Nicaragua announced yesterday that it would [WORD ILLEGIBLE] "friendly cooperation" of the United States in finding a peaceful solution to the internal strife that has caused hundred of deaths in the past three weeks.
The announcement followed a visit over the weekend by William J. Jordens, former U.S. ambassador to Panama, who has traveled to several Latin American countries to seek a way to end the fighting here.
The Nicaraguan communique, which also said opposition groups could participate in the effort to resolve the crisis, did not spell out what method of mediation would be used. It did say that Nicaragua was waiting to hear from other Latin American governments that might assist in the effort to make peace.
Jorden, who met at least once with Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza, also has visited Venezeuela, Panama, Guatemala and Costa Rica.
The Nicaraguan government yesterday denied initial speculation that Jorden had been sent to urge Somoza to resign, but a spokesman declined to provide details on the substance of the Saturday meeting.
Meanwhile, Somoza yesterday publicly refused a request made by local private business and Church leaders last week that he allow either Colombia, the Dominican Republic or Mexico to mediate the current crisis.
Somoza, said a response to the request published in a pro-government newspaper, "considers that Nicaraguans have sufficient moral and civic values to find solutions by themselves."
Somoza offered, as he did consistently throughout the genesis of the crisis over the past year and during three weeks of violence that began Sept. 9, to talk personally with the opposition. The opposition however, once again refused on grounds that Somoza cannot be trusted to honor an agreement made without foreign guarantees, and that any acceptable solution must include his resignation.
Somoza's reply to the outside mediation request would appear to preclude any acceptance of a U.S. mediation proposal.