Created: 3/3/1988

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in and LJitln


Thla weekly Situation Raport la praparad by tha

Office of Africa'!

American Analyais. Thla paper waa coordinated with the Directorate of Operations. Ceauienta and querlea are welcome, and may be directed to the Chief.f



Perspective: Obando Turning Up the Heat on Managua

Nicaraguan cease-fire mediator Cardinsl Obando, eager to press the Sandinistas to discuss political issues with the rebels, abruptly cut short the second round of direct negotiations last month--probably in order to put Managua on the defensive. Obando suspended the talks when Niceragua did not quickly endorse his proposal for andayeneral amneety, full freedom of the press,evision of forced military conscription.

The Ssndinlstas initially agreed to discuss Obando's proposal, but have since hardened their negotiating position. Managua said it would resume negotiationsarch and hasrominent military official to head the government's negotiating team. Ortega also sharply criticized Obando for cutting off the talkB and said the Sandinistas will only address an earlier proposal by the Cardinal which focuses solely on technical arrangementsease-fire. Onebruary, Ortega announced that Nicaragua had no obligation under the Central American peace plan to discuss political issues with the insurgents.

Obando publicly said that Ortega's refusal toissues waaackwardut he hasMarch as the date for new talks. The Cardinalto convene the Bishop's Conference to reassessas mediator, perhaps hoping that by openly hie continued mediation he would pressureto addresB political issues In order to keepalive.

is unlikely to step down aoorV. ecent decisionthe National Reconciliation Commission mayto provide him with an alternative platformthe regime directly.



nlcaracruan security officials threatened to jail

leaders of the opposition democratic coordinator in masaya if theyemonstration planned for 6


incident, sandlniata police questioned three news reporters for la prensa and radio corporaclon and warned them they were being watched.

nicaraguan security personnel assaulted and harassed two us embassy officialsro-government rally in managua onebruary. the nicaraguan ambassador to the us said the attack was not officially sanctioned and promised to investigate the incident.

ive nicaraguan opposition members acquittedof bombings in jinotega were heldhe verdict. the five were releaaed withof the international red

nicaragua abolished the mlniatry of justice onand transferred prosecutorial functions tocreated office of general prosecutor. reorganization gives the"

ministry of interior greater authorityole in prosecuting crimesorder.


nicaraguan president ortega agreed to cardinal obando's invitation to resume ceaae-fire negotiations with the rebels onarch in guatsmala, but ortega said the sandinieta delegation would only discuss technicsl issues involving relocation zones, resupply arrangements, and

ebruary guatemalan rebels accepted an offer made by the catholic church in january to broker talks with the government. the guerrilla communique probably waa timed to embarrass the preaident cerezo before the central american-ec meeting thie week. cerezo agreed last october that talks could take place under the auspices of the national reconciliation commission but moat likely wi1 to hie position that the rebels disarm and amnestyrerequisite. | |

National Re<

Nothing to report.

Intfrnatlonal Verification

othing to report.

Aid to Insurgents

Guatemalan President Cerezo told aaeociates that he and Coet^a. Rlcan President Arias agreed[ *

that the ant1-Sandinlsta

insurgents should continue to receive humanitarian

Other Dovelopmontb

Coata Rican Presldsnt Arias

1 believed the peace

Ariaa waa disappointed with the results of

the recent Central American foreignandlimate more conduciveand dialogue in the region couldby giving Wast European countriesrole.

Foreign Ministers of the Contadora mediatorsgroup, meeting in Certegena onas the Croup of Eight,Panama's membership in view ofsituation. The communiqueon the US not to renew aid to thelnsurgsnts and reaffirmed thethe Contadora countries to participatein talka on eecurlty issues. countries emphasized the needverification procedures, that they continue to offer assistancearea.

The meeting of Central American, EC, and Contadora foreign ministers this week appeared to give more importance to political than economic topics. The

political declaration reaffirmed the results ofAmerican summit in January and recordedoffers to assist with verificationup the Central American Parliament. economic communique did notnew resources to the regionthat the West Europeans would takeCentral American Interests on trade,energy cooperation.

Onebruary, Honduras privately rejectedrequest toilateral commissionthe cross-border movement of | Foreign Minister dismissed the offerbut heultilateral commission and plannedthe issue with Nicaraguan officials atAmerican meeting this week.

Onebruary, Nlcaracruan Foreign Ministerwith Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadzeto discuss the Central American peaceto press reports. D'Escoto stoppedbefore proceeding to the EC-Centralin West Germany.

0 Nicaraguan auto mechanics went on strike in Managua last week to protest their new fixed salaries under the government wage scalei

I Mechanics were previOTrexyTSaTc, on commission. The Socialist constructionnion has closed several building sites in Managua to protest the government decision to reduce the pay of construction workers, i I

0 striking restaurant workers in Managua went back to work onebruary after four union leaders were detained, pro-Sandinista mobs threatened tho strikers, and the government agreed to consider reinstating the mandatoryercent tip on customer checks.

Original document.

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