Nicaragua’s Ortega defends military ties with Russia

April 10, 2014
3 Comments

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaragua’s president Saturday defended his country’s right to strengthen its military with Russian help, seemingly backtracking on statements earlier in the week shrugging off suggestions of increased cooperation.

Daniel Ortega said Nicaragua was “committed to further strengthening and modernizing the army” with the help of any country willing to provide aid, especially in respect to the Central American nation’s fight against drug trafficking.

In remarks during a military exercise closed to press but broadcast on a local channel, Ortega said Russia has in recent years granted “extraordinary” and “sustained” cooperation “without putting a single condition.”

He did not give details of an agreement between Nicaragua and Russia, but on March 27, Russia’s ambassador in Managua confirmed Moscow is interested in building a military resupply base in Nicaragua.

Russian defense chief Sergei Shoigu has said that Russia is weighing increasing its military presence in countries including Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela — particularly bases to refuel Russian warplanes far from home.

Nicaragua Army Chief General Julio Áviles had said this was just “speculation.”

Russia has faced international condemnation over its actions in Crimea, which has switched to Moscow from Ukraine after pro-Russian forces seized the peninsula.

You may be interested

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide
Changemakers
101 views
Changemakers
101 views

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide

Mitzi Stark - May 23, 2018

The Clodomiro Picado Institute is spread along the main road of Dulce Nombre de Coronado, northeast of San José. Its…

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
210 views
sports
210 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
267 views
Human rights
267 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…