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U.S. Denies Conspiracy

The U.S. Embassy has denied allegations that it is involved in a conspiracy to undermine or overthrow the Sandinista government, or to kill President Daniel Ortega, as top Nicaraguan government officials have stated in past days.

Ortega complained of the alleged U.S. conspiracy during his two-hour televised speech in Cuba April 22.

“They are conspiring! We have all the information, but we haven’t expelled the U.S. (embassy) officials because we wanted to keep gathering more information,” Ortega said in Cuba. “At the right moment, we will make the information known.”

Ortega made very similar comments several years ago, but never backed it with any proof.

His comments this week prompted expressions of doubt, even from within his inner circle. Comandante Bayardo Arce, one of Ortega’s closest advisors, said he didn’t know of any proof of conspiracy.

Arce’s apparent dissention prompted a wave of other Orteguista loyalists to come to their leader’s defense.

Human Rights Ombudsman Omar Cabezas said that “you can’t rule out” that the U.S. embassy is conspiring to kill Ortega. Cabezas eluded that if he were president he would have thrown U.S. Ambassador Robert Callahan out of the country “a while ago.”

Sandinista lawmaker and union leader Gustavo Porras, meanwhile, reportedly accused Callahan of being behind the separatist movement of the Caribbean coast (see separate story).

Sandinista legislator Alba Palacios added that the U.S. conspiracy against the Sandinistas has been permanent.

The Sandinistas are also trying to link the suspension of U.S. Millennium Challenge development aid to the alleged conspiracy against the Ortega government, though the U.S. has said it is a direct result of last November’s widely denounced electoral fraud.

Opposition leader Eduardo Montealegre said the only conspiracy that he is aware of was the one to “rob the votes of the Nicaraguan people” in last year’s municipal elections.



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