Foreign relations of Nicaragua

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Nicaragua pursues an independent foreign policy. A participant of the Central American Security Commission (CSC), Nicaragua also has taken a leading role in pressing for regional demilitarization and peaceful settlement of disputes within states in the region.

Contents

Nicaragua has submitted three territorial disputes, one with Honduras, another with Colombia, and the third with Costa Rica to the International Court of Justice for resolution.

International membership

At the 1994 Summit of the Americas, Nicaragua joined six Central American neighbors in signing the Alliance for Sustainable Development, known as the Conjunta Centroamerica-USA or CONCAUSA, to promote sustainable economic development in the region.

Nicaragua belongs to the United Nations and several specialized and related agencies, including:

International disputes

International relations with intergovernmental organizations and countries

Nicaragua signed a 3-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in October 2007. As part of the IMF program, the Government of Nicaragua agreed to implement free market policies linked to targets on fiscal discipline, poverty spending, and energy regulation. The lack of transparency surrounding Venezuelan bilateral assistance, channeled through state-run enterprises rather than the official budget, has become a serious issue for the IMF and international donors. On September 10, 2008, with misgivings about fiscal transparency, the IMF released an additional $30 million to Nicaragua, the second tranche of its $110 million PRGF. [1]

The flawed municipal elections of November 2008 prompted a number of European donors to suspend direct budget support to Nicaragua, a move that created a severe budget shortfall for the government. This shortfall, in turn, caused the Government of Nicaragua to fall out of compliance with its PRGF obligations and led to a suspension of PRGF disbursements. The IMF is currently in negotiations with the Government of Nicaragua to reinstate disbursements. [1]

Under current president Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua has stayed current with the Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force for Nicaragua on April 1, 2006. Nicaraguan exports to the United States, which account for 59% of Nicaragua's total exports, were $1.7 billion in 2008, up 45% from 2005. Textiles and apparel account for 55% of exports to the United States, while automobile wiring harnesses add another 11%. [1]

Other leading export products are coffee, meat, cigars, sugar, ethanol, and fresh fruit and vegetables, all of which have seen remarkable growth since CAFTA-DR went into effect. Leading Nicaraguan exports also demonstrated increased diversity, with 274 new products shipped to the United States in the first year. U.S. exports to Nicaragua, meanwhile, were $1.1 billion in 2008, up 23% from 2005. Other important trading partners for Nicaragua are its Central American neighbors, Mexico, and the European Union. Nicaragua is negotiating a trade agreement with the European Union as part of a Central American bloc. [1]

Despite important protections for investment included in CAFTA-DR, the investment climate has become relatively insecure since Ortega took office. According to the United States State Department, President Ortega's decision to support "radical regimes" such as Iran and Cuba, his harsh rhetoric against the United States and capitalism, and his use of government institutions to persecute political enemies and their businesses, has had a negative effect on perceptions of country risk, which by some accounts has quadrupled since he assumed office. The government reports foreign investment inflows totaled $506 million in 2008, including $123 million in telecommunications infrastructure and $120 million in energy generation. [1]

There are over 100 companies operating in Nicaragua with some relation to a U.S. company, either as wholly or partly owned subsidiaries, franchisees, or exclusive distributors of U.S. products. The largest are in energy, financial services, textiles/apparel, manufacturing, and fisheries. However, many companies in the textile/apparel sector, including a $100 million U.S.-owned denim mill, had shuttered by 2017. [1]

Poor enforcement of property rights deters both foreign and domestic investment, especially in real estate development and tourism. Conflicting claims and weak enforcement of property rights has invited property disputes and litigation. Establishing verifiable title history is often entangled in legalities relating to the expropriation of 28,000 properties by the revolutionary government that Ortega led in the 1980s. The situation is not helped by a court system that is widely believed to be corrupt and subject to political influence. [1]

Illegal property seizures by private parties, occasionally in collaboration with corrupt municipal officials, often go unchallenged by the authorities, especially in the Atlantic regions and interior regions of the north, where property rights are poorly defined and rule of law is weak. Foreign investor interest along the Pacific Coast has motivated some unscrupulous people to challenge ownership rights in the Departments of Rivas and Chinandega, with the hope of achieving some sort of cash settlement. [1]

In October 2022, the European Union declared non grata the Nicaraguan representative, Zoila Müller. [2]

Bilateral relations

CountryFormal Relations BeganNotes
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia Both countries established diplomatic relations on 6 July 1994.
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan 23 November 1994 [3]
  • Azerbaijan is represented in Nicaragua through its embassy in Havana, Cuba.
  • Nicaragua is represented in Azerbaijan through its embassy in Moscow, Russia.
Flag of Belize.svg  Belize
  • Belize is accredited to Nicaragua from its embassy in Guatemala City.
  • Nicaragua is accredited to Belize from its embassy in Guatemala City.
Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg  Bolivia
  • Bolivia has an embassy in Managua.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in La Paz.
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
  • Brazil has an embassy in Managua.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Brasilia.
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
  • Canada has an embassy office in Managua.
  • Nicaragua is accredited to Canada from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States.
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile
  • Chile has an embassy in Managua.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Santiago.
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 1985 (With the People's Republic of China) [4] See China–Nicaragua relations

