Buyer of SAM-7 Claims He Was Paid by CIA
Topic 1: Buyer of SAM-7 Claims He Was Paid by CIA
One of the men convicted of selling a SAM-7 surface-to-air missile in Nicaragua, Jorge Ivan Pineda, said he was paid $1,000 by the CIA to buy the weapon and that the whole thing was planned at a meeting in the US embassy in the presence of the US ambassador Barbara Moore on Dec. 23 2004. The head of the Nicaragua Army, Gen. Javier Carrion, said he believes there could be an international campaign to discredit his institution. \
According to Pineda, two former contras were also present at the meeting at the US embassy. These two men went by the names of "Cascabel" and "Arandu" and were the ones who obtained the weapon, which had never been in possession of the Nicaragua Army but was one of 100 SAM-7 missiles that the US government had given to the contras to fight against the Sandinista government in the 1980s. These weapons have never been recovered and apparently are still in the possession of ex-contra fighters in the northern mountains of Nicaragua.
Pineda went on to claim that Silva Clarence, the head of the anti- drug directorate in the National Police force, is really an undercover CIA agent. Those who orchestrated the whole thing, says Pineda, "even asked "Cascabel" and "Arandu" to take a photo of the weapon as proof. This photo would be shown to Bolaños and Moore.
All this comes in the same week that George Bush named John Negroponte as head of the US intelligence services. Negroponte, in his acceptance speech, said that his most important work in this post would be to reform the intelligence services so as to be able to fight with more efficiency in the war against terrorism.
The news was met with horror in Nicaraguan press. The headline in El Nuevo Diario's Feb. 18 edition read "State Terrorist as Supreme Chief Against Terrorism." The article went on to remind readers of the horrors that were carried out against Nicaraguan citizens by the contra forces, funded and trained by the US army in Honduras, and against El Salvador citizens by death squads also funded and trained in Honduras during Negroponte's time as US ambassador to Honduras during the 1980s.
Meanwhile, El Nuevo Diario reported unofficial information suggesting that Washington is planning to replace the current US ambassador to Nicaragua, Barbara Moore, with Paul Travelly who worked in the US embassy in Nicaragua during the government of Violeta Chamorro in the early 1990s.
It is assumed that Washington is discontented with Moore for failing to unite the anti-Sandinista forces in Nicaragua and is concerned that she would be unable to avoid a Sandinista victory in the 2006 general elections. Meanwhile on Feb. 17, President Enrique Bolaños made a speech outside the site where a new $59.2 million mega US embassy is under construction.