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Rep. Jose Serrano Blasts US Interference in Nicaragua

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  • Walter Lippmann
    Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn t Fit Nicaragua Network http://www.nicanet@org Rep. Serrano: U.S. is Completely Neutral in
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2006
      Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit

      Nicaragua Network

      Rep. Serrano: "U.S. is Completely Neutral in Nicaraguan Elections"

      [The Nicaragua Network urges you to ask your U.S. representative to join
      Rep. Serrano in demanding that the U.S. remain neutral in Sunday's elections
      in Nicaragua.]

      Congressman Jose E. Serrano
      Representing the Sixteenth District of New York

      PRESS RELEASE - Nov 1, 2006

      CONTACT: Philip Schmidt
      TELEPHONE: (202) 225-4361
      EMAIL: philip.schmidt@...

      Serrano: "U.S. is Completely Neutral in Nicaraguan Elections"


      Washington, DC - November 1st , 2006 - Congressman Jose E. Serrano urged all
      U.S. officials to maintain a completely neutral stance regarding the outcome
      of upcoming Nicaraguan elections. Recent commentary by executive branch and
      State Department officials has given a skewed view of the official U.S.
      position of impartiality.

      "It is simply unacceptable for American officials to pretend our government
      will take punitive measures if Daniel Ortega is elected president in
      Nicaragua," Serrano said. "Our position should be clear: we support free
      fair elections and will work with the winner as we would any other elected
      head of state in the world. Perhaps some in the executive branch and
      elsewhere have forgotten that the U.S. does not have the right to intervene
      in other nations' affairs. They would better serve our nation's interests
      in democracy and rule of law by avoiding partisan commentary about other
      nation's elections and candidates. To do otherwise is unseemly and

      "The history of the United States' role in Nicaragua - particularly with
      regard to Daniel Ortega - is such that any statements made by public
      officials must be weighed very carefully," Serrano added. "It seems that
      some U.S. officials have forgotten that history and forgotten the proper
      role of our government. I urge them to withdraw their statements, and cease
      support for any particular outcome in this contest. The free exercise of
      democracy should be their only goal in the Nicaraguan elections.

      "I am particularly troubled by the statements of Embassy spokesperson
      Kristin Stewart. She publicly linked Ortega with terrorist groups and said
      that the U.S. would revise its policy toward the Nicaraguan government
      should he win. I believe her words were unfortunate and wrong, and merit a
      withdrawal. Electioneering is not the proper role of an Embassy or its

      Stewart told the Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa that "If a foreign
      government has a relationship with terrorist organizations, like the
      Sandinistas did in the past; U.S. law permits us to apply sanctions. [...]
      Again, it will be necessary to revise our policies if Ortega wins."

      "I also view as inappropriate the thinly-veiled economic threats that
      Secretary Gutierrez made in recent days," Serrano added. "Our trade with
      Nicaragua will be unharmed by the election of either candidate, contrary to
      what he asserted. The Secretary should not try to influence foreign
      elections with his statements."

      Gutierrez said: "It is not a secret that when [Ortega's] party was in power
      many years ago, the relationship with the United States suffered a great
      deal, and trade between both countries dropped significantly. [...] These
      elections are very important and we want the Nicaraguan people remember the
      important economic relationship between both countries and that this is not
      a moment to put this at risk."

      "I pledge that I will do everything in my power to make sure that the
      government of the United States will respect the wishes of the Nicaraguan
      people regardless of who wins their presidential election," Serrano
      concluded. "Our nation desires nothing more than a flourishing democracy in

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