not recognising the election results.
The presidential elections in Nicaragua “have been a mockery,” Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister José Manuel Albares said on Monday shortly after the Supreme Electoral Council in Managua proclaimed Daniel Ortega’s re-election for a fourth consecutive presidential term.
“It has been a mockery, a mockery of the people of Nicaragua, a mockery of the international community and above all a mockery of democracy,” the minister told journalists in Madrid, infobae.com reports.
Human Rights Watch accuses Mr Ortega’s government of committing egregious abuses against critics.
In April 2018, police and armed pro-government groups repressed anti-government protestors, killing hundreds, injuring several thousand and arbitrarily detaining many, the NGO says.
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