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.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

30 protesters released from prison in Nicaragua
News
334 views
News
334 views

30 protesters released from prison in Nicaragua

AFP / The Tico Times - October 17, 2018

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega freed 30 political opponents on Monday, an action greeted with relief by human rights organizations. They…

La Sele continues to struggle, falls to Colombia, 3-1
La Sele
409 views
La Sele
409 views

La Sele continues to struggle, falls to Colombia, 3-1

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 17, 2018

One of La Sele’s shining moments happened right there, at the Red Bull Arena, a little over a year ago.…

Jaguars: a symbol of Costa Rica
Pic of the Day
765 views
Pic of the Day
765 views

Jaguars: a symbol of Costa Rica

Alissa Grosskopf - October 17, 2018

Jaguars represent an important part of Latin America's indigenous heritage. For its strength, grace and mysterious aura, it is a…