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Public Papers - 1990

Message to the Congress Reporting on the Economic Sanctions Against Nicaragua

1990-05-01

To the Congress of the United States:

I hereby report to the Congress on developments since my last report of October 25, 1989, concerning the national emergency with respect to Nicaragua that was declared in Executive Order No. 12513 on May 1, 1985. This report also provides final information on total Administration expenses directly incurred in exercise of emergency authorities pursuant to that order from May 1, 1985, through my termination of the national emergency on March 13, 1990. Executive Order 12513 prohibited: (1) all imports into the United States of goods and services of Nicaraguan origin; (2) all exports from the United States of goods to or destined for Nicaragua except those destined for the organized democratic resistance; (3) Nicaraguan air carriers from engaging in air transportation to or from points in the United States; and (4) vessels of Nicaraguan registry from entering United States ports. On March 13, 1990, in Executive Order No. 12707, 55 Fed. Reg. 9707 (March 14, 1990), I terminated the emergency declared with respect to Nicaragua and lifted the economic sanctions imposed on that country, in response to the successful completion of a democratic presidential election in Nicaragua.

1. The declaration of emergency was made pursuant to the authority vested in the President by the Constitution and laws of the United States, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq. (``IEEPA''), the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq. (``NEA''), chapter 12 of title 50 of the United States Code (50 U.S.C. 191 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3 of the United States Code. The termination of emergency and removal of sanctions were made pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States, including those just noted. This report is submitted pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1641(c) and 1703(c).

2. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (``FAC'') of the Department of the Treasury issued the Nicaraguan Trade Control Regulations implementing the prohibitions in Executive Order No. 12513, effective May 7, 1985, 50 Fed. Reg. 19890 (May 10, 1985).

3. Since my report of October 25, 1989, fewer than 20 applications for licenses have been received by FAC with respect to Nicaragua, and the majority of these applications have been granted. Of the licenses issued in this period, some authorized exports for humanitarian purposes, covering donated articles beyond the scope of the exceptions to the export ban. Certain licenses authorized the export of equipment to La Prensa, the major opposition publication in Nicaragua, as well as to other opposition press groups. A license was also issued to the Free Trade Union Institute of the AFL - CIO to export equipment and supplies to the Nicaraguan Confederation of Trade Union Unity in Managua for use during the elections that were held on February 25, 1990, in Nicaragua. Our licensing action was taken pursuant to Public Law 101 - 119, which was enacted by the Congress to provide assistance for free and fair elections in Nicaragua.

4. Since my last report, several cases have been referred to the FAC civil penalties division for civil penalty actions. The companies in question are based in the United States and engaged in unauthorized exports to Nicaragua from the United States. We expect at least four of these exporting companies to be assessed penalties.

In addition to cases currently under civil penalty consideration, there are approximately 34 companies under active investigation by the U.S. Customs Service. These cases involve unauthorized importation and/or exportation of goods between the United States and Nicaragua.

5. The U.S. Government expects to have greatly improved relations with Nicaragua now that the new Nicaraguan government has taken office, particularly in light of President Chamorro's commitment to democratization and to a free market economy. For these reasons, I terminated the national emergency with respect to Nicaragua on March 13, 1990.

6. The expenses incurred by the Federal Government in the period from November 1, 1989, through May 1, 1990, that are directly attributable to the exercise of powers and authorities conferred by the declaration of the national emergency with respect to Nicaragua are estimated at 9,667.48, all of which represents wage and salary costs for Federal personnel. Personnel costs were largely centered in the Department of the Treasury (particularly in the Customs Service, as well as in FAC and the Office of the General Counsel), with expenses also incurred by the Department of State and the National Security Council.

7. For the full period of the national emergency with respect to Nicaragua (May 1, 1985, through March 13, 1990), the total expenditures of the Federal Government directly attributable to the exercise of powers and authorities conferred by the declaration of the national emergency are estimated at ,309,783.48, all of which represents wage and salary costs for Federal personnel. Personnel costs were largely centered in the Departments of State and the Treasury, and the National Security Council.

8. The February 25, 1990, democratic election in Nicaragua ended the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States previously posed by the policies and actions of the Sandinista government in that country, and led to my termination of the national emergency to deal with that threat. Accordingly, this is the last periodic report that will be submitted pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1703(c). This report also constitutes the last semiannual report and the final report on Administration expenditures required pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1641(c).

George Bush

The White House,

May 1, 1990.

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