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Cablegate: Taha01: Nicaragua's Contributions to Relief Efforts in Haiti

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DE RUEHMU #0200/01 0362108
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 052107Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0638
INFO WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS MANAGUA 000200

SENSITIVE
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STATE FOR WHA/CEN AND WHA/PPC
TREASURY FOR INL AND OWH
SOUTHCOM FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECIN PREL PGOV HA NU
SUBJECT: TAHA01: NICARAGUA'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO RELIEF EFFORTS IN HAITI

SUMMARY

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1. (SBU) The Nicaraguan Army, civil society, and private industry
have made important contributions to the relief efforts in Haiti.
The Army has sent three deployments of soldiers to Haiti since
January 14 to deliver foodstuffs and medical supplies, provide a
variety of health and medical treatment, and conduct
search-and-rescue operations. The Nicaraguan Red Cross, in
cooperation with civil society organizations, youth groups, and
performing artists, has organized activities throughout Nicaragua
to raise money. The private sector has also donated food and
raised money to support the relief effort. Despite President
Daniel Ortega's appalling comments criticizing U.S. relief efforts
in Haiti, Nicaraguans in general have stepped up to the plate to
provide assistance there.

NICA ARMY CONTRIBUTES TO RELIEF EFFORT IN HAITI

--------------------------------------------- --

2. (U) The Nicaraguan Army has deployed more than 40 soldiers,
including military doctors, nurses, and other medical specialists,
to deliver foodstuffs and medical supplies, provide a variety of
health and medical treatment, and conduct search and rescue
missions. On January 14, the first deployment of 34 soldiers
arrived in Haiti. They delivered 3 metric tons of foodstuffs and
conducted search and rescue operations. On January 19, a second
deployment of 2 Nicaraguan Army AN-26 military aircraft with 8 Army
medical personnel (1 surgeon, 1 orthopedist, 2 general medicine
doctors and 4 nurses) delivered 6 additional tons of foodstuffs and
9 metric tons of medical supplies (Ref A).

3. (U) On January 26, a third deployment of soldiers arrived in
Haiti to provide medical treatment and conduct search and rescue
operations, including 1 surgeon, 1 orthopedist, 1 epidemiologist, 1
general medicine doctor, 2 nurses, and 2 cast technicians.
International and local media reported that a Nicaraguan Army
search-and- rescue team pulled 6 people from collapsed buildings in
Port-au-Prince on January 26. On February 3, a fourth deployment
of 1 Nicaraguan Army military aircraft with new troops arrived in
Haiti to deliver foodstuffs and medical supplies. These soldiers
were trained and equipped by the United States with Global
Peacekeeping Operations Initiative (GPOI) funding.

NICARAGUAN RED CROSS LEADS CIVIL SOCIETY EFFORTS

--------------------------------------------- ---

4. (U) The Nicaraguan Red Cross, in cooperation with civil society
organizations, youth groups and performing artists, has organized
activities to raise money to support the relief effort. On January
22, the Nicaraguan Red Cross and Radio "La Costenisima" of
Bluefields, a city in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS),
organized a radio telethon in support of Haiti. On January 23, a
youth group called "Nicaraguan Youth Helping Haiti" collected
monetary donations throughout Managua. On that same day, 30
Nicaraguan artists participated in a telethon in Managua to raise
money. The artists solicited donations by phone and also played
music, sang songs, danced, and read poetry. During a separate
telethon in Esteli, a city in northern Nicaragua, on January 30,
the Nicaraguan Red Cross of Esteli and the Lions Club raised
$3,300. All proceeds will be delivered to the International Red
Cross' Haiti Earthquake Fund.

5. (U) Other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are also helping Haiti. Representatives of the Autonomous Movement of Women (MAM), an organization that advocates for women's rights, participated in a January 12 meeting in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, with other women NGOs to study ways to improve the conditions of women after the earthquake. CARITAS of Nicaragua, a Catholic Church NGO that focuses on poverty eradication and socioeconomic development, is planning a national fundraising campaign to support Haiti beginning during the first week of February.

INDUSTRY ALSO HELPS

-------------------

6. (U) The private sector has also donated food and raised money to
support the relief effort. The National Association of Sugar
Producers donated 45.2 metric tons of sugar. Innovative
Industries, the owner of Glacial Bottled Water and Ice, provided
100 boxes of 1.5 liters of bottled water to the Nicaraguan Army
that were delivered in Haiti. Grupo Vision, a company that is a
distributor of General Motors vehicles and has the franchise rights
to Quiznos, raised money by organizing raffles to give away food,
beverages, and a motorcycle. Claro Enitel, the operator of
Nicaragua's fixed line phone service and the largest cellular phone
service provider in Nicaragua, has so far raised approximately
$3,000 by sending text messages to its customers to support Haiti,
and working with students from Thomas More University to solicit
donations at two shopping malls. All proceeds collected by Claro
Enitel will be donated to the Nicaraguan Red Cross for the
International Red Cross' Haiti Earthquake Fund. COPERCO, a
construction company, donated $1,000 to an Italian NGO called "One
Roof for My Country" to help rebuild homes for Haitian families.

COMMENT

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7. (SBU) Despite President Daniel Ortega's appalling comments
criticizing U.S. relief efforts in Haiti (Ref A), Nicaraguans in
general have stepped up to then plate to support the relief effort
there. Several Nicaraguans have stated that it is important to
support Haiti not only for humanitarian reasons, but also because
they have firsthand experience dealing with hardships after natural
disasters, such as the earthquake in 1972, Hurricane Mitch in 1998,
and Hurricane Felix in 2007.
CALLAHAN

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