Granada Investors Not Impressed with Sandinistas

October 12, 2007

A group of foreign investors are calling a meeting held in Granada last week with local Sandinista officials a waste of time.

For the most part, the dozen or so business owners and retirees sought reassurance from the governing party that their business  ventures aren’t at risk here under the new Sandinista government. They expressed concerns about corrupt police, seemingly arbitrary building code enforcement, tax increases and energy and water crises.

Mayor Rosalía Castro and Granada’s Sandinista representative Francisco Rodríguez, as well as other local officials took notes and blamed the problems on former administrations, prompting the investor group to question the point of the meeting.

“What did that accomplish?” asked one local businessman, who asked not to be named in print for fear of government reprisal against his business. He said he wanted to stand up at the meeting and demand explanations, but he kept his mouth shut because he didn’t want to risk his business.

Another business owner left halfway through the meeting, saying afterwards that he was too frustrated to sit and listen to excuses and promises.

Rodríguez, who arrived 45 minutes late to the meeting, said President Daniel Ortega’s anti-imperialism speech at the United Nations General Assembly last month might cause some foreign investors to worry about their business interests.

“We’re not against North Americans,” Rodríguez said, before launching into an historic account of U.S. interference in Nicaragua, including support of the Somoza family dictatorship and later the Contras.

 

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