Nicaragua established diplomatic relations of the nationalist government of Republican China in 1930 but maintained relations after the central government of the Republic of China retreated to Taiwan after declaring the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949. After the Sandinista National Liberation Front took power in 1979, Nicaragua recognized the PRC on 7 December 1985 until 9 November 1990 when FSLN was defeated and resumed relations with the ROC, which continued under Daniel Ortega's presidency since 2007. On 9 December 2021, Nicaragua resumed relations with the PRC. [5]

Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia See Colombia–Nicaragua relations

The relationship between the two Latin American countries has evolved amid conflicts over the San Andrés y Providencia Islands located in the Caribbean close to the Nicaraguan shoreline and the maritime boundaries covering 150,000 km2 that included the islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina and the banks of Roncador, Serrana, Serranilla and Quitasueño as well as the arbitrarily designed 82nd meridian west which Colombia claims as a border but which the International Court has sided with Nicaragua in disavowing. [6] The archipelago has been under Colombian control since 1931 when a treaty was signed during US occupation of Nicaragua, giving Colombia control over the islands.

  • Colombia has an embassy in Managua.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Bogotá.
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba
  • Cuba has an embassy in Managua.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Havana.
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark See Denmark–Nicaragua relations
  • Denmark is accredited to Nicaragua from its embassy in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Nicaragua is accredited to Denmark from its embassy in Helsinki, Finland.
Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador
  • El Salvador has an embassy in Managua.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in San Salvador.
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland See Finland–Nicaragua relations

Finland is a significant donor of aid to Nicaragua. In 2007, total aid amounted to around EUR 14.5 million. The cooperation focused on rural development, health care and supporting local government. [7] In 1992, the Finnish government announced an aid program of US$27.4 million. [8]

In 2006, the Finnish government pledged 4.9 million euros to help the Nicaraguan government integrate the ICT systems of 20 town councils. [9] In 2008, the Finnish government revoked a 1.95 million euro aid package meant for Nicaragua in protest of what it alleged was a lack of transparency in Nicaragua's national budget and its municipal elections. [10]

In 2004, Finnish President Tarja Halonen visited Nicaragua [11] where she stated "The Finnish government and Parliament have decided that Nicaragua is one of the main targets of Finnish development aid. However, the visit has shown that Finland is not only giving money - it is also interested in what is happening here". [12] The Finnish President also made a speech to the National Assembly of Nicaragua on 31 May 2004. [13] In 2003, the two countries signed the Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments>

In February 2012, Finland made decision to stop development aid to Nicaragua. The main reason was concern over the state of the democracy in Nicaragua. [14]

  • Finland is accredited to Nicaragua from its embassy in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Nicaragua has an honorary consulate in Helsinki. [15]
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece See Greece–Nicaragua relations
  • Greece is accredited to Nicaragua through its embassy in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Nicaragua is accredited to Greece through its embassy in Rome, Italy.
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala
  • Guatemala has an embassy in Managua.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Guatemala City.
Flag of Guyana.svg  Guyana 23 November 1981
Flag of the Vatican City.svg   Holy See 1956See Holy See–Nicaragua relations
  • Holy See an Apostolic Nunciature in Managua.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Rome to the Holy See.
Flag of Honduras.svg  Honduras
  • Honduras has an embassy in Managua.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Tegucigalpa.
Flag of India.svg  India See India-Nicaragua relations
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
  • Iran has an embassy in Managua.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Tehran
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel Israel was the last country that still shipped weapons to the embattled Anastacio Somoza regime in 1978–1979 (the dictator's father had supported Israel in 1948, establishing a "special relationship" between Nicaragua and Israel), becoming the regime's main supplier of arms, after the Carter administration had cut off supplies amid the public outcry over Somozista troops' atrocities. [20] This soured the relations with the -Sandinista government; the relations were then gradually normalized. In March 2017, Nicaragua and Israel reestablished diplomatic relations after they were suspended in 2010. [21]
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 1838See Mexico–Nicaragua relations
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Panama City.
  • Panama has an embassy in Managua.
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia December 1944See Nicaragua–Russia relations

Both countries signed diplomatic missions on October 18, 1979, a few months after the Sandinista revolution. [24] President Vladimir Putin visited Nicaragua on July 12, 2014.

  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in Managua.
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea January 1962 [25]

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Nicaragua began in January 1962. [25]

  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Seoul. [26]
  • South Korea has an embassy in Managua. [27]
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 20 March 1851See Nicaragua–Spain relations
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 1956
Swiss Cooperation Office in Managua Schweizer Botschaft, wurde 2010 eroffnet und hat ein excellente Aussicht uber die ganze Stadt. - panoramio.jpg
Swiss Cooperation Office in Managua

Relations with Nicaragua and Switzerland focus on development cooperation, humanitarian aid and trade.

