U.S. Sanctioned Other Nations For Taking Candidates Off Ballots

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The Colorado Supreme Court’s removal of former President Donald Trump from the state’s election ballot for 2024 is problematic for many reasons, but it’s also completely ridiculous that something like this could happen in a country that has a history of sanctioning other nations for kicking candidates off ballots.


The ruling came down earlier this week in a 4-3 decision that sees Trump’s name banned from ballots in Colorado for the 2024 presidential election. The shocking move is based on the premise that he is not qualified to run for office because of the “insurrectionist ban” in the 14th amendment, which is an odd choice since he has never been criminally convicted of any offense that meets the definition.


It’s also an interesting move considering the Biden administration has resorted to sanctions to punish nations that protect the status quo by removing opponents from election ballots.


Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) said on Tuesday: “We’d threaten sanctions against countries that had their courts exclude a challenger to protect the incumbent.”


Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) also drew attention to the double standard, noting: “The U.S. has put sanctions on other countries for doing exactly what the Colorado Supreme Court has done today.”


Biden administration has sanctioned multiple countries after leaders left opponents off ballots

The Biden administration sanctioned Nicaragua because of what the administration said was a “sham election” in 2021 when the country’s government removed most of the politicians running against dictator incumbent President Daniel Ortega. They only left five of his opponents on the ballot that year, all of whom did not have much chance of winning. The other political opponents were banned from being listed on the ballot after being arrested “unjustly” before the elections, which the U.S. Treasury Department said set up a “rigged outcome well before election day.”


The Biden administration said that the government was abusing a law that bars those deemed a “traitor” by the government from running for office.


Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Andrea M. Gacki said at the time: “The Ortega regime is using laws and institutions to detain members of the political opposition and deprive Nicaraguans from the right to vote.”


In another Central American dictatorship, Venezuela, a similar situation took place, with the country first being sanctioned by the Trump administration on the grounds that they used undemocratic practices.


The Biden administration said they would lift some sanctions if Venezuela agreed to hold fair elections in 2024 that include permitting opponents of Nicolas Maduro to be listed on the ballot. However, within just a few weeks of agreeing, Maduro’s regime suspended the results of a primary election that saw his political opposition clinching a victory. The top court in Venezuela ruled that the opposition leader needed to be investigated for money laundering and identity theft.


The Biden administration has also upheld sanctions against Belarus, who was originally sanctioned by the Trump administration in 2020 after holding what the U.S. said were “fraudulent” elections in which voting records were falsified and political opponents were kept off the ballots. In 2021, the Biden administration castigated the country for stopping “multiple opposition candidates from appearing on the ballot and restrictions on the ability of the opposition to campaign.”


Gacki said: “The United States and its partners will not tolerate continued attacks on democracy and the ceaseless repression of independent voices in Belarus.”


Of course, they are all too happy to tolerate the repression of independent voices in the U.S. when they happen to belong to Trump. His campaign has already said they will be appealing the decision, which spokesman Steven Cheung has said is “un-American.”


“Democrat Party leaders are in a state of paranoia over the growing, dominant lead President Trump has amassed in the polls. They have lost faith in the failed Biden presidency and are now doing everything they can to stop the American voters from throwing them out of office next November,” he stated.