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Cablegate: Ortega in Cuba, Reaffirming Solidarity And

VZCZCXYZ0028
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #1780 2272227
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 152227Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7250
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0750
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0019
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAGUA 001780

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/30/2016
TAGS: EAID KDEM NU PGOV PINR PREL
SUBJECT: ORTEGA IN CUBA, REAFFIRMING SOLIDARITY AND
COOPERATION

REF: HAVANA 15750

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

1. (C) FSLN Presidential candidate Daniel Ortega traveled to
Cuba last week to express his "concern and solidarity" for
Fidel Castro and "reaffirm cooperative efforts" with the
Government of Cuba. Though it appears that Ortega did not
actually meet with Castro (reftel), he used the opportunity
to promote programs to benefit Nicaraguans and to campaign --
making frequent announcements from Cuba on 'Radio Ya,' a
Sandinista-owned station managed by Ortega's son.

2. (C) Ortega has made plain in his public announcements
that if he wins in November, he plans to reestablish the
cooperative relationship and collective programs that
Nicaragua enjoyed with the Cuban government in the 1980,s.
Specifically discussed with Cuban officials were medical
treatment, medical training, and scholarships for
Nicaraguans. Ortega has also told the international press
that Castro is active and making government decisions.

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3. (SBU) FSLN founder and National Assembly Deputy Tomas
Borge echoed Ortega's sentiments in an open letter to Fidel
that was published in local newspapers over the weekend. He
mentions several supporters of Castro and their continuing
concern for his health. Borge writes that he will not
celebrate his own birthday -- coincidentally the same as
Castro's -- but instead attend the masses organized by
thousands of Nicaraguans to pray for Castro's recovery.
Borges' paean ends with the statement that Castro is beloved
by millions and that his ideas will endure for centuries.

4. (C) COMMENT: While the other political parties have
largely been quiet about Castro's illness, Ortega is
attempting to use the situation to his advantage to proclaim
his solidarity with Castro, emphasize his revolutionary
heritage, and criticize the United States for
interventionism. END COMMENT
TRIVELLI

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