SP development specialist in talks with Nicaraguan foreign office minister

6 August 2009

SP development specialist in talks with Nicaraguan foreign office minister

SP Member of Parliament Ewout Irrgang, the party’s development spokesman, today held talks in the Dutch national parliament with Valdracq Jaentschke, junior minister for foreign affairs in the Nicaraguan government. The minister is on an official visit to the Netherlands and the two discussed Dutch development cooperation in Nicaragua as well as the situation in neighbouring Honduras.

In 2006, for the first time since the end of the civil war in 1990, Nicaragua elected a left Sandinista government. After Haiti, Nicaragua is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. What little wealth there is, moreover, is distributed extremely unevenly.
Almost half of the population must get by on an income below the official poverty line. Eighty percent live on less than $2 a day. Discussions between Irrgang and Jaentschke focused in part on combating poverty in Nicaragua and the role of the Netherlands in that struggle.

The SP Member of Parliament also spoke at some length about the situation in neighbouring Honduras, where a recent military coup has forced the democratically elected President Zelaya to leave the country. Nicaragua is deeply concerned about this coup and supports the international campaign for Zelaya’s return. The President and his supporters have gone so far as to establish a camp on the Nicaraguan side of the border between the two countries.

"The SP supports the efforts by Nicaragua to bring about the return of democracy in Honduras,” Irrgang said. “Restoration of democracy is of major importance, not only for Honduras but for the whole region, because it will make it clear that military coups will in the end not prevail.”

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