(Posted July 5, 11:20 a.m.)- The U.S. Embassy has canceled today’s Independence Day town hall meeting with Ambassador Phyllis Powers due to the Sandinistas’ Repliegue Táctico march which will be held this afternoon at the same time.
Traffic in downtown Managua and along the Carretera Masaya is already being affected as the Sandinistas erect makeshift stages in every traffic roundabout and along the sides of the highway to film every possible angle of the presidential couple’s historic participation in today’s march, providing hours of emotional new video footage that later will be spliced together with a catchy political jingle to make a musical montage that will be looped incessantly on official TV channels until the July 19 celebration, which will provide another opportunity to do the same thing all over again.
Below is the security note from the U.S. Embassy:
“The Nicaraguan Government announced that today, Friday, July 5, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) will commemorate the 34th anniversary of ‘El Repliegue.’
“El Repliegue” was the tactical retreat of the FSLN from Managua to Masaya during the Nicaraguan revolution. This event is ordinarily commemorated in June, but was rescheduled for today on short notice. Several major roads in and around Managua and Masaya will be affected, with many being closed after 1:00 p.m., according to the police communiqué. A rally is scheduled to begin around 3:00 PM today in the Plaza de Las Victorias in Managua and proceed with a procession to Masaya.
“Expect major traffic disruption in the Managua-Masaya corridor during the day. The Masaya highway will essentially be closed into the evening. Travelers should avoid travel within the city of Managua and Masaya, if possible.
“We wish to remind American citizens that even political rallies intended to be peaceful can possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens are therefore urged to exercise caution.
“The Embassy’s Regional Security Office has advised Embassy personnel not to drive through barricades encountered on the street, to keep windows up and doors locked in their vehicles, and to carry a cell phone at all times.
“The U.S. Embassy will be closed today at 10:30 a.m. We regret that the Independence Day Town Hall Meeting scheduled for this evening will be postponed until Thursday July 11 at 5:00 p.m.”