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Cablegate: Ortega Desires Constructive Relations with The

VZCZCXRO5941
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #0791/01 0852120
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 262120Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9607
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0009
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 1030
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0040
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 000791

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

WHA/CEN, NEA/I, IO/MPR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/26/2017
TAGS: PGOV PINR KDEM NU PREL UNGA IZ IR
SUBJECT: ORTEGA DESIRES CONSTRUCTIVE RELATIONS WITH THE
USG, BUT SOME HARDLINERS OBJECT, CLAIMS AMBASSADOR ENRIQUEZ
(C-AL7-00063)

REF: A. MANAGUA 0789
B. MANAGUA 0701
C. MANAGUA 0631

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

1. (C) Summary: Ambassador Magda Enriquez, the Director of
the MFA's Multilateral Affairs Office, believes President
Ortega sincerely desires constructive relations with the
United States, but she concedes that some Sandinista party
hardliners object. While she acknowledges that Ortega
considers President Chavez his "friend and ally," she insists
that Ortega does not see eye to eye with him on all issues.
She notes that the GON has differed with Iran's efforts to
deny the Holocaust -- deciding instead to support the recent
UN Holocaust statement. Enriquez is convinced that the
Iranian government is besieged by serious domestic troubles
and would probably be willing to settle its impasse with the
UN Security Council regarding its nuclear objectives if a
"face-saving" approach were offered, and offers Nicaragua's
help to this end. Enriquez also claims that Nicaragua will
not bow to China's demand that it sever its diplomatic ties
with Taiwan. End Summary.

Ortega Rhetoric Hinders Constructive Relations
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (C) On March 24, Ambassador Magda Enriquez, the Director
of the Foreign Ministry's (MFA) Multilateral Affairs Office
discussed with PolCouns and TDY analysts the Nicaraguan
government's (GON) views on the U.S.-Nicaragua bilateral
relationship and its multilateral priorities. She started
off by reiterating her position that President Ortega
sincerely desires constructive relations with the United
States, as evidenced by the appointment of an independent
Ambassador to Washington and by Foreign Minister Samuel
Santos' efforts to maintain open channels with the U.S.
Embassy in Managua. She conceded, however, that "some party
hardliners object." While Enriquez also acknowledged that
Ortega considers Venezuelan President Chavez his "friend and
ally," she insisted that Ortega does not see eye to eye with
Chavez on all issues and that her government will not be
pressured by any other to take a position it does not
support.

3. (C) When PolCouns raised our concerns that President
Ortega's discourse regarding the United States has become
increasingly belligerent and unconstructive, Enriquez nodded.
She then recounted how she listened to Ortega's speech while
she was driving home and counted 21 negative references to
the United States. She immediately called an equally
dismayed Santos, who had tallied 22 slights to the United
States. Enriquez explained that she sent a note to Ortega
concerning the incident, who responded that his intention was
not to criticize the current U.S. government but, rather, the
Reagan administration. PolCouns mentioned that during the
transition period Foreign Minister Santos had recommended we
minimize bilateral friction by removing our differences from
the media spotlight -- an approach we support and have
followed. Enriquez promised to urge her government to do
likewise.

Nicaragua Differs with Iran on the Holocaust, Offers to Help
Broker Nuclear Impasse
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

4. (C) Expanding on the subject of the GON's decision to
develop a "sovereign foreign policy," Enriquez cited that
fact that her government differed with Iran over the
Holocaust, and instead, supported the recent UN Holocaust
statement. Enriquez also confided that the Iranian
government is besieged by serious domestic troubles and it
would probably be willing to settle its impasse with the UN
Security Council regarding its nuclear objectives if a
"face-saving" approach were offered. Opining that perhaps
North Korea could serve as a model, she reiterated
Nicaragua's interest in helping advance this effort (Ref. C).


Relationship with Taiwan will Continue
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

5. (C) Commenting that the Chinese government is increasing
its pressure on Nicaragua to severe its ties with Taiwan as a
pre-condition to establish full-fledged diplomatic relations
and to benefit from Chinese assistance, Enriquez was adamant
that her government Nicaragua will not bow to this demand.
She explained that the GON policy is to cooperate with both
countries and to benefit from what they have to offer.

Rapprochement with Iraq
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

6. (C) Enriquez, who met last week with Iraqi Ambassador to
the United Nations, Hamid Al-Biyati, was pleased with this
first step towards rapprochement (Ref. A). She agreed that a
next step could be a meeting between Foreign Minister Santos
and his Iraqi counterpart. However, Enriquez reminded us
that Nicaragua cannot afford to stand up, let alone, maintain
an embassy in Baghdad.

Seeking our Views on UN Reform and Human Rights Commission
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

7. (C) Enriquez requested additional details on the U.S.
position on UN reform and our concerns regarding the UN Human
Rights Council. PolCouns offered to send materials and
suggested that during her next trip to the United States,
Enriquez could meet with the offices that cover these issues.
She clarified that Nicaragua's newly appointed UN
Ambassador, Manuel Diaz Lacayo, will eventually take the lead
on this matter. However, ongoing heart trouble will delay
his arrival date in New York, explained Enriquez. (Note: The
demarche on UN reform (Ref. B) was delivered while Enriquez
was out of country.)

Bio
- - -

8. (C) Dr. Magda Enriquez Callejas-Beitler was born in
Chinandega, Nicaragua of a prosperous family who sent her to
the study Journalism at Temple University in the mid-1960s.
She tells us that her parents sent her abroad to remove her
from Nicaragua's political tensions, but ironically, she cut
her "political teeth" in the United States on its social
turmoil and anti-Vietnam sentiment. Following the Sandinista
victory in 1979, Enriquez returned to Nicaragua where she
assumed a number of positions with the FSLN, including the
MFA's director of Middle East and Asia Policy. She also
frequently interpreted for Daniel Ortega. After Violeta
Chamorro's victory, Enriquez returned to Philadelphia and
represented the FSLN in the United States and Canada. She
received a PhD in education from Temple University, worked
for years in the Philadelphia school system, and also taught
Bilingual and Bicultural Studies at La Salle University.
Enriquez has been married twice, both times to Jewish
Americans, and claims that
after she introduced Ortega to then-Israeli PM Shimon Perez,
Ortega's views on Israel became "more moderate." She is the
mother of four children, all U.S. citizens.

Comment
- - - -

9. (C) Along with her boss Santos, Enriquez appears to be
aligned with the FSLN moderates, recognizes the value of
positive engagement with the United States, and probably
lends a voice of reason to balance the more extreme views of
the Sandinista hardliners like Lenin Cerna and Miguel
D'Escoto. How much sway she actually holds over Ortega is
questionable, however.
TRIVELLI

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