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Cablegate: Nicaragua: Iranians and Libyans Welcome -- No

VZCZCXRO6895
OO RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #2544/01 3420059
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O 080059Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1762
INFO RUEHMU/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS IMMEDIATE
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MANAGUA 002544

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR CA/VO AND CA/FPP
DEPT ALSO FOR WHA/CEN, WHA/FO AND NEA/FO AND S/CT
DEPT ALSO FOR DS/DO/ICI
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO HUMAN SMUGGLING AND TRAFFICKING CENTER
SOUTHCOM FOR FPA
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR J2, J3, AND J5

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/06/2017
TAGS: CVIS IR LY NU PREL PTER VE
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: IRANIANS AND LIBYANS WELCOME -- NO
VISAS NEEDED

Classified By: Charge d'Affairs, a.i., Richard Sanders, reasons 1.5 (b)
& (d)

1. (C) According to a November 28 circular memo sent to all
airlines operating out of Managua's international airport,
the Government of Nicaragua (GON) now will allow all Libyan
and Iranian passport holders (diplomatic, official and
regular) to enter Nicaragua without visas. The GON states
that it is making the change "to deepen ties with brother
nations" and because Nicaragua does not have diplomatic
missions in these countries. An unofficial translation of
the memo follows in para. 4.

2 (S) Nicaragua coordinates its visa policy with Guatemala,
El Salvador, and Honduras as part of the "Central American
Four" (C-4) agreement, which permits border crossing with
minimal documentation. The GON had been discussing with the
other C-4 nations its proposal to permit diplomatic and
official passport holders from Iran and Libya to enter
Nicaragua without a visa. NOTE: The GON's proposal met with
some resistance inside the C-4, including Honduran media
reports that Iranians were entering Honduras illegally after
flying into Nicaragua without any immigration checks. END
NOTE.

3. (S) COMMENT: Over the past several months, there have been
confirmed incidents of Iranians, mainly on official visits or
using official passports, being waved through Nicaraguan
customs and immigration at the airport with no checks at all.
However, this formal announcement and its inclusion of
Iranian and Libyan regular passport holders was unexpected.
This announcement is the latest in a series of steps by the
Ortega Administration to deepen and expand relations with
countries of concern, especially Iran, Libya and Venezuela.
The growing lack of transparency by this government in all
areas, coupled with Ortega's express intent to expand ties
with Iran, and support for Iran's defiance of the
international community, raise the likelihood that this new
move will make Nicaragua a convenient entry point to the
region for Iran as it seeks to expand its influence and
operations in the Hemisphere.

4. (C) UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION OF DGME CIRCULAR
--------------------------------------------- -

TO: Airlines operating out of the Augusto Cesar Sandino
International Airport

FROM: Captain Lenin Flores Aleman, Migration Office

SUBJECT: DGME/MANS Circular 182/11/2007

DATE: Managua, November 28, 2007

Following the instructions of the Director General for
Migration, Commandante Maria Antonieta Novoa, I have the
honor to present to you Circular DGME/MANS/182/11/2007 which
says:

Reaffirming the will of the Government of Reconciliation and
National Unity to deepen ties of fraternity with brother
countries, which are providing valuable cooperation
unconditionally and in a sustainable manner to our people,


MANAGUA 00002544 002 OF 002


That the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation has
established, as a policy of the State, the facilitation of
entry into the National Territory of citizens of these
brother countries.

The strengthening of relations with countries of the world
who are lovers of peace and progress is a priority of our
Government, and taking into consideration that the lack of
diplomatic representation in these countries makes their
travel to Nicaragua difficult, established:

First: Nationals of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the
Grand Al-Jamahiria Arab Popular Socialist Libya, carrying
diplomatic, service, official or regular passports, move from
category "C" to category "A," exempt from the visa
requirement.

Second: This circular shall be made known to all airlines and
national border posts for their immediate application.

END UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION
SANDERS

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