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HUD No. 02-006
Sonia Colin, (202)708-0685
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Thursday
January 10, 2002

Secretary Martinez Meets with Nicaraguan President, Other Latin Leaders

WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez today led a U.S. Delegation of government officials and business leaders to attend the inauguration ceremonies for Nicaraguan President-elect Enrique Bola´┐Żos. Martinez arrived in Managua on Wednesday and plans to use the three-day trip to show U.S. support for Nicaragua and to hold discussions on how the U.S. can forge stronger partnerships with Latin American countries.

"President Bush asked me to come to demonstrate the continued commitment of the United States to the flourishing of Nicaragua's democracy and economy," Martinez said upon his arrival. Martinez added, "On behalf of President Bush and the American people, I congratulate the people of Nicaragua for the example of democracy they have shown the world and for their peaceful and democratic choice to lead them forward."

Shortly after his arrival, Martinez and the U.S. delegation met privately with the President-elect. During the meetings Martinez and the Nicaraguans discussed a number of issues including housing finance, urban reconstruction, affordable housing programs and post-disaster reconstruction strategies.

Martinez also held private discussions on Wednesday with Costa Rican President Miguel Angela Rodriquez and El Salvadoran President Francisco Guillermo Flores Perez.

After Thursday morning's inauguration ceremonies, Martinez and members of the delegation held bi-lateral meetings with President Francisco Guillermo Flores Perez of El Salvador, and President Mireya Moscoso Rodriguez of Panama.

During the meetings Martinez briefed several heads of state on the terms of a memorandum of understanding between HUD and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Under terms of the agreement, HUD and the IDB will develop joint policies, activities and research studies that will help Latin American countries improve: housing policies and programs; legal and regulatory frameworks that underpin effective housing finance systems and financial market development; public-private partnerships that support neighborhood revitalization and national urban economic development; and fair housing and fair lending policies that reduce housing discrimination.

This is Martinez's second official visit to Latin America. In June 2001, he traveled to El Salvador and met with President Flores. The two men toured earthquake damaged sites and discussed what relief HUD could provide.

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Content Archived: April 9, 2010

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