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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 02:55 AM
Original message
U.S. playing favorites in Nicaraguan election
Aug. 19, 2006, 11:12PM
DEMOCRACY IN LATIN AMERICA
U.S. playing favorites in Nicaraguan election
Envoys continue a pattern in region of trying to defeat a leftist, but policy comes with risks

By JOHN OTIS
South America Bureau

MANAGUA, NICARAGUA In Nicaragua, one of the smallest and poorest countries in the hemisphere, U.S. envoys seem to be violating what is often considered a cardinal rule of diplomacy: Never publicly meddle in a host country's presidential election, the quintessential internal affair.

The diplomats are loudly promoting a conservative presidential candidate that the Bush administration favors while working to undermine the campaign of a leftist politician it loathes, according to analysts and former American envoys.

Washington's practice of pushing its political favorites, they say, also has been evident in other Latin American countries.

Though U.S. diplomats may discreetly advocate for their preferred politicians, they risk expulsion if they go too far in larger countries such as Colombia, Mexico or Venezuela. But when it comes to smaller countries such as Nicaragua that crave good relations and financial aid from Washington, U.S. officials often go out of their way to influence the vote, the analysts say.

"It's pretty clearly understood that an ambassador should not say anything about elections," said Myles Frechette, who spent 35 years as a U.S. diplomat, most recently as ambassador to Colombia. "That's wise because the United States is big and powerful, and it does use its size to force its will on Latin American countries."
(snip/...)

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/4128625.html
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. Adding another important paragraph to the story above:
"Even in the worst of times during the Reagan administration, the U.S. envoy was careful with his words," said Ortega, who was dressed in bluejeans and a Sandinista baseball cap. "But the current ambassador acts like he is the governor of Nicaragua."


"This is excessive," said Michael Shifter of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington.

"Even if Montealegre does win," Shifter said, "he'll always be seen as the candidate the gringos put in."

(snip)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Ambassador Trivelli
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Heck they have been doing this since I was in college in 1953
I was in school with boys from that country and recall it then. These boys were always mad at the Boston police as they said they could do as they liked in their country. I can recall one of my teachers said well they are from the 'ruling class' and the US govt. backs up anything they do. Why do you think they are in college in the US?
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. i think it's the idea that the neo-cons come straight out
and say what they want -- and they EXPECT countries to snap to.

that's what's different from reagan era international relations.

in the reagan era -- they TRIED to be quietly subversive in latin american politics.

now they've abandonded that pretense.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. before reading the article I thought to myself...
"Didn't I hear that Daniel Ortega was back, and was running in this election?"

Just seemed like a given. These folks (neocon types) can never have their heros be wrong, and can never have supported a 'wrong cause'. Thus 20 years later - try to manipulate the election just to make sure that Ortega doesn't win, which would somehow (to neocon types) be a smear on the 'memory' of Reagan. Of course the whole Contra funding, and then sending weapons to Iran to fund (illegally) the Contras ... well that already serves as a permanent smear on the memory of Reagan.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:24 AM
Response to Original message
5. Can't play fair. Ortega might win & kick the ass of Raygun's ghost.
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magellan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. Let us meddle in your elections or we'll cut off aid
...and put you on our evil-doer list.

Yeah, that about defines Bush**'s idea of spreading democracy.
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Acadia Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
7. The USA has always supported right wing dictators in every
country, that we have business interest, whether Mexico, Central or South America or other. Remember the Shah or Iran? He was our puppet. This is why we are hated. We are not hated for our homes and cars.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
8. EU not to intervene in Nicaragua's election: official
UPDATED: 16:26, August 12, 2006
EU not to intervene in Nicaragua's election: official

The European Parliament President Josep Borrel has assured Nicaragua's ruling Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) leader, Jose Rizo, that the European Union would not interfere in Nicaragua's Nov. 5 elections, according to a PLC spokesman.

"Borrel told Rizo that the European Parliament intends to boost its relationship with Latin American legislators," PLC spokesman Leonel Teller told the press.

During the meeting between Borrel and Rizo here, both sides expressed willness to seek to improve friendship and cooperation in culture, trade, economics, and politics, Teller said.

Teller also said Rizo also "made it clear to Borrel that the PLC is against foreign intervention in Nicaragua's elections, and that Nicaraguans should be allowed to decide their own future."
(snip/...)

http://english.people.com.cn/200608/12/eng20060812_2925...

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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
9. I hope Ortega wins and demolishes the rightists.
The Sandinista revolution must arise again, more aggressive than ever. Latin American is a bastion of anti-imperialism and therefore a force for peace.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. .. Most opinion polls this week found .. Ortega .. in a dead heat with ..
.. Montealegre ..

Nicaragua's parties open campaigns
Associated Press
Posted on Sat, Aug. 19, 2006
http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/breaking_news/15315289....

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
10. Not so much "excessive" as "desperate". nt
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
11. Democracy on Dr. Condi's terms
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