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Cablegate: Mrs Focused On Legislative Agenda, Municipal

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #0956 1061547
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 161547Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9824
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAGUA 000956

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/16/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR NU
SUBJECT: MRS FOCUSED ON LEGISLATIVE AGENDA, MUNICIPAL
ELECTIONS

Classified By: Ambassador Paul Trivelli for reasons 1.4 (b and d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS)
deputies are focusing on the party's legislative agenda and
rallying supporters for the municipal elections, according to
MRS Deputies Enrique Saenz, Victor Hugo Tinoco and Tinoco's
alternate, Hugo Torres. They are also using "volunteers" to
assist them with their work in the National Assembly. The
MRS Deputies commented on Liberal caudillo Arnoldo Aleman's
continued power in Nicaragua and their view of Daniel
Ortega's presidency. END SUMMARY

2. (C) Poloff and INR analysts met with MRS Deputies Enrique
Saenz, Victor Hugo Tinoco and Tinoco's alternate, Hugo
Torres, on March 20. According to Saenz, the MRS is focusing
on two fronts: strengthening the alliance of parties that
make up the MRS and pursuing the party's legislative agenda.
Saenz stated that they plan to look for allies within
different parties in the National Assembly on an "issue by
issue" basis. Key MRS legislative concerns are increasing
the minimum wage and energy issues.

3. (C) According to Tinoco, the MRS offers the best
democratic option for Nicaraguans and the best chance to
oppose the FSLN. He believes that to succeed, opposition to
the FSLN must "come from the left." Saenz stated, however,
that the MRS will continue to work with the ALN on certain
issues. He commented that Eduardo Montealegre is still
tainted by the CENIs (debt bonds) issue and that there would
probably be some kind of announcement or action against
Montealegre after Easter.

MRS Relying on Volunteers
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

4. (C) Saenz reported that the MRS is tapping supporters,
especially lawyers, to work as unofficial assistants on the
party's legislative agenda. The MRS is unable to pay them,
but a number of people are helping by analyzing and
evaluating proposed legislation. Saenz said that more
supporters would be needed to help with municipal elections.

MRS Take on Aleman
- - - - - - - - - -

5. (C) Tinoco commented that the expansion of Arnoldo
Aleman's "house arrest" to all of Nicaragua is a sign of the
continuing strength of the pact; in fact, he believes it is
stronger than ever. Tinoco believes that Ortega cannot
imagine being out of power. Ortega "released" Aleman to
accomplish several short term and long term goals, according
to Tinoco, which include PLC support for FSLN candidates for
the Fiscalia and constitutional reforms.

Ortega's Scheming
- - - - - - - - -

6. (C) The MRS deputies believe Ortega's political
machinations constitute an "authoritarian project" which is
gaining strength. Saenz said he fears that Ortega will
pacify the business community and the small and medium-size
producers by allowing a certain amount of economic freedom
and by taking
actions that benefit those sectors so no one will stand up to
him as he consolidates political power. Torres stated that
Ortega and wife Rosario Murillo are "pulling all the
strings." He added that they have a number of people who are
in their "inner circle" who they manipulate by creating
tensions among them. He emphasized that Ortega and Murillo
maintain a very strong relationship.

7. (C) Torres commented that he holds hope for the future of
the military. Omar Halleslevens, Chief of the Nicaraguan
Army, and Torres were schoolmates and Torres respects him.
He believes that Halleslevens will be able to stand up to
Ortega. Torres also assessed that Police Chief Aminta
Granera is very capable, politically astute, and has effected
great changes within the police.

8. (C) On Venezuela, Saenz stated that Nicaraguans recognize
the importance of the relationship with the United States,
but if Venezuela's promises become reality, the relationship
with the U.S. will be less important.

TRIVELLI

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