Sandinistas accused of links to terrorists

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration warned Saturday that the leftist Sandinista party in Nicaragua, which hopes to return to power in elections next month, has maintained ties over the years with Iraq and Libya.

It was the second time in three days that the administration sought to link the Sandinistas to international terrorism.

In addition to Iraq and Libya, both listed by the administration as terrorist countries, the Sandinistas also have maintained contact with the leftist FARC rebels in Colombia and the ETA separatist movement in Spain, State Department spokeswoman Eliza Koch said.

Both groups are on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The Sandinistas, who ruled Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990, are seeking a comeback in elections on Nov. 4. Sandinista presidential candidate Daniel Ortega is running neck-and-neck with conservative candidate Enrique Bolanos, according to polls.

The U.S. statements suggest the Sandinistas cannot be counted on to support the international anti-terrorism coalition the administration has been attempting to forge since the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

"As we stated previously, there is no middle ground between those who oppose terrorism and those who support it," Koch said.

Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed the Nicaraguan elections with Foreign Minister Francisco Aguirre on Thursday.

Afterward, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States has "serious concerns about the Sandinistas’ history … of confiscating properties without compensation, destroying the economy and maintaining links with those who support terrorism."

The Sandinistas insist the party has abandoned the socialist policies and anti-American rhetoric of the past.

Koch’s statement Saturday indicated the administration has doubts about the claims of moderation.

Still, Koch said, the United States will respect the outcome of a free and fair election in Nicaragua.

She added: "Nicaragua deserves the best possible stewardship of their country at a time when it faces difficult economic challenges and when the world is confronting an unprecedented threat to freedom and security."

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers speaks to the crowd during an opening ceremony at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County executive pitches $1.66B budget

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced his proposed budget Tuesday afternoon. Public comment is slated to begin Oct. 10.

Lars Kundu wipes away tears during his sentencing Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
5 years after fatal hit and run, Lake Stevens man sentenced to prison

Lars Kundu, 28, pleaded guilty in May for the 2018 death of Chad Keeler. He was handed more than 6 years in prison Thursday.

Jamel Alexander, center, listens as a Snohomish County jury records their verdict of guilty, in the murder of Shawna Brune, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  Alexander was convicted in the first degree murder of Brune. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Appeals court orders new trial in Everett woman’s stomping death

Appellate judges ruled that additional evidence should have been admitted in Jamel Alexander’s trial for the murder of Shawna Brune.

Most Read