Businessmen in Nicaragua have asked President Daniel Ortega to ease growing tension with the United States, which is reviewing sanctions on the country that could have a major negative economic impact.
The business sector spoke out when proposed sanctions against the Ortega regime came one step closer to passing in the US Congress Thursday, July 27. If the sanctions pass, the US would be able to veto loans that multilateral organizations intend to grant to the Nicaraguan administration.
Presidents of the Supreme Council of Private Enterprise, the American Chamber of Commerce of Nicaragua, the Nicaraguan Council of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise and other business organizations said there would be a negative impact on Nicaragua’s economic and social development should relations with the US fracture further, as it is the most significant trade partner the Central American nation has.
“Our country’s relationship with the United States must focus on the future,” said President of the Supreme Council of Private Enterprise José Adán Aguerri. “To work hand in hand for the prosperity, security and democracy of our peoples. It is important not to back down. That’s why we don’t believe that in order to build, you must first tear down the old.”
Nicaragua already lost funds from the United States Millennium Challenge Account in 2009, and European cooperation has begun to disappear. Venezuela’s support has dwindled and without the Nica Act, Nicaragua would have only a few loans in their favor.
According to Álvaro Rodríguez, the President of the American Chamber of Commerce of Nicaragua, the Nica Act would reduce the support of multilateral financial institutions, which would increase the cost of credit and damage Nicaragua’s image.
“There would be uncertainty among potential investors, impacting job creation and the fight against poverty that we must all support,” he said.
Leonardo Torres, president of the Nicaraguan Council of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise said that “it is necessary to lower the confrontational tone that exists between them,” adding that “if things get worse” President Donald Trump “will make political and economic executive decisions” against Nicaragua before sanctions are passed in the US.