US Government Working to Prevent Ortega Victory in Nicaraguan Election

On Monday, April 17 the US Ambassador in Nicaragua met with right wing parties in the country to discuss their opposition strategy against Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega in the November 5 presidential elections. Support for Ortega is growing, and many expect him to win the race. The US has called on Nicaraguans to not vote for Ortega.

Reuters reported that U.S. envoy Paul Trivelli is lobbying right-wing parties to join forces and pick a single candidate to represent them in the election, to reduce the chances of a Sandinista victory. He said his intention was "to see if we can push the democratic unification of this country a little more." reports that

Eduardo Montealegre of the right-wing Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance represents Nicaragua’s future, U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Paul Trivelli said April 19. Trivelli met with representatives from the country’s right-wing parties, including the prominent Liberal Constitutionalist Party, on April 17-18 to discuss potential candidates to oppose former Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega of the left-wing Sandinista National Liberation Front in Nicaragua’s Nov. 5 election.

In another Reuters article, 60-year-old war Sandinista war veteran Daniel Sauro, referred to 16 years of pro-Washington governments that took power after Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega’s electoral defeat in 1990: "We need a change. It’s been bad, bad, bad."

"We need to give Ortega another chance to show he can govern in times of peace," Sauro said. Like many Nicaraguans, he complains about crime, corruption and low wages and looks back with nostalgia to the heady revolutionary days of 1979.

Ortega and others came to power in 1979 in a socialist revolution in Nicaragua which was met with violence from the US-funded Contras throughout the 1980s.

The Nicaragua Network says

[A] concrete way that the US government hopes to influence the Nicaraguan election is through funding a variety of Nicaraguan organizations for election-related projects. In the light of Ambassador Trivelli’s comments, this funding will unfairly influence Nicaragua’s choice of candidates.

A letter-writing campaign against US intervention in the elections has been started by The Nicaragua Network.