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Cablegate: Nicaragua: Electoral Fraud Sparks Iadb

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #1426 3320004
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 270004Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3438
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAGUA 001426

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CEN, WHA/EPSC AND EEB
TREASURY FOR SARA SENICH
USDOC FOR 4332/ITA/MAC/WH/MSIEGELMAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/25/2018
TAGS: EAID ECON EFIN PGOV NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: ELECTORAL FRAUD SPARKS IADB
APPREHENSIONS

Classified By: Ambassador Robert J. Callahan for reasons 1.4 b & d

1. (C) Summary. On November 24 the Inter-American
Development Bank (IADB) Country Representative for Nicaragua
called on the Ambassador to share concerns following the
Sandinista National Liberation Front's (FSLN) manipulation of
the November 9 municipal elections. She had received the
same message that the Ambassador received from President
Ortega, i.e., that the GON leadership is indifferent to the
loss of foreign assistance as a result of widespread election
fraud perpetrated by the government in the November 9
municipal elections. In December, the IADB will convene a
meeting in Washington to discuss the current situation in
Nicaragua. The IADB is Nicaragua's largest donor,
contributing approximately $100 million to the country on an
annual basis. End Summary.

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2. (C) IADB Country Representative for Nicaragua Mirna
Lievano de Marques requested a meeting with the Ambassador on
November 24 to share views on the political climate following
widespread fraud in the November 9 municipal elections.
Lievano told the Ambassador that IADB Regional Director Gina
Montiel visited Managua on November 16 to discuss IADB's
five-year strategic plan for Nicaragua with GON officials.
According to Lievano, Montiel was pressured on numerous
occasions during her trip by Nicaraguan Finance Minister
Alberto Jose Guevara to give Nicaragua a glowing report on
its IADB five-year plan to the press. Montiel refused, much
to Guevara's dismay. In December, Lievano plans to travel to
brief the IADB Executive Board on the economic and political
situation in Nicaragua. Lievano added that on November 19
the IADB in Washington announced the approval of a $20
million loan for Nicaragua. She opined that the timing of
this announcement was unfortunate given the circumstances.

3. (C) The Ambassador told Lievano he had delivered a clear
and stern message at the highest levels of the GON that
electoral fraud would result in a wholesale review of current
U.S. assistance to Nicaragua. Regrettably, GON leadership
was unconcerned, and seems to be indifferent to world
opinion. Lievano said that she had picked up similar signals
from her GON counterparts, which was surprising to her
considering the IADB's annual contribution of approximately
$100 million in foreign assistance to Nicaragua.

COMMENT
-------

4. (C) Lievano appeared utterly perplexed and disturbed by
the recent turn of events. The IADB is Nicaragua's largest
donor and fills a critical void in its national budget. In
Lievano's words, the IADB in Washington has "lots of
questions" regarding the present climate in Nicaragua.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Guevara, a diehard FSLN loyalist,
has been actively participating in pro-Sandinista street
protests donned in camouflage gear drumming up support among
the party's faithful.
CALLAHAN

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