U.S. Department Of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Statement by Secretary Michael R. Pompeo
October 9, 2020
Today, the U.S. Government imposed sanctions on Ana Julia Guido Ochoa (Guido), Paul Oquist Kelley (Oquist), and Caja Rural Nacional (Caruna), pursuant to Executive Order 13851 (“Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua”). These individuals and this entity enable and benefit from the corrupt and repressive activities of the Ortega regime in Nicaragua.
Today’s designation of Guido and Oquist promotes accountability for the Ortega regime and those who are attempting to further its atrocious activities. The designation of the cooperative Caruna closes off another tool of the regime.
Guido is the Attorney General of the Prosecutor’s Office, and she helped form a group of prosecutors who worked with the U.S.-sanctioned Nicaraguan National Police to fabricate cases against political prisoners. Additionally, Guido created a specialized unit that has spent the past two years bringing charges against peaceful protesters. Oquist is the Secretary of the Presidency for President Daniel Ortega and plays a lead role in covering up and justifying the regime’s crimes and human rights abuses.
Caruna is a savings and loan cooperative operating as the Ortega regime’s main tool for funneling proceeds from Nicaragua’s concessionary oil schemes with Venezuela to use as a resource to pay off the Ortega patronage network. Regime officials, including those sanctioned by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, are taking advantage of Caruna’s lack of regulatory oversight to shelter their ill-gotten gains.
The United States will continue to take the necessary steps to support the Nicaraguan people and pressure the Ortega regime to cease repression, respect human rights, and allow the conditions for free and fair elections that would restore democracy to Nicaragua.