Text: H.R.1918 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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[H.R. 1918 Enrolled Bill (ENR)]

        H.R.1918

                     One Hundred Fifteenth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

         Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday,
           the third day of January, two thousand and eighteen


                                 An Act


 
    To oppose loans at international financial institutions for the 
  Government of Nicaragua unless the Government of Nicaragua is taking 
 effective steps to hold free, fair, and transparent elections, and for 
                             other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.
    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Nicaragua Human 
Rights and Anticorruption Act of 2018''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Sense of Congress on advancing a negotiated solution to 
          Nicaragua's crisis.
Sec. 3. Statement of policy.
Sec. 4. Restrictions on international financial institutions relating to 
          Nicaragua.
Sec. 5. Imposition of targeted sanctions with respect to Nicaragua.
Sec. 6. Annual certification and waiver.
Sec. 7. Report on human rights violations and corruption in Nicaragua.
Sec. 8. Civil society engagement strategy.
Sec. 9. Reform of Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission.
Sec. 10. Termination.
Sec. 11. Definitions.
SEC. 2. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON ADVANCING A NEGOTIATED SOLUTION TO 
NICARAGUA'S CRISIS.
    It is the sense of Congress that--
        (1) credible negotiations between the Government of Nicaragua 
    and representatives of Nicaragua's civil society, student movement, 
    private sector, and political opposition, mediated by the Catholic 
    Church in Nicaragua, represent the best opportunity to reach a 
    peaceful solution to the current political crisis that includes--
            (A) a commitment to hold early elections that meet 
        democratic standards and permit credible international 
        electoral observation;
            (B) the cessation of the violence perpetrated against 
        civilians by the National Police of Nicaragua and by armed 
        groups supported by the Government of Nicaragua; and
            (C) independent investigations into the killings of 
        protesters; and
        (2) negotiations between the Government of Nicaragua and 
    representatives of Nicaragua's civil society, student movement, 
    private sector, and political opposition, mediated by the Catholic 
    Church in Nicaragua, have not resulted in an agreement as of the 
    date of the enactment of this Act because the Government of 
    Nicaragua has failed to credibly participate in the process.
SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.
    It is the policy of the United States to support--
        (1) the rule of law and an independent judiciary and electoral 
    council in Nicaragua;
        (2) democratic governance in Nicaragua;
        (3) free and fair elections overseen by credible domestic and 
    international observers in Nicaragua; and
        (4) anti-corruption and transparency efforts in Nicaragua.
SEC. 4. RESTRICTIONS ON INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS RELATING 
TO NICARAGUA.
    (a) Restrictions.--The Secretary of the Treasury shall--
        (1) instruct the United States Executive Director at each 
    international financial institution of the World Bank Group to use 
    the voice, vote, and influence of the United States to oppose the 
    extension by the International Finance Corporation of any loan or 
    financial or technical assistance to the Government of Nicaragua 
    for a project in Nicaragua;
        (2) instruct the United States Executive Director of the Inter-
    American Development Bank to use the voice, vote, and influence of 
    the United States to oppose the extension by the Bank of any loan 
    or financial or technical assistance to the Government of Nicaragua 
    for a project in Nicaragua; and
        (3) instruct the United States Executive Director of each other 
    international financial institution, including the International 
    Monetary Fund, to work with other key donor countries to develop a 
    coherent policy approach to future engagements with and lending to 
    the Government of Nicaragua, in a manner that will advance human 
    rights, including the full restoration of the rights guaranteed to 
    the people of Nicaragua through the commitments made by the 
    Government of Nicaragua as a signatory of the International 
    Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
    (b) Exceptions for Basic Human Needs and Democracy Promotion.--The 
restrictions under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) shall not 
apply with respect to any loan or financial or technical assistance 
provided to address basic human needs or to promote democracy in 
Nicaragua.
    (c) Briefing by the Secretary of the Treasury.--Not later than 180 
days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually 
thereafter, the Secretary of the Treasury shall brief the appropriate 
congressional committees on the effectiveness of international 
financial institutions in enforcing applicable program safeguards in 
Nicaragua.
SEC. 5. IMPOSITION OF TARGETED SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO NICARAGUA.
    (a) In General.--The President shall impose the sanctions described 
in subsection (c) with respect to any foreign person, including any 
current or former official of the Government of Nicaragua or any person 
acting on behalf of that Government, that the President determines--
