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Cablegate: Wha Assistant Secretary Shannon's September 29,

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DE RUEHC #3558 2781904
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P R 051845Z OCT 09
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TO RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA PRIORITY 0000
RUEHTG/AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA PRIORITY 0000
INFO RUEHBE/AMEMBASSY BELMOPAN 0000
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 0000
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0000
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RUEHSN/AMEMBASSY SAN SALVADOR 0000

C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 103558

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2019
TAGS: ECON EFIN ETRD HO NU OVIP PGOV PREL SNAR
SUBJECT: WHA ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHANNON'S SEPTEMBER 29,
2009 CONVERSATION WITH NICARAGUAN FOREIGN MINISTER SANTOS

Classified By: WHA Assistant Secretary Thomas A. Shannon for
reasons 1.4 (d)

1. (SBU) September 29, 2009; 2:30 p.m.; New York, NY, USA.

2. (SBU) Participants:

U.S.
WHA Assistant Secretary Thomas A. Shannon
Anthony Miranda (WHA Notetaker)

Nicaragua
Foreign Minister Samuel Santos Lopez
Ambassador Jaime Hermida Castillo, Deputy UN PermRep
Roberto Leal Ocampo, Director General for European Affairs

3. (C) SUMMARY. WHA Assistant Secretary Thomas Shannon met
with Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos Lopez on the
margins of the UN General Assembly. Santos expressed his
concerns about events in Honduras. He said members of the
pro-Zelaya resistance were in Nicaragua looking for weapons.
In what Santos described as a fortuitously timed phone call,
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega spoke with A/S Shannon
during the meeting and also raised arms-trafficking concerns.

Santos suggested strong U.S. economic sanctions would bring
the de facto regime to its knees.

4. (C) Unrelated to Honduras, Santos showed A/S Shannon
press clippings he thought demonstrated the Nicaraguan
media's unfair and inaccurate treatment of the Ortega
administration. Finally, Santos requested U.S. assistance
in arranging a meeting with World Bank President Richard
Zoellick during Santos' Oct 19-30 trip to Washington, DC.
Santos suggested he could meet with U.S. Congress members
and the Secretary during this visit as well. END SUMMARY.

------------------------------------------
Nicaraguan Concerns About Arms Trafficking
------------------------------------------

5. (C) Shortly after Foreign Minister Santos and A/S
Shannon sat down to speak, Santos received an "unexpected"
call from Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. Santos
invited A/S Shannon to speak with the president. The
president expressed worry over the Honduras crisis.
Ortega said growing frustration in Honduras could lead
to violence, and noted that members of the pro-Zelaya
resistance were in Nicaragua looking for weapons.
Ortega said his government had deflected these overtures,
but he was very worried about increasing radicalization
of the popular sectors in Honduras. After the telephone
call concluded, Santos echoed Ortega's concerns about arms
trafficking.

--------------------
SICA Summit Proposal
--------------------

6. (C) Santos said he contacted the foreign ministers of
El Salvador and Guatemala to enlist their support for an
informal Central American Integration System (SICA)
discussion at the head-of-state level on regional arms
trafficking due to the Honduras crisis and to discuss how
best to fashion a solution to the stalemate.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
Nicaragua Suggests Economic Sanctions Against Honduras
--------------------------------------------- ---------

7. (C) Santos suggested the United States impose economic
sanctions against the de facto regime to bring Micheletti
to the bargaining table. A/S Shannon explained that broad
economic sanctions would do more harm to the average
Honduran worker than to the de factos. American companies
would have to look elsewhere to satisfy their need for
textiles and other goods if sanctions prevented them from
doing business with Honduran factories, A/S Shannon said.
Instead, A/S Shannon noted, we were using tightly focused
sanctions aimed at those in the private sector and military
who supported the coup.

--------------------------------------------- ------
Nicaraguan Media Treatment of Ortega Administration
--------------------------------------------- ------

8. (C) Apart from Honduras, Santos showed A/S Shannon
examples of what he thought demonstrated the Nicaraguan
media's ill treatment of the Ortega administration,
including from outlets receiving USAID support.

------------------------------------
Santos, Oct. 19-30 Trip to Washington
------------------------------------

9. (C) Santos requested U.S. help in securing meetings with
Work Bank President Robert Zoellick during Santos' October
19-30 trip to Washington, DC. He expressed concern over some
of the World Bank's economic policies towards Nicaragua.
Santos suggested he could meet with members of Congress
during
the same trip. He also floated the idea of meeting with the
Secretary, noting other Central American foreign ministers
have done so. A/S Shannon noted he would identify new
Congress member with whom Santos could meet.
CLINTON

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