According to various reports, the dictator in control of Nicaragua has begun to “weaponize” Biden’s lose immigration policy against the United States. Daniel Ortega, who seized power of the Central American country in 2007, allegedly hopes that by continuing to use his nation as a waystation to the United States, he can extract concessions from the White House.
An Associated Press investigation has revealed how the operation works.
More than 260 charter flights believed to be carrying migrants from Haiti have touched down in Nicaragua in recent months, according to flight data and experts in the region, adding to a historic crush of migration by people hoping to reach the U.S.
The flow of migrants has left the Biden administration and Latin American leaders scrambling for solutions, and experts say it’s also being used as leverage by governments like Nicaragua’s to get concessions from the U.S. amid tightening sanctions.
“The Ortega government knows they have few important policy tools at hand to confront the United States, … so they have armed migration as a way to attack,” said Manuel Orozco, director of the migration, remittances and development program at the Inter-American Dialogue. “This is definitely a concrete example of weaponizing migration as a foreign policy.”
The journeys are not on official air routes, but flight tracking data that has been analyzed by Orozco and The Associated Press shows that 268 of the charter flights went from Haiti to Nicaragua since the beginning of August….The charter airlines have flown as many as 31,000 people out of Haiti, which would represent nearly 60% of the Haitians arriving to the U.S. border, Orozco’s data shows.
Nicaragua serves as a jumping point to the United States for migrants from all over the world because it offers visa free travel, the report explained. Upon their arrival, smugglers at the Managua airport greet migrants with passengers’ names and photos to aid in their onward journey to America.
Enrique Martínez, a spokesperson for the group “Platform for Democratic Unity,” an opposition group to Ortega claimed that the number of flights comes at a strategic moment for Nicaraguan leadership.
Martinez said: “Ortega is going to use this migration issue to say to the United States that we’re the ones in control. And if they want to stop this, they´re going to have to negotiate.”
It’s no mystery where Nicaragua’s dictator got the idea. The Biden administration has spent the first few years in office appeasing South American totalitarians. Reuters noted recently “eased sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector in response to a deal reached between the government and opposition parties for the 2024 election – the most extensive rollback of Trump-era restrictions on Caracas.
A new general license issued by the U.S. Treasury Department authorized OPEC member Venezuela, which had been under crushing sanctions since 2019, to produce and export oil to its chosen markets for the next six months without limitation.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed President Nicolas Maduro’s electoral concessions but said Washington has given him until the end of November to begin lifting bans on opposition presidential candidates and start releasing political prisoners and ‘wrongfully detained’ Americans.”
Within days of receiving sanctions relief, reported Breitbart, “the socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro declared on Monday that the primary election held by the Venezuelan opposition on Sunday was a ‘fraud’ and part of a ‘coup’ plot against him.
Maduro also claimed that statistics on how many Venezuelans voted in the primary, which opposition leaders organized seeking a candidate to face off against Maduro in a hypothetical presidential election, were fake. He offered no evidence for his claims.
In response to the alleged “fraud,” Maduro vowed unspecific action to “defend the country with the laws and the constitution,” potentially hinting at arrests or other legal attacks against those organizing the primary.”
According to Chatham House, an independent policy institute based in London, Nicaragua’s descent into totalitarianism “started with President Daniel Ortega’s election in 2006 after the Sandinista government he led from 1979 to 1990 was voted out in democratic elections. His victory that year was made possible by a deal he struck with an outgoing president Arnoldo Aleman in 1999 to lower the threshold for a first-round presidential win to just 35 per cent. It was no coincidence that this was just below where Ortega was polling at the time. Implicit in the deal was a get-out-of-jail card for the infamously corrupt Aleman.
With Ortega’s return to the presidential palace came the slow erosion of democracy familiar to many countries in the region. Like other elected autocrats in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador (until 2017), and increasingly in Mexico, over the course of 17 years in power, Ortega amended the constitution to permit his indefinite re-election, undermined the country’s once-independent election commission, harassed or closed down independent media, politicized the police – the armed forces had remained under Sandinista control after the 1990 election – packed the judicial system and supreme court and built ad hoc alliances with corrupt business leaders.
Then in 2018 came the coup de grace. In a series of popular demonstrations sparked first by a proposed increase in the social security taxes, government forces cracked down on protesters and by the end of the year government security and paramilitary forces had killed 322 people and imprisoned more than 500. In the run-up to the 2016 presidential elections, in which Ortega placed his wife Rosario Murillo on the ticket as his vice-president, security and pro-state militia forces rounded up more leading opposition candidates, human rights activists and critics.
With effectively no viable opposition and the electoral system under his control, Ortega’s re-election was a foregone conclusion. Through the repression and sham elections, hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans fled the country, with more than 30,000 registering in Costa Rica.”
According to federal data, there has been a significant increase in illegal immigration at the southern border during the fiscal years 2022 and 2023 under the Biden administration, with over two million encounters recorded.