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Venezuela's Chavez Endorses Ortega For Nicaraguan President

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has endorsed Nicaraguan presidential candidate Daniel Ortega to win his country's November election.

Both men appeared on President Chavez's weekly television broadcast Sunday, where Mr. Chavez told Ortega, "I hope you win."

The endorsement comes on the heels of a recommendation from the U.S. State Department last week that Nicaraguans reject not only Ortega, but also former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Aleman, who is also a presidential candidate. A Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, said that both men are "discredited figures from Nicaragua's past."

Ortega led the leftist Sandanista movement against Contra rebels supported by Washington in the 1980's.

The State Department says the U.S. ambassador in Nicaragua is meeting with all parties that have expressed an interest in a "democratic electoral process."

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.