U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding Daniel Ortega's violations of human rights and democratic principles and recent comments against Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"It is unconscionable that the Obama administration continues to partner with Daniel Ortega, whose regime violates human rights, violates the Nicaraguan constitution, manipulates elections, and holds a strong grip on all facets of the government due to corruption. I strongly oppose the U.S. granting another property confiscation waiver to the Ortega regime, and instead the U.S. should condition granting the waiver for real, concrete democratic reforms such as: cleaning up the electoral system, restoring an independent judiciary, and respecting the rule of law.
"Not only does Ortega continually undermine human rights, he also supports terrorist groups like Hamas. According to reports, in his latest tirade, Ortega made anti-Semitic comments by saying that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was 'possessed by the devil' and that Israel is 'committing genocide' and compared Israel to the Nazis. These comments are baseless, appalling and offensive. Unlike Nicaragua, Israel is a democratic country that values human rights and takes necessary measures to protect life.
"The Ortega regime does not share the values of the United States and therefore should not receive assistance, including military assistance, from the U.S. taxpayers. Latest media reports indicate that the U.S. government donated maritime vessels to Nicaragua while our real partners in Guatemala and Honduras are suffering from lack of resources to combat the threat of narco traffickers. Instead of rewarding our enemies, the U.S. policy should be to build strong cooperative relationships with our allies in Central America, not help our adversaries that are supported by the narco-state in Venezuela."