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The U.S. Senate’s only two Latinos, far apart on most issues, joined forces Thursday to condemn the Nicaraguan elections.
Rubio, a Florida Republican, and Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, want Nicaraguan authorities to investigate violent incidents that occurred on the day of elections, and to prosecute those responsible.
“For years, Daniel Ortega and his cronies have eroded Nicaragua’s democratic institutions,” said Rubio in a joint press release. “Their recent efforts have accelerated this democratic decline and reached a tipping point that demands a strong reaction from the United States and the mobilization of our allies in defense of the Nicaraguan people’s human rights.
"I urge the Administration to speak out and act with urgency against the assault on democracy and constitutional order taking place in Nicaragua.”
The senators, both of Cuban descent, want the Obama administration to take action to “encourage the restoration of constitutional rule.”
They also push for “the immediate issuance of an Organization of American States (OAS) report detailing pre-electoral constitutional irregularities that helped secure a victory for Ortega.”
“Daniel Ortega’s unconstitutional grab of the Nicaraguan presidency is a serious deterioration of democratic values in the country and poses a serious threat to the Nicaraguan people and the region,” said Menendez, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“It is time for the United States and the international community to pay attention to what is occurring in Nicaragua and take action to ensure that the democratic values in the region aren’t further eroded.”
Elizabeth Llorente can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.