January 15, 2007

Daniel Ortega


From Reuters: Iran, Nicaragua leaders tour slums, share goals.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a U.S. foe, toured shantytowns with Nicaragua's leftist President Daniel Ortega on Sunday and said the two countries share common interests and enemies.

On his second trip to Latin America in four months, Ahmadinejad called Ortega, a former Cold War opponent of Washington and part of a growing wave of leftist presidents in the region, a symbol of justice in Nicaragua.

"We have to give each other a hand," Ahmadinejad told reporters. "We have common interests, common enemies and common goals."

While distrusted by Washington, oil-exporting Iran's Ahmadinejad is welcomed in many Latin American countries where leftist leaders are trying to reduce U.S. influence.

Ahmadinejad, an ex-soldier, and Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla, both came to power on populist platforms.

Ortega drove Ahmadinejad on a tour of Managua's poorest slums, past houses made of plastic sheets and Sandinista supporters waving banners and holding up photographs of the Iranian leader.

Ortega, a close ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, began his term last week after winning November's election on promises to fight hunger and corruption.

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at January 15, 2007 07:26 PM