New peace talks in Nicaragua raise hopes, but many skeptical

Talks over Nicaragua's political standoff are set to resume, with renewed hopes among those who believe they could help resolve the nearly year-old crisis, even as others worry that embattled President Daniel Ortega could use them to buy time.

Roman Catholic authorities will participate as observers in the negotiations starting Wednesday. The government has not said whether Ortega or his powerful wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo will take part. The opposition delegation will include businesspeople, students and others.

Opposition leaders say they will demand measures such as the release of hundreds of people considered political prisoners and a restoration of media freedoms. But other Ortega opponents have said those should be preconditions for talks, not points of negotiation.

In the words of one opponent: "Human rights are nonnegotiable."