Business, Opposition Leaders Denounce Ortega Speech

November 16, 2007

Leaders of the private sector and opposition politicians this week issued strong reprimands to President Daniel Ortega for his behavior at the XVII Latin America and Iberia Summit last week in Chile, and expressed support for Spain, which they feel was “unjustly attacked” by Ortega and Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chávez.

Spanish King Juan Carlos walked out of the last session of the summit Nov. 10 during Ortega’s address, in which he used his allotted time to rail Spanish power-distribution company Unión Fenosa and the Spanish diplomatic mission in Managua for allegedly interfering in last year’s elections.

The U.S.-Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) responded to the incident by issuing a release Monday saying that it “profoundly laments the unnecessary search for confrontation and evidence that the President is allying with so-called 21st century socialism.”

AMCHAM called on Ortega, in the name of reconciliation and national unity – the Sandinista government’s slogans – to forget about the past and look toward the future to create jobs and a climate for investment.

Opposition leader Eduardo Montealegre, of the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN), said he is going to ask for a resolution in the National Assembly to reject Ortega’s speech and insist that the President retract his words and ask forgiveness of the Spanish government.

 

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