March 29, 2010
The Nicaraguan town of León has declared the U.S. Ambassador Robert Callahan persona non-grata, The Nica Times has reported.
The snub comes amid a tit-for-tat dispute between the U.S. Embassy and León, a colonial city in the northwestern part of the country. Nica Times editor Tim Rogers writes that earlier this week, the embassy failed to invite León Mayor Manuel Calderón to the unveiling of the newly constructed León-Ponoloya Highway, an important project that was funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
That's the same MCC that had cut aid projects in Nicaragua over suspected irregularities in the Central American country's November 2008 municipal elections. Questions about rigging the vote in favor of the Sandinistas, which sparked months of street violence and intimidation, have been at the heart of a nationwide scandal that prompted international aid donors to freeze much needed assistance to the country.