Illustration Credit: Osmani Simanca / Cagle Cartoons
Last Monday, Daniel Ortega was sworn in for a fourth consecutive term as president of Nicaragua following last November’s sham elections in which he jailed seven presidential candidates. His wife Rosario Murillo was also sworn in for her second term as Vice President of Nicaragua. The inauguration ceremony proceeded amid international condemnation and a new round of targeted sanctions from the United States and the European Union.
Three foreign heads of state attended the event: Miguel Diáz-Canel of Cuba, Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, and outgoing President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras. Representatives from Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Mexico, and Russia were also present at the event, as well as a special envoy from the People’s Republic of China, which formalized ties with Nicaragua last month when the Central American country broke off its longstanding relationship with Taiwan.
Among the attendees was Mohsen Rezaei, the Vice President of Iran for Economic Affairs and former commander-in-chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Rezaei is currently on the Interpol wanted list for his connections to the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people. Late on Tuesday, the Argentine government released a statement calling Rezaei’s presence in Nicaragua “an affront to Argentine justice and to the victims of the brutal terrorist attack.”