Thursday, November 02, 2006

US Does Not Deny Meddling in Nicaraguan Election

AFP - The US State Department sidestepped allegations that the United
States has meddled in Nicaragua's presidential vote to try to thwart a
return to power by leftist Daniel Ortega.

US officials were quoted as saying in Nicaragua that if Ortega won
Sunday's election, US aid could be limited and Washington could block
critical remittances of a total 850 million dollars a year sent home
from the United States by Nicaraguan migrants.

Asked about what was widely taken in Nicaragua as a threat by the US
Agency for International Development, State Department spokesman Scott
McCormack said: "I haven't seen any specific quotes from anybody ...
(but) just as a matter of general United States policy, the course of
any bilateral relationship, the course of any US assistance, of course,
is going to be dictated by the actions of our partners in this regard.

"They're terrorizing people by saying aid and remittances will be cut off. But people have a right to elect whoever they want," said Mario Estrada, 44,
"We threw rocks at William Walker -- we should do the same now," Estrada muttered. "They always interfere in our elections. They act as if we're illiterate."

This nonsense is starting to really irritate people in Nicaragua. It comes a week after the US was scolded by the Organization of American States for meddling. It comes two weeks after U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said an Ortega win could jeopardize Nicaragua’s participation in CAFTA. Last month Republican Congressman Dan Burton visited the country and warned that foreign aid would be cut off if Ortega was elected. Last year US diplomats tried to dictate the composition of the race for President.


Anonymous Ariana said...

I am also following the Nica elections and am dismayed to hear about the US meddlings in their affairs. (Although I am certainly NOT a supporter of Ortega.)

Regarding your statement, "This nonsense is starting to really irritate people in Nicaragua,"-
I'm curious to know if you have spoken to any Nicaraguans on this issue. Or are you Nicaraguan yourself?

When I visited Nicaragua this summer the opinion of Ortega was very mixed. Some were vehemently opposed to him, and others were lukewarm. Sandinista flags were seen around the country and political ads were plastered all over. It was very difficult to discern who was ahead. I am will be eagerly waiting the election results.

Chicago, IL

6:28 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

Welcome Ariana, yes the election is eagerly awaited - by everyone including Washington it appears...

No I'm not Nicaraguan, and I admit my conclusion about Nicaraguans getting very upset is based on news accounts. But I can't see how anyone is NOT upset at this blatant interference and attempt to scare people away from voting for their candidate. Even Montealegre and Rizo supporters are probably upset that because this makes their ties to the US look bad.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Agile said...

"Even Montealegre and Rizo supporters are probably upset that because this makes their ties to the US look bad."

I doubt that the Montealegre people care. Their first priority would be themselves and themselves only, and they'll want the help from US capitalists and from Washington after the elections, should Montealegre win (in a second round), in order to secure their position, sell their goods, exploit the Nicaraguan working poor, and make arrangements so that Ortega or other Sandinistas can ever come back.

I believe they find this current election much to close for comfort.


6:44 AM  

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