December 02, 2008
MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- President Daniel Ortega says Venezuela has offered Nicaragua $100 million in aid if Washington and the European Union cut off funding over disputed elections.
Ortega says his leftist ally Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez made the offer last week ``without blackmail, without conditions of any sort.''
The U.S. government said last week it would freeze $64 million in anti-poverty aid to Nicaragua amid accusations that local elections were fraudulent. The EU has withheld $54 million in budget support.
Ortega spoke Monday in a televised address.
Ortega's leftist Sandinistas won most of the country's mayorships in the Nov. 9 elections. The opposition proposed legislation to cancel the results, but Ortega issued a decree declaring that effort unconstitutional.