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Cablegate: (C) President Ortega Asks Former Amb. To U.S. To Consider A

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FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0723
INFO WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
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RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC

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SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/24
TAGS: PREL PGOV NU
SUBJECT: (C) President Ortega Asks Former Amb. to U.S. to Consider a
Second Washington Tour

CLASSIFIED BY: Robert J. Callahan, Ambassador, Department of State,
Exec; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) Arturo Cruz Jr., Nicaragua's most recent Ambassador to the
United States, recently confided to the Ambassador that President
Daniel Ortega had asked Cruz to consider a second tour in
Washington as Ambassador. Cruz says he told Ortega he would
consider returning only if two conditions were met. First, Roberto
Rivas, the corrupt president of Nicaragua's discredited Supreme
Electoral Council (CSE) had to be replaced. Second, Ortega must
guarantee transparent Presidential elections in 2011, including
credible domestic and international observation.

2. (C) Cruz expressed some reluctance to accept the post a second
time. He acknowledged that Nicaragua's image had suffered severe
damage in the year since he left Washington, and that as Ambassador
defending (or at least explaining) Ortega's increasingly
undemocratic behavior would be substantially more difficult the
second time around.

COMMENT

3. (C) We find it interesting that after a year of inaction,
Ortega has approached Cruz to reprise his performance in
Washington. Ortega's two previous nominees, Saul Arana,
Nicaragua's Ambassador to Japan, and Harold Rivas, Nicaragua's
Ambassador to Costa Rica, had serious problems. Arana's name was
withdrawn after he was asked to provide information about his legal
status in the United States during the 1970s. Rivas's nomination
was withdrawn after less than 24 hours for unknown reasons.
CALLAHAN

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