Nicaragua rejects U.S. bill for loans with strings attached

A man drives a moto-taxi past a billboard of Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua September 19,2016. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas

MANAGUA (Reuters) - Nicaragua on Thursday criticized a proposal by U.S. lawmakers that would require the Central American country, which will hold elections in November, to make political changes in order to receive international loans.

“We reject as a violation of international law and the United Nations Charter, the proposals and initiatives presented in the House of Representatives and Senate of the United States,” the government said in a statement.

The Nicaraguan government was responding to the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act, a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday. A version was introduced by Senator Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate earlier this month.

The bill proposes blocking Nicaragua from obtaining loans from international financial institutions unless the country “is taking effective steps to hold free, fair, and transparent elections.”

On Nov. 6, Nicaraguans will vote for president and 90 members of the National Assembly.

President Daniel Ortega is the favorite as he seeks his third consecutive term.

He has selected his wife as his vice presidential candidate.

Reporting by Ivan Castro; Writing by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Editing by Peter Cooney