Analyst: Relations ‘chilling’ between U.S. and Nicaragua

September 5, 2008

GRANADA, Nicaragua – The decision this week by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez to cancel his trip to Nicaragua later this month represents a “chilling of relations between the United States and Nicaragua,” according to a top foreign policy analyst here.

Ex-Foreign Minister Emilio Alvarez said yesterday that Gutierrez´s decision to cancel his trip to meet with President Daniel Ortega indicates relations between the two governments could be “less friendly” moving forward.

The U.S. Embassy has confirmed that Gutierrez canceled his trip here because “international circumstances have changed.” U.S. Ambassador Robert Callahan would not elaborate.

Arturo Cruz, Nicaragua´s ambassador to the United States, has described Gutierrez in the past as one of Ortega´s closest allies in the U.S. administration of George W. Bush. The two have met on several occasions and his trip here later this month was going to be an effort to strengthen relations even further, while exploring possibilities of bringing new U.S. investment to Nicaragua.

Alvarez says that the cancelation sends a clear diplomatic message that the United States is not – at the moment – interested in strengthening those ties with Ortega´s government.

For Alvarez, the decision is a response to Ortega´s recent controversial recognition of two Georgian separatist provinces that are seeking independence following Russia´s military intervention in that region last month. Ortega announced Sept. 2 that Nicaragua will officially recognize the rebel provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, making Nicaragua the only country in the world besides Russia to do so.

Alvarez said Ortega´s recognition of the rebel provinces has to do with a “nostalgia” for leftist solidarity with the Soviet Union in the 1980s and a political gamble that Nicaragua could benefit from Russian oil if Ortega buddies up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But in recognizing the breakaway provinces, Alvarez says, Ortega is sticking his nose in an international problem he has nothing to do with, threatening relations with the United States and the European community.

You may be interested

Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Real Madrid nab third consecutive Champions title
Keylor Navas
125 views
Keylor Navas
125 views

Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Real Madrid nab third consecutive Champions title

Katherine Stanley - May 26, 2018

Costa Rica's star goalie, Keylor Navas, continued his historic march through world football as his club team, Real Madrid, won…

Adaptive surfing, part III: Riding the waves with Noah
sports
205 views
sports
205 views

Adaptive surfing, part III: Riding the waves with Noah

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 25, 2018

Part III in a series on adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I, about the country's association for disabled…

It’s frog orgy season
Environment and Wildlife
1308 views
Environment and Wildlife
1308 views

It’s frog orgy season

Lindsay Fendt - May 25, 2018

The rainy season is upon us. For many of us that means hiding indoors for the next few months, but for Costa…