Rubio focuses more attention on Nicaragua

The Miami HeraldU.S. Sen. Marco Rubio joined growing chorus calling for a stronger push against the Nicaraguan government’s “assault on democracy.”

“We are concerned with the systemic actions taken by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to circumvent the Constitution and the legislature to rule in favor of his unlawful actions by naming his wife as his running mate,” Rubio said in a joint letter with Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to the State Department.

It’s not Rubio’s first run-in with Ortega. Two years ago, Ortega banned Rubio and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., from traveling to the Central American country because, Ortega said, he was protesting the Venezuela sanctions the Republican lawmakers helped pass.

The Senate has failed to move forward on companion legislation introduced by Cruz and co-sponsored by Rubio – which passed in the House – that would restrict the Ortega government’s access to loans from international financial institutions unless it accepts international observers and takes other steps to promote democracy. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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