First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton lauded President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro on Thursday as the architect of a "new Nicaragua" that offers women a real chance for prosperity.
On the first stop of a five-day Latin American tour, the First Lady credited Chamorro with leading Nicaragua into democracy with "grace and courage," with women playing a major role in rebuilding the nation.
"Peace brings definite rewards," Mrs. Clinton said. "We admire greatly the progress that is being made and the example that is being set."
Chamorro said Mrs. Clinton's visit symbolized Nicaragua's strengthened friendship with the United States.
"The friendship between our countries will deepen more," said Chamorro, who was elected president in 1990 after 11 years of leftist Sandinista rule in the Central American nation.
Mrs. Clinton is in the region to assess the progress of social reforms and build better ties between the United States and Latin America.