The American State Department has denied accusations by Nicaragua that three US diplomats had plotted to destablise the left-wing Sandinist government.
NBC (C): MCU State Department spokesman, Alan Romberg addresses newsmen. (SOT) (4 SHOTS)
SV U.S. diplomats board plane.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: ROMBERG: "(Indistinct .. that we have received a note from the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry announcing tat the TRN's intention to expel three US diplomats. We reject the Nicaraguan allegations that our personnel were engaged in non-diplomatic activities and we are protesting this action to the Government of Nicaragua."
REPORTER: "Are you going to retaliate?"
ROMBERG:"We have under consideration what steps might be appropriate in light of this particular action and other things they suggested that these people were engaged in planning for assassination activities. We have rather consistently denied any such activities."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The American State Department has denied accusations by Nicaragua that three US diplomats had plotted to destablise the left-wing Sandinist government. Nicaragua announced on June 6 that it was expelling the three embassy employees and alleged that one of them was involved in a plot to kill Foreign Minister Miguel d'Escoto with a poisoned bottle of wine. In Washington, State Department spokesman, Alan Romberg, rejected the claims that embassy personnel were engaged in non-diplomatic activities. Asked whether the US planned to retaliate, Mr. Romberg said the Department was "considering what steps might be appropriate". The expulsion orders have heightened tension in the already strained relations between the two countries. In past months Nicaragua has consistently accused Washington of training and arming guerrillas in Honduras to cross the border and topple the revolutionary regime. The three diplomats flew out of Managua on June 6. They are Political Counsellor, Linda Pfeifel, First Secretary, David Nobel Grieg, and Second Secretary, Ermila Loreta Rodriguez. They are accused of various "criminal" actions including organising assassination attempts against the life of Sandinist leaders and top government officials. They are also said to have distributed propaganda among Nicaraguan citizens with the aim of training and supplying them for criminal activities. Ermila Rodriguez allegedly took part in a conspiracy to poison a bottle of Miguel d'Escoto's favourite wine.