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Central American University - UCA  
  Number 190 | Mayo 1997
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Nicaragua

NICARAGUA BRIEFS

Envío team

ALEMÁN AT THE IDB

The most numerous Latin American delegation at the annual Assembly of the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), held in Barcelona, Spain, in mid-March, was, believe it or not, Nicaragua's. President Alemán brought 21 people with him. He requested $130 million from the IDB's "special funds," which are provided to the most impoverished countries. The IDB will respond to Nicaragua's request in June. It is also considering including Nicaragua, together with Bolivia, in a program headed by the World Bank to palpably reduce the foreign debt of extremely impoverished and severely indebted countries.

TENSION WITH CUBA

The Alemán government's decision to include Cuban- American Luis Zúñiga in the official Nicaraguan delegation at the 53rd period of sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva in March to speak about alleged human rights violations in Cuba caused unnecessary tensions with the government of that country.

Zúñiga was captured in Cuba in 1974, when he entered the island from exile in Florida, introducing weapons to develop terrorist activities in connection with Rolando Masferrer, one of the best-known assassins of the Batista regime. Zúñiga was sentenced to 25 years in prison, of which he only served 14 before being freed by international efforts. He is currently an active agent of the ultra-rightwing National Cuban-American Foundation, controlled by businessman Jorge Mas Canosa, political and economic ally of Nicaragua's President.

A tense altercation occurred in Geneva between the delegations of Cuba and Nicaragua. "To use a personality as sinister as Zúñiga to express the sense of Nicaragua's policy toward Cuba is a provocation," the head of the Cuban delegation said during his presentation. "There was a period," he reminded the commission members, "in which the Cuban and Nicaraguan people were brothers and many Cuban advisers and doctors helped the people of Nicaragua overcome the Somocista tragedy. Cuban blood has been spilled on Nicaraguan soil. For this reason we consider this a betrayal. We will never forget it." The Cuban delegation gave its sympathies to the people of Nicaragua "for the return to power of those nostalgic for Somocismo."

NICAS IN THE US

Some seventy thousand undocumented Nicaraguans (out of a total of about three hundred thousand) are in danger of being deported from the United States as a result of that country's new immigration laws, which went into effect at the beginning of April. They have been made more flexible for Central Americans until September thanks to efforts by the foreign ministers of the isthmus.

The US ambassador in Managua noted that, since the issue does not involve criminals, only some 300 Nicaraguans per year would be deported. In the first three months of 1997, the United States expelled 144 Nicaraguans for being undocumented and Costa Rica expelled another 7,000.

SANDINISTA MAYORS ORGANIZE

The 52 mayors from the FSLN created the Association of Democratic Mayors on March 15 with the goal of dealing in an organized way with the Liberal government's authoritarian tendencies, the budget cuts to the municipalities and efforts to quash the incipient municipal autonomy.

NICARAGUA IN THE UNITED NATIONS

Because it owes the United Nations two years of contribution ($200,000), Nicaragua lost its right to vote in the UN forum. A dozen African countries, several Asian ones and two European ones (Yugoslavia and Bosnia- Herzegovina) are also in arrears. In Latin America, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Dominica and Grenada also lost their right to the vote due to outstanding debts.

ARCHEOLOGICAL TREASURE

In February and March the ruins of an indigenous construction between 500 and 1,000 years old was discovered, covered by volcanic lava in Apante, near the city of León. It was some 250 square meters, made of clay and stones. The find, in which Spanish archeologists collaborated, is transcendental since it is the first pre-Colombian construction discovered in Nicaraguan territory.

GULF OF FONSECA

The government announced that it would deal with all of Nicaragua's pending problems of territorial limits: with Colombia, Honduras and Costa Rica. At the end of January, it made an agreement with Honduras to delimit the Nicaraguan- Honduran waters in the Gulf of Fonseca with buoys. The project costs $250,000 and help was requested from international cooperation.

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