Liberty Fund Applauds Introduction of Nicaragua Anti-Corruption Bill in the U.S. Senate

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex) yesterday re-introduced the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act of 2017 (NICA Act), a companion to the bipartisan measure spearheaded by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) in the House.

“Corrupt government officials in Nicaragua, as should all political leaders in Latin America, must understand that access to the U.S. market — whether to our financial system or obtaining a visa — is a privilege, not right. This bill goes a long way to helping set the right tone for the rule of law in Nicaragua and helps victims of Nicaraguan political oppression,” Liberty Fund Attorney Jason Poblete said.

The Nica Act would make it harder for corrupt Nicaragua officials to do business in the United States. If it becomes law, it would require United States officials at international financial institutions such as the World Bank or the Inter-American Development Bank to oppose loans for the Government of Nicaragua until President Ortega’s regime is held accountable for oppressive policies and anti-democratic actions. Loan opposition would end when the U.S. Secretary of State certifies to the U.S. Congress that Nicaragua has taken effective steps respect the rule of law, to hold free and fair elections and combat corruption.

“By calling attention to the abuses of fundamental liberties in Nicaragua, including against American citizens and American interests, Liberty Fund clients such as Mr. Roberto Bendaña-McEwan have a fighting chance to secure justice in their cases,” Poblete added.

Mr. Roberto Bendaña McEwan was falsely accused by Nicaragua’s Sandinista government of various crimes because he dared to call for free and transparent elections in Nicaragua including a clean up of the voter rolls in that country.

Warned of the impending politically motivated show trial against him, Mr. Bendaña with the help of friends, and what is left of the free press, as well as honest members of the police who sympathized with his situation, fled Nicaragua and arrived in the United States in December 2013. On or about January 2, 2014, Nicaragua abused the INTERPOL processes by requesting a Red Notice based on false charges. An INTERPOL Red Notice is a device that alerts law enforcement agencies around the world of an outstanding arrest warrant.

His legal team has submitted a great deal of information to clear his name and requested that they permanently remove him from the INTERPOL systems. To this day the government of Nicaragua continues to violate INTERPOL’s Constitution and Regulations by using the INTERPOL lists and systems for political purposes rather than for legitimate law enforcement matters.

Learn more about Roberto’s case here.

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