Nicaragua expels three US government officials 

Source:  Niocnet
June 21 2016

nicanet logo.jpgNicaragua expelled two US government officials on June 15 for not obtaining the proper documentation to carry out functions which were described by Nicaragua as “tasks of security and certification for Customs and transfer of merchandise” to the United States as part of the fight against terrorism.

A note from the Nicaraguan Embassy in Washington to the US State Department said, “This activity was carried out without the knowledge and/or the required coordination with Nicaraguan authorities which, as is easily understood, is very delicate.”

The note reiterated the “disposition of the Nicaraguan government to maintain and increase diplomatic, political and trade relations always respecting our national legislation and, in the case of trade, corresponding to the norms for facilitating that trade that have been established between our two countries.”

Security and terrorism

The note emphasized that “The subjects of security, the fight against terrorism, and against organized crime for which our institutions have gained so much effectiveness and prestige, must be dealt with in Nicaragua in coordination with our authorities.”

US Ambassador to Nicaragua Laura Dogu said that the officials were working directly with private businesses carrying out inspections of products so that their export to the United States could be expedited. “Apparently the rules here have changed but no one shared this information with the companies or with the embassy or with the government in Washington. If there are new rules we should understand what they are so that we can work in the framework of those rules because we don’t want to have problems and we want to support the prosperity of Nicaragua.”

Jose Adan Aguerri, president of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP), said that the expulsion of the two officials caused the suspension of the certification process that facilitates the unimpeded export of coffee and Free Trade Zone goods to the US. He said that, with an eye to preventing future problems, COSEP is working in coordination with the governments of Nicaragua and the US to find solutions to the problem. He added that the US is Nicaragua’s most important trading partner and “we cannot put that at risk.”

The Nicaraguan government also expelled Evan Ellis, a professor at the United States Army War College, as he began a research project on the proposed shipping canal across Nicaragua. Ellis said that three Nicaraguan Migration officials told him that he had not been authorized to enter Nicaragua to obtain information about the canal and would have to leave the country by 5pm on June 14. US Embassy officials did not comment on the expulsion. Ellis is an expert on the relations between Latin American countries and China, Russia and Iran. (El Nuevo Diario, June 17, 18; La Prensa, June 15)

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