A record number of Nicaraguans have entered the U.S. this year after fleeing from their country’s violence, poverty, and authoritarian rule. This year, more than 180,000 Nicaraguans have crossed the U.S. border. That number is around 60 times larger than the number of Nicaraguans who entered the country in the last two years, according to a Time report.
In November, there were 34,000 Nicaraguan migrants who went to the U.S. authorities at the border with Mexico. In 2017, the number of Nicaraguans at the border had been 33,000 for the entire year.
While there are many reasons for this increase, including the high inflation rates and the lower wages in the country, many Nicaraguans are choosing to flee their country because their government is taking authoritarian control of the country and destroying the democracy in the Central American nation.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who has been in control since 2007, won another term last year during an election that the U.S. said was not legitimate. His wife, Rosario Murillo, is the vice president.
President Biden, in a statement, also pointed to the more than 40 jailed opposition leaders as well as all the political parties that have been blocked from taking part in the election as further proof of the situation in the country. He also noted that the media is being actively suppressed.
Biden said, “Long unpopular and now without a democratic mandate, the Ortega and Murillo family now rule Nicaragua as autocrats.”
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