Cablegate: Codel Shelby Visit to Nicaragua, July 1-3

Published: Fri 18 Jun 2004 12:47 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
REF: A) STATE 129789; B) Schorch-Luftman e-mail, 6/15/04
1. Embassy Managua warmly welcomes the visit of Senator
Richard Shelby, Dr. Annette Shelby, and accompanying
congressional delegation members to travel to Nicaragua July
1 - 3, 2004.
2. CODEL Control Officer will be acting Economic Counselor
Eric Luftman (office phone 011-505-266-6010 x 4549; home
phone 011-505-265-8471; fax 011-505-266-9056; cell 011-505-
886-5057; E-mail Administrative POC
will be Management Counselor Trevor Snellgrove (office phone
011-505-266-6010 x 4757; home phone 011-505-265-8855; fax
011-505-266-3865; cell 011-505-885-8044;
E-mail The Embassy's after-hours
number is (505) 266-6038.
3. Reservations have been made for July 1-3 at the
Intercontinental Metrocentro Hotel, located at Metrocentro,
Managua (tel. 011-505-278-4545; fax 011-505-278-6300). Per
ref B information on delegation members, we have reserved
three double rooms in the names of Shelby, Cornyn, and
Hollings; and four single rooms for staff members and
military escort. In addition to these rooms, we have
reserved two connected rooms to serve as the control room
and the hospitality room, making a total of nine rooms
reserved. Room numbers are not currently available, but we
have requested rooms on the fifth floor. The USG daily rate
is $115, including breakfast, for all rooms. Post will
arrange tax exemption for all CODEL members. Latest date
for cancellation without penalty is 6:00 p.m. prior to the
date of arrival.
4. Embassy will provide transportation to and from the
airport, and for all official events. The proposed schedule
is as follows:
9:00 am Depart from San Salvador via milair
9:45 am Arrive Managua
10:30 - 11:30 am Country Team Briefing
12:00 - 1:30 pm Lunch with President Bolanos and economic
- cabinet members
2:00 - 3:00 pm Meeting with Minister of Finance Eduardo -
3:30 - 4:30 pm Meeting with Central Bank President Mario
- Alonso
4:45 - 7:00 pm Rest at hotel
7:00 - 9:30 pm Dinner hosted by Eduardo Montealegre,
- Secretary of the Presidency, with GON
- Cabinet Members related to Millennium
- Challenge Account
7:30 - 9:00 am Breakfast with private sector leaders
- hosted by AmCham
9:30 - 10:30 am Meeting with Superintendent of Banks
- Alfonso Llanes
11:00 - 12:00 pm Meeting with Director of Taxes Roger
- Arteaga
12:30 - 2:00 pm Restaurant lunch with National Assembly
- economic committee members
2:30 - 3:30 pm Meeting with Bankers Association members
3:45 - 5:45 pm Rest at hotel.
6:00 - 8:00 pm Fourth of July reception at Ambassador's
- residence.
7:00 am Breakfast in hospitality suite.
c. 9:00 am Depart via milair to San Jose.
5. U.S. citizens are not required to have a Nicaraguan visa
to enter the country, however upon arrival holders of
passports other than diplomatic are required to purchase a
tourist card for $5. Non-diplomatic passport holders are
also charged a departure tax of $32.
6. Security assessment: While the Embassy has no
information to indicate that official or private U.S.
travelers to Nicaragua are specifically targeted for
terrorist or criminal activity, there is a continuing risk.
Violent crime in the capital is increasing and street
crimes, including robbery and pickpocketing, are common.
7. Based on safety recommendations made by the police
and published in various newspapers, the RSO recommends
the following when considering utilizing taxi service:
(1) Avoid taking taxis if possible, especially after
7:00 p.m. The majority of crimes have been reported at
night. After 10:00 p.m., both taxi drivers and
passengers automatically become potential victims of an
assault, sexual assault, or even murder. (2) Before
taking a taxicab, make sure that it has a red plate and
that the number is legible. Also, check that the taxi
is properly labeled with the Cooperativa name and logo.
Theses are the names of the most reliable taxi
cooperatives: Cooperativa de Radio Taxis 25 de Febrero -
Ph: 222-5218; Cooperativa de Radio Taxis El Gueguense -
Ph: 249-7036 or call at Hotel Intercontinental
Metrocentro at 278-4545 (Supervisor's name is Nelly
Morales); Cooperativa de Radio Taxis 23 de Agosto at
Hotel Princess - Ph: 270-5045; Cooperativa de Taxis
Ruleteros Guardabarranco - Ph: 248-2026; Cooperativa de
Taxi Urbano de Managua La Union - Ph: 249-8536.
8. Medical assessment: Malaria in Nicaragua is endemic -
particularly in low-lying areas - especially Managua and the
beaches. As in most of Central America, dengue is also a
problem. Personnel are urged to drink bottled water
particularly in the chancery. Visitors can check in with
the medical unit for further information.
9. Access to certain sections of the chancery requires a
security clearance. Please advise Embassy of the travelers'
level of clearance prior to their arrival.
10. This is the rainy season in Managua with daytime highs
in the 90's and evening temperatures falling to 80's. Coat
and tie business attire are required for calls on GON
officials, but informal dress (open-collar shirts and slacks
for men and summer dresses and skirts and blouses for women)
is appropriate for other calls.
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