U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Statement by Secretary Michael R. Pompeo
May 22, 2020
Today, the United States announces new financial sanctions against Julio Cesar Aviles Castillo (Aviles) and Ivan Adolfo Acosta Montalvan (Acosta). This new action furthers United States policy to hold accountable those individuals and entities who are key enablers of Ortega’s misrule and who perpetrate serious human rights abuse and seek to silence pro-democracy voices in Nicaragua.
Today’s action, pursuant to Executive Order 13851 (“Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua”), freezes the U.S. assets of the two designees and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting transactions with them.
The two individuals, both Nicaraguan government officials, have been designated for their significant support for the Ortega regime’s repression and dismantling of democratic institutions. Aviles is the Commander-in-Chief of the Nicaraguan Army, which provided support to the police and paramilitary gangs that carried out crimes against the Nicaraguan people, including attacks on protesters during the unrest that began in April 2018. Acosta is the Minister of Finance and Public Credit in Nicaragua. In this role, he coordinated regime finances to prioritize repression and avoid democratic reforms and accountability for human rights violations.
The United States will continue to apply pressure to the Ortega regime until it stops repressing the Nicaraguan people, respects human rights and fundamental freedoms, and allows the conditions for free and fair elections and the restoration of democracy in Nicaragua.