  • Nicaragua is accredited to Switzerland from its embassy in Berlin, Germany.
  • Switzerland is accredited to Nicaragua from its embassy in San José, Costa Rica and maintains a Swiss cooperation office in Managua. [29]
Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia July 2, 2019 [30]

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Tunisia and the Republic of Nicaragua began on July 2, 2019. [30]

Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Nov. 11, 1926 [31] See Nicaragua–Turkey relations
  • Turkish embassy in San José, Costa Rica is accredited to Nicaragua. [31]
  • Nicaraguan embassy in Berlin is accredited to Turkey. [31]
  • Trade volume between the two countries was US$11.6 million in 2019 (Nicaraguan exports/imports: 0.5/11.1 million USD). [31]
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1824; 1849See Nicaragua–United States relations
Embassy of Nicaragua in Washington, D.C. Embassy of Nicaragua.JPG
Embassy of Nicaragua in Washington, D.C.
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 1849See Nicaragua–Uruguay relations
Embassy of Nicaragua in Montevideo Embassy of Nicaragua in Montevideo.JPG
Embassy of Nicaragua in Montevideo
Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela 1979

Venezuela and Nicaragua have had diplomatic relations since January 1979. During the Venezuelan government of Carlos Andrés Pérez, they helped FSLN to overthrow regime of longtime Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle. Relations between Nicaragua and Venezuela have significantly improved during the Presidency of Hugo Chávez. In 2007 Nicaragua became a formal member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) international cooperation organization and the Caribbean oil alliance Petrocaribe. In the recent years Nicaragua has received discounted oil from Venezuela with low payments. The presidents of Venezuela and Nicaragua, President Hugo Chávez and President Daniel Ortega, have both described themselves as good friends and visited one another's nations.

  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Managua.

States with limited recognition

The following table includes Republic of China, Georgia, and some of the states with limited recognition:

NameRecognized by NicaraguaNotes
Flag of the Republic of Abkhazia.svg  Abkhazia See Abkhazia–Nicaragua relations

Nicaragua recognized Abkhazia [33] and South Ossetia [34] on September 5, 2008.

At a press conference in November 2008, Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos López said, "Certainly, we think that the decision [to recognize independent Abkhazia and South Ossetia] was fair and appropriate. They [the republics] must be given time for inner formalities. We will coordinate the possibility and terms of direct diplomatic relations at a convenient moment. Obviously and logically, we will be acting via our friends, probably Russia, to establish closer contacts and diplomatic relations [with the republics]." [35]

Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine Yes
  • Palestine has an embassy in Managua. [36]
  • Nicaraguan foreign minister, Denis Moncada, has publicly expressed solidarity with Palestinian statehood and called for "an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories," and the "liberation of Palestinian prisoners." [37]
Flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.svg  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Yes Recognized by 34 UN states, claimed by Morocco.
Flag of South Ossetia.svg  South Ossetia YesSee Nicaragua–South Ossetia relations

Nicaragua extended diplomatic recognition to South Ossetia [34] and Abkhazia [33] on 5 September 2008. After the recognition was announced, the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry stated that they would immediately establish ties with Tskhinval and would eventually appoint an ambassador to the republic.[ citation needed ] At a press conference in November 2008, Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos López said, "Certainly, we think that the decision [to recognize independent Abkhazia and South Ossetia] was fair and appropriate. They [the republics] must be given time for inner formalities. We will coordinate the possibility and terms of direct diplomatic relations at a convenient moment. Obviously and logically, we will be acting via our friends, probably Russia, to establish closer contacts and diplomatic relations [with the republics]." [35]

The recognition of South Ossetia by Nicaragua triggered immediate reactions from other countries involved in the dispute over the status of South Ossetia. Georgia responded to Nicaragua's concurrent recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by cutting diplomatic relations with the Central American state at the end of November 2008. [38] Russia offered to strengthen ties with Nicaragua and to provide aid to Nicaragua to help rebuild areas damaged by hurricanes. [39] The U.S. Secretary of Commerce canceled a planned trip to Nicaragua, with the U.S. Ambassador in Managua saying, "It isn't the appropriate moment for the visit." [40]

Flag of the Order of St. John (various).svg  Sovereign Military Order of Malta Yes [41] A sovereign entity without territory, established diplomatic relations with 104 states.
Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan No

Nicaragua used to maintain official diplomatic relations with Taiwan instead of the People's Republic of China. In 2007, President Daniel Ortega stated that Nicaragua will maintain its diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Ortega defended Nicaragua's right of having diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China at the same time and insisted that Nicaragua will not break its diplomatic relations with Taiwan and Vice-president Jaime Morales Carazo (during Ortega's first tenure) criticized the People's Republic of China for conditioning Nicaragua's diplomatic relations. Nicaragua maintained its diplomatic relations with Taiwan until 2021. [42] On December 9, 2021, Nicaragua broke off diplomatic relations with the Republic of China and recognised the PRC as the legitimate Chinese government. [43]

See also

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