San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Chinchilla to skip Ortega’s presidential inauguration in Managua

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla will be absent Tuesday afternoon for the inauguration ceremony of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in Managua. Chinchilla is the only regional head of state that will not attend the event.

“We have said that there cannot be normalization in the relations with Nicaragua while the aggression and occupation of national territory persists,” said Roberto Gallardo, the spokesman for the presidential ministry told the daily La Nación. “Relations will return to normal when the violation of Costa Rican sovereignty ceases in the area of the Isla Calero.”

Tuesday’s inauguration of Ortega, whose presidential re-election is widely considered a constitutional violation, will be closely monitored internationally due to the presence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. On Monday, Ahmedinejad arrived in Venezuela to kick-off his week-long Latin American tour, which also includes stops in Cuba and Ecuador. Ahmedinejad also is rumored to attend the inauguration of Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina on Saturday.

During the conference to honor Ahmedinejad in Venezuela on Monday, Chávez laced much of his speech with anti-American rhetoric, referring to the U.S. as “lackeys of imperialism.” He also referred to Ahmedinejad as a “true brother” and “symbol of the Latin American revolution.”  

Ahmedinejad’s brief statements dismissed the claim that Iran was developing nuclear weapons.

“They say that we are making bombs, which is simply arrogant,” he said. “Everyone knows that these words, these things, are a joke and something to laugh at, make fun of.”

Ahmedinejad also added that “in spite of that, the arrogant don’t want (Venezuela and Iran) to be together, we will be together forever.”  

After Ortega’s inauguration Tuesday, it is expected that he, Chávez and Ahmedinejad will parade around Managua together in a presidential automobile.

Chinchilla is expected to attend the inauguration ceremony of new Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina on Saturday in Guatemala City.

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