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Cablegate: Dora Maria Tellez Concerned About Fraud, Possible

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #2434/01 3060038
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 020038Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8099
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0798
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAGUA 002434

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/2016
TAGS: EAID KDEM NU PGOV PINR PREL
SUBJECT: DORA MARIA TELLEZ CONCERNED ABOUT FRAUD, POSSIBLE
FSLN GOVERNMENT

REF: MANAGUA 001031 05 APRIL 2004

Classified By: Ambassador Paul A. Trivelli. Reasons 1.4 (B,D).

1. (C) SUMMARY: Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS)
National Assembly deputy candidate Dora Maria Tellez is
concerned about election fraud and the possibility of a
Sandinista Liberation Front (FSLN) victory. She believes
that the FSLN will resort to fraud to ensure a first-round
victory for Daniel Ortega. Tellez, a long-time critic of
U.S.G. policies, also told emboffs that she would be
interested in encouraging dialogue between MRS members and
the United States. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) During a meeting Polcouns and Poloff, MRS spokesman
Israel Lewites and National Assembly deputy candidate Dora
Maria Tellez said that they do not believe the FSLN can win
fairly, but are certain that the FSLN is prepared to commit
electoral fraud to steal a victory. Tellez claimed that the
MRS will warn the FSLN that if it steals the election, the
MRS will "take to the streets," opining that this is the
"only kind of message Ortega understands."

3. (C) Tellez posits several types of potential fraud.
(NOTE: During the campaign, Tellez has also made public
statements accusing the FSLN of working with the Liberal
Constitutional Party (PLC) and the Supreme Electoral Council
(CSE) to mount massive election fraud using widespread vote
result changes (impugnaciones). END NOTE) According to the
scenario she envisions, the FSLN and the PLC will take
advantage of the confusion over proper dispute procedure to
annul JRVs in areas where the two parties are losing, or
polling at a low level. Tellez accused the FSLN of securing
two positions on many JRVs throughout the country by
registering FSLN loyalists for the JRV posing as AC members
-- if true, such registrations would grant the FSLN two of
the three spots on a JRV. (COMMENT: We have heard and
reported before that AC candidate Eden Pastora may be
Ortega's "Trojan horse," that many of his JRV officials are
FSLN members and will side with the FSLN in the event of any
dispute on election day. END COMMENT)

4. (C) Tellez also says that she is aware of an FSLN plan to
nullify 4 or 5 ballots for the MRS at each voting center
(JRV). She believes the same is planned for Nicaraguan
Liberal Alliance (ALN) ballots. In this way, the FSLN could
eliminate 10 MRS/ALN votes per JRV for a total of about
100,000 votes, enough to give Ortega the lead he needs to
win. Tellez and Lewites claim that FSLN, PLC and AC party
poll watchers (fiscales) are being instructed to nullify the
ballots (which they note could easily be done by smearing a
few with ink).

5. (C) Tellez and Lewites also admitted that recent (and now
discontinued) MRS ads and statements have targeted
Montealegre in an effort to differentiate the MRS from the
ALN. Lewites believes that the MRS can still whittle away
some of the FSLN vote by emphasizing the differences between
the two parties and pointing out the MRS, Sandinista
heritage and "leftist approach" to social issues and social
justice. Lewites admitted, however, that Edmundo Jarquin
opposes any kind of attack on the ALN, no matter how
carefully done. (NOTE: Since our meeting with Tellez,
Jarquin and Montealegre met again and renewed their prior
agreement not to attack one another and the MRS ads
criticizing Montealegre have disappeared. END NOTE)

6. (C) Tellez and Lewites voiced concern over the impact of
Jarquin,s statements in support of therapeutic abortion
(defined in Nicaragua as an abortion performed when the life
of the mother is at risk). They believe the Jarquin's stance
on the issue may have lost him potential MRS voters. Both
Lewites and Tellez are also concerned about the other
parties, vehement anti-abortion stance.

COMMENT
- - - -

7. (C) This first meeting with Tellez was an opportunity to
hear from a more "hard-line" member of the MRS. Tellez has
often been critical of U.S. policies, but showed an apparent
openness to discuss issues with emboffs and to pursue future
meetings. Tellez began the session by quizzing emboffs on
their backgrounds and then relating stories about her family,
and "loosened up" as the meeting progressed. A lively
story-teller, Tellez is also brutally frank when discussing

politics and her opinions. Tellez, who says she has a cousin
in the United States and a nephew fighting in Iraq, stated
that she does not have an issue with the United States, but
believes that Nicaraguans often manipulate Americans to do
"their dirty work." END COMMENT.

BIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
- - - - - - - - - - - -

8. (SBU) Tellez, a key "commandante" of the FSLN, served as
minister of health under the FSLN and later became a member
of the Sandinistas' National Directorate. Tellez was the
third ranking commander (known as Commandante Dos) of the
August 22, 1978 attack on the National Palace and the
principal negotiator for the FSLN during the crisis. She
broke away from FSLN leader Daniel Ortega in the 1990s and
formed the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS). Others
joined her as discontent grew within the FSLN after the 1990
"pinata" and Ortega's continued electoral defeats during that
decade.

9. (C) Tellez is a key member of Edmundo Jarquin's campaign
team -- part of a core group that includes Jarquin's wife,
campaign manager Luis Carrion, Victor Hugo Tinoco, Alberto
Cortes, members of the Greenberg consulting firm, and
Lewites.

10. (C) In the years prior to 1993, Tellez was classified as
a terrorist for her role in the takeover of the National
Palace (septel) and therefore ineligible for a U.S. visa.
Post reviewed individuals under this classification and she
was deemed eligible for a visa. However, in April 2004,
after post took a closer look at her history, Tellez was
refused a visa to attend language training in San Diego under
the new terrorist definition in 212 (a)(3)(B).
TRIVELLI

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