The US Treasury Department announced on Thursday, December 12th that it has imposed sanctions on Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's son, Rafael Antonio Ortega Murillo, for money-laundering and corruption, in its latest action against the Nicaraguan government, Reuters reported.
Washington also blacklisted two of Rafael Ortega's companies that it said were used for laundering money and financing the Ortega government, according to a Treasury statement.
The sanctions also included Daniel Ortega's wife, Rosario Murillo, who is the country's vice president. The Trump administration has criticised the Ortega government for what it considers as undermining democratic institutions and the rule of law.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in the department's statement, said, “Rafael Ortega is the key money manager behind the Ortega family’s illicit financial schemes. Treasury is targeting Rafael and the companies he owns and uses to launder money to prop up the Ortega regime at the expense of the Nicaraguan people,” according to France 24.
Also placed on the blacklist Thursday is a chain of gas stations, Distribuidor Nicaraguense de Petroleo S.A., owned by Rafael Ortega as well as by Murillo.
The Nicaraguan government has called previous US sanctions on officials a continuation of "imperial" designs on the small Central American country.