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Cablegate: Nicaragua Will Consider Supporting Global

VZCZCXRO1575
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #0632/01 0682057
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 092057Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9399
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0994
RUMIAAA/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANAGUA 000632

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

WHA/CEN, IO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/08/2017
TAGS: PTER KNNP MCAP PINR PINS PARM PREL NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA WILL CONSIDER SUPPORTING GLOBAL
INITIATIVE TO COMBAT NUCLEAR TERRORISM

REF: SECSTATE 21535

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

1. (C) On March 8, Deputy Chief of Mission Peter Brennan and
Russian counterpart Valeriy Bobrov delivered the joint reftel
demarche to Nicaraguan Vice Foreign Minister Manuel Coronel
Kautz, Acting Foreign Minister in Foreign Minister Samuel
Santos' absence. Coronel, who recently returned from an
Inter-American counter-terrorism meeting in Panama, expressed
keen interest in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear
Terrorism. Bobrov also conveyed our shared desire that
Nicaragua be among the first Latin American countries to join
the Global Initiative partnership, adding that members will
be invited to participate in the Initiative's third meeting
to be held this summer in Kazakhstan. Confessing he had
never expected that one day he would receive Russian and
American diplomats together, Coronel Kautz recognized that
the joint demarche made him realize how much the world has
changed. He promised to review the Global Initiative's
Declaration of Principles and will respond after consulting
with the Foreign Minister and the Presidency.

2. (C) At the start of the meeting, Coronel -- who only
half-jested that his main interest in occupying his position
is to champion the Nicaraguan government's USD 12 billion
inter-oceanic canal project -- attempted to prod Bobrov into
joining him in a moment of Communist era nostalgia. Sighing,
Coronel Kautz lamented the fall of Communist Soviet Union -
"the failure of the greatest human and social experiment in
history." Visibly startled by Coronel Kautz' sentimental
soliloquy, Bobrov took two steps back, and shot back very
skeptically, "Do you really think so?" (Comment: Bobrov
appears to be a firm Putin supporter. When Coronel Kautz
pried into the assassination of a former KGB operative in
London, suggesting that the KGB had engineered the murder,
Bobrov countered that those involved in the assassination
were "elements opposing President Putin.")

3. (C) A spry and affable 74-year-old with a mischievous
smile and twinkling blue eyes that belie his age -- Coronel
Kautz also offered a few choice observations on the United
States -- first professing his admiration for a true
revolutionary, Thomas Jefferson, and for the American people.
He also suggested that the United States should recognize it
is "the empire" and "behave accordingly". He compared the
United States to "a six-foot tall man who tries to pretend he
is only 4 feet tall, and thus continually bumbles around and
crashes into walls because he has built a room to small to
accommodate himself." Responding to our observation that
Venezuela seems bent on becoming the "new empire," Coronel
Kautz quipped, "Yes, Venezuela is trying, but they are not up
to it."

4. (C) The Acting Foreign Minister also shared that his
government is developing a national strategy, including a
foreign policy section tasked to his ministry. He explained
that the centerpiece of the strategy is poverty reduction
through a "zero hunger" initiative targeting the rural poor;
education/literacy programs; health care; and, low-income
housing. The DCM noted parallels between these objectives
and those highlighted by President Bush in his recent speech
on the U.S. government's Western Hemisphere Policy and
offered to forward a copy of the speech. Accepting the
offer, Coronel Kautz inquired about President Bush's trip to
the region -- commenting that while he believes Bush's
intentions are sincere, many people may not believe him,
given the long-standing complicated relationship between the
United States and the Latin American region. Nonetheless, he
acknowledged that the effort is worthwhile. He also appeared
intrigued by A/S Sullivan's remark in his recent meeting with
President Ortega (septel) that the United States is prepared
for "total economic engagement" with Nicaragua and requested
information on this concept.

5. (C) Bio Note: Coronel Kautz is the son of famed
Nicaraguan poet Jose Coronel Urtecho and Maria Kautz, a
middle class family with sugar cane interests and
Conservative Party roots. An agronomist by training, Coronel
Kautz joined the Sandinista movement in 1974. After the
Sandinistas came to power, he first served as the
Agro-industry director of the Office of Agrarian Reform and
later as the Vice Minister of Development and Agrarian
Reform. In a May 3, 1998 press interview, he argued that
imperialism, whether from the United States or other states,
is a reality that Nicaragua is in no position to confront.
He advocated for a more realistic and less messianic approach
towards imperialism.
TRIVELLI

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