Central America The Wright Stuff

A self-made diplomat brokers a cease-fire offer with Ortega

One by one, they trooped to the Capitol Building for closed-door sessions with House Speaker Jim Wright. First came Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Saavedra, toting a proposal for cease-fire talks between his Sandinista government and the U.S.-backed contras. After Ortega left, Secretary of State George Shultz arrived, followed by the contra leaders. Finally, Miguel Cardinal Obando y Bravo, Nicaragua's ranking churchman, disappeared into Wright's office. An exasperated Reagan Administration, its policymaking efforts sidelined by the frenzy of congressional diplomacy, was forced like the rest of Washington to wait and see what might come of Wright's highly unusual mediation efforts. Complained Presidential...

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