U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement today on Daniel Ortega's opposition to U.S. funding of Nicaraguan non-governmental organizations. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Daniel Ortega's statement opposing United States funding for Nicaraguan non-governmental organizations is retaliation for last week's decision by the State Department to deny the regime the fiscal transparency waiver. Nicaragua and other ALBA regimes openly target U.S. programs supporting civil society as these regimes seek to further cement their hold over their citizens.
"Ortega continues to demonize and undercut the ability of civil society and the media to speak out freely without fear of intimidation or retribution. American taxpayer dollars must not directly fund the corrupt Nicaraguan regime, as Ortega continues to take every step possible to deepen his control of every faction of the government.
"I urge the Obama Administration to examine Ortega's most recent comments when reviewing Nicaragua's eligibility for the confiscated property waiver in July. We must protect the interests of U.S. citizens who have been denied due process of law and restitution under this regime and prevent the Nicaraguan dictator from furthering his control."
NOTE: Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega recently said that "...there won't be any money for the agents of the empire either," in reference to U.S. monies used to finance NGO groups working in Nicaragua. "We will close all the programs here." "El Imperio" (the empire) is the phrase commonly used by Hugo Chavez and his cohorts to refer to the U.S.