        (1) to be responsible for or complicit in, or responsible for 
    ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, or to have knowingly 
    participated in, directly or indirectly, any activity described in 
    subsection (b);
        (2) to be a leader of--
            (A) an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in 
        any activity described in subsection (b); or
            (B) an entity whose property and interests in property are 
        blocked under subsection (c)(1)(A) as a result of activities 
        related to the tenure of the leader;
        (3) to have knowingly materially assisted, sponsored, or 
    provided financial, material, or technological support for, or 
    goods or services in support of--
            (A) an activity described in subsection (b); or
            (B) a person whose property and interests in property are 
        blocked under subsection (c)(1)(A); or
        (4) to be owned or controlled by, or to have knowingly acted or 
    purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any 
    person whose property and interests in property are blocked under 
    subsection (c)(1)(A).
    (b) Activities Described.--An activity described in this subsection 
is any of the following in or in relation to Nicaragua on or after 
April 18, 2018:
        (1) Significant acts of violence or conduct that constitutes a 
    serious abuse or violation of human rights against persons 
    associated with the protests in Nicaragua that began on April 18, 
    2018.
        (2) Significant actions or policies that undermine democratic 
    processes or institutions.
        (3) Acts of significant corruption by or on behalf of the 
    Government of Nicaragua or a current or former official of the 
    Government of Nicaragua, including--
            (A) the expropriation of private or public assets for 
        personal gain or political purposes;
            (B) corruption related to government contracts;
            (C) bribery; or
            (D) the facilitation or transfer of the proceeds of 
        corruption.
        (4) The arrest or prosecution of a person, including an 
    individual or media outlet disseminating information to the public, 
    primarily because of the legitimate exercise by such person of the 
    freedom of speech, assembly, or the press.
    (c) Sanctions Described.--
        (1) In general.--The sanctions described in this subsection are 
    the following:
            (A) Asset blocking.--The exercise of all powers granted to 
        the President by the International Emergency Economic Powers 
        Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) to the extent necessary to block 
        and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in 
        property of a person determined by the President to be subject 
        to subsection (a) if such property and interests in property 
        are in the United States, come within the United States, or are 
        or come within the possession or control of a United States 
        person.
            (B) Exclusion from the united states and revocation of visa 
        or other documentation.--In the case of an alien determined by 
        the President to be subject to subsection (a), denial of a visa 
        to, and exclusion from the United States of, the alien, and 
        revocation in accordance with section 221(i) of the Immigration 
        and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1201(i)), of any visa or other 
        documentation of the alien.
        (2) Penalties.--A person that violates, attempts to violate, 
    conspires to violate, or causes a violation of a measure imposed 
    pursuant to paragraph (1)(A) or any regulation, license, or order 
    issued to carry out paragraph (1)(A) shall be subject to the 
    penalties set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of 
    the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) to 
    the same extent as a person that commits an unlawful act described 
    in subsection (a) of that section.
        (3) Exception relating to importation of goods.--The 
    requirement to block and prohibit all transactions in all property 
    and interests in property under paragraph (1)(A) shall not include 
    the authority to impose sanctions on the importation of goods.
        (4) Exception to comply with united nations headquarters 
    agreement.--Sanctions under paragraph (1)(B) shall not apply to an 
    alien if admitting the alien into the United States is necessary to 
    permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the 
    Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 
    1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United 
    Nations and the United States, or other applicable international 
    obligations.
    (d) Implementation; Regulatory Authority.--
        (1) Implementation.--The President may exercise all authorities 
    provided under sections 203 and 205 of the International Emergency 
    Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702 and 1704) to carry out this 
    section.
        (2) Regulatory authority.--The President shall issue such 
    regulations, licenses, and orders as are necessary to carry out 
    this section.
SEC. 6. ANNUAL CERTIFICATION AND WAIVER.
    (a) Certification.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of State 
shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report 
certifying whether the Government of Nicaragua is taking effective 
steps--
        (1) to strengthen the rule of law and democratic governance, 
    including the independence of the judicial system and electoral 
