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11/18/08 3:55 PM EST

Ripken's Nicaragua clinic cut short

Instructional program for youth stopped due to political protests

MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Cal Ripken Jr.'s baseball clinic for Nicaraguan youth was canceled by its sponsors Tuesday because protests surrounding local election results were hindering travel.

Ripken and his former Baltimore Orioles teammate Dennis Martinez, a Nicaraguan native, provided instruction to 300 children and 60 youth coaches in Managua and Granada since last week. They were scheduled to give their final clinic in Leon.

But the program sponsors canceled the last day of the tour because protesters were blocking major roads in Leon and they were concerned parents and the youths would not be able to attend, U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Kristin Stewart said.

Opposition party supporters are claiming election fraud and have clashed with leftist Sandinista party supporters, blocked roads and held protests since the Nov. 9 municipal elections.

Ripken was named American Public Diplomacy Envoy for the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in 2007.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.