By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Senate unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday condemning Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega for what it denounced as the oppression of that nation’s citizens.

The vote comes after Democratic Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez said Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, resorted to election fraud to consolidate power, and then turned to violence to repress anti-government protests starting in April 2018.

“Ortega and Murillo responded with violence and brutal repression. Hundreds have been killed and thousands wounded as a result. They’ve exiled, jailed or killed anyone considered to be opposing them,” Rodriguez said.

The resolution itself says government forces beat detained protesters and in some cases tortured them through waterboarding, electric shock, acid burns, removal of fingernails and rape.

Rodriguez said the resolution was important because of the number of Nicaraguans who now live in Florida. Florida had almost 160,000 Nicaraguans in 2018, the most of any U.S. state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“It would send a strong message that we here in the state of Florida stand in solidarity with the people of Nicaragua and against the oppression of the Nicaraguan people at the hands of the Ortega regime,” Rodriguez said.

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