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Ortega swearing in ceremony includes mixed messages

Ortega swearing in ceremony includes mixed messages

In the two days since Daniel Ortega has taken the oath of office as the new president of Nicaragua, the former Marxist revolutionary has sent mixed messages on his economic policies and relationship with the U.S.

   He once again stressed that he wants to continue with a market economy and maintain close trade ties with the U.S., but also huddled with several of the new leftist heads of state in Latin America that have been critical of the U.S. he was quoted as saying he and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are 'twins.'

   On the bright side, Ortega was seen chatting amiably with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt at the inauguration. According to various wire reports, the two held a private meeting before the ceremony.

   Ortega also took a call on Monday from President Bush, according to a White House statement.

   Ortega said he is in favor of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement as a means of improving Nicaragua's economy.

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