    council;
        (2) to combat corruption, including by investigating and 
    prosecuting cases of public corruption;
        (3) to protect civil and political rights, including the rights 
    of freedom of the press, speech, and association, for all people of 
    Nicaragua, including political opposition parties, journalists, 
    trade unionists, human rights defenders, indigenous peoples, and 
    other civil society activists;
        (4) to investigate and hold accountable officials of the 
    Government of Nicaragua and other persons responsible for the 
    killings of individuals associated with the protests in Nicaragua 
    that began on April 18, 2018; and
        (5) to hold free and fair elections overseen by credible 
    domestic and international observers
    (b) Waiver.--
        (1) Temporary general waiver.--If the Secretary certifies to 
    the appropriate congressional committees under subsection (a) that 
    the Government of Nicaragua is taking effective steps as described 
    in that subsection, the President may waive the application of the 
    restrictions under section 4 and sanctions under section 5 for a 
    period of not more than one year beginning on the date of the 
    certification.
        (2) National interest waiver.--The President may waive the 
    application of the restrictions under section 4 and sanctions under 
    section 5 if the President--
            (A) determines that such a waiver is in the national 
        interest of the United States; and
            (B) submits to the appropriate congressional committees a 
        notice of and justification for the waiver.
        (3) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
    President should exercise the waiver authority provided under 
    paragraph (1) if the Secretary of State certifies under subsection 
    (a) that the Government of Nicaragua is taking effective steps as 
    described in that subsection.
    (c) Consultation.--In preparing a certification required by 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall consult with the appropriate 
congressional committees.
    (d) Annual Briefing.--The Secretary shall annually brief the 
appropriate congressional committees on whether the Government of 
Nicaragua is taking effective steps as described in subsection (a).
SEC. 7. REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND CORRUPTION IN NICARAGUA.
    (a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, acting through the 
Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, and in 
coordination with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of 
National Intelligence, shall submit to the appropriate congressional 
committees a report on--
        (1) the involvement of senior officials of the Government of 
    Nicaragua, including members of the Supreme Electoral Council, the 
    National Assembly, and the judicial system, in human rights 
    violations, acts of significant corruption, and money laundering; 
    and
        (2) persons that transfer, or facilitate the transfer of, goods 
    or technologies for use in or with respect to Nicaragua, that are 
    used by the Government of Nicaragua to commit serious human rights 
    violations against the people of Nicaragua.
    (b) Form.--The report required by subsection (a) may be classified.
SEC. 8. CIVIL SOCIETY ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY.
    Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary of State shall brief the appropriate congressional 
committees on a strategy--
        (1) for engaging relevant elements of civil society in 
    Nicaragua, including independent media, human rights, and anti-
    corruption organizations, to strengthen rule of law and increase 
    accountability for human rights abuses and corruption in Nicaragua; 
    and
        (2) setting forth measures to support the protection of human 
    rights and anti-corruption advocates in Nicaragua.
SEC. 9. REFORM OF WESTERN HEMISPHERE DRUG POLICY COMMISSION.
    Section 603(f)(1) of the Department of State Authorities Act, 
Fiscal Year 2017 (Public Law 114-323; 130 Stat. 1938) is amended by 
striking ``Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of 
this Act, the Commission shall hold an initial meeting to develop and 
implement'' and inserting ``At the initial meeting of the Commission, 
the Commission shall develop and implement''.
  SEC. 10. TERMINATION.
    The provisions of this Act (other than section 9) shall terminate 
on December 31, 2023.
  SEC. 11. DEFINITIONS.
    In this Act:
        (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
    ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
            (A) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on 
        Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Committee on 
        Appropriations of the Senate; and
            (B) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on 
        Financial Services, and the Committee on Appropriations of the 
        House of Representatives.
        (2) Good.--The term ``good'' means any article, natural or 
    manmade substance, material, supply or manufactured product, 
    including inspection and test equipment, and excluding technical 
    data.
        (3) Person.--The term ``person'' means an individual or entity.
        (4) United states person.--The term ``United States person'' 
    means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity 
    organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction 
    within the United States (including a foreign branch of such an 
    entity), or any person in the United States.

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.