Report-back and campaign update from Capitol Hill: lobbying against U.S. sanctions on Nicaragua

By Jill Clark-Gollub (Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition, Americas Without Sanctions Lobbying Committee)

AFGJ is a founding organization of the Americas Without Sanctions campaign, which since last July has been organizing tirelessly against the most recent round of sanctions legislation proposed for Nicaragua. Read the report-back from one of our campaign volunteers and lobbying coordinators below. 

On Thursday, May 16, solidarity activists went to Capitol Hill to urge Congress to impose no more sanctions on Nicaragua

S.1881, a bill to place more sanctions on Nicaragua, had not advanced since it was filed in June of 2023, until it was suddenly passed out of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 16 — one week after Nicaragua argued in the International Court of Justice in defense of the Palestinian people suffering a genocide. The bill may now be voted on by the full Senate any day.

Read: Nicaragua Acts to Stop Genocide and Strengthen International Law

Nicaragua and Palestine solidarity activists responded with an emergency protest two days later and then published a petition that quickly garnered over 2,000 signatures. Last Thursday they rallied and personally delivered the petition to a group of senators.

Unilateral coercive measures (“sanctions”) are not a kinder alternative to war, as they are often portrayed, but rather cause suffering and death among the most vulnerable people — the sick, the elderly, children, and the poor, in the countries that are targeted with them. Although these measures are illegal under the United Nations Charter, the U.S. has imposed them on a third of the world’s population, making it difficult for people to access medicines and medical supplies, safe drinking water, food, fuel, and infrastructure. This is why our demonstrators demanded, “End the economic war on Nicaragua!”

But there is a people’s victory in this story!

Thanks to the important work done by the Americas Without Sanctions campaign, the Sanctions Kill coalition, the Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition, researchers, and other activists to raise awareness about the harms caused by sanctions, some of the most damaging aspects of the bill were removed: the ban on U.S. imports of two of Nicaragua’s biggest commodities (beef and coffee) and the prohibition on U.S. investment in Nicaragua. However, these elements remain in the House version of the bill (HR6954).

S.1881 still seeks to remove Nicaragua from the DR-CAFTA trade agreement and deny the country loans through the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, which is not only illegal, but would also impinge on the self-determination of the other Central American countries. We must remain vigilant to prevent this bill from moving forward! Please share the petition to Congress and contact your senators to tell them to vote NO on S.1881!

Help us keep the pressure on! Take action:

Email your senators! Oppose new and old sanctions on Nicaragua!

Sign the petition

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