|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
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.
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.
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:
Alleged trans-shipment point for cocaine destined for the US and trans-shipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
Despite important protections for investment included in CAFTA-DR, the investment climate has become relatively insecure since Ortega took office. 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.
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, have shuttered during the past 12 months due to falling demand for these goods in the United States.
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.
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.
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|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. 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.
|See Denmark–Nicaragua relations |
|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. In 1992, the Finnish government announced an aid program of USD27.4 million.
In 2006, the Finnish government pledged 4.9 million euros to help the Nicaraguan government integrate the ICT systems of 20 town councils. 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.
In 2004, Finnish President Tarja Halonen visited Nicaragua 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". The Finnish President also made a speech to the National Assembly of Nicaragua on 31 May 2004. In 2003, the two countries signed the Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments
|See Greece–Nicaragua relations |
|23 November 1981|
|1956||See Holy See–Nicaragua relations |
|See India-Nicaragua relations|
|1838||See Mexico–Nicaragua relations|
|December 1944||See Nicaragua–Russia relations |
|20 March 1851||See Nicaragua–Spain relations |
|1956||See Nicaragua–Switzerland relations |
Relations with Nicaragua and Switzerland focus on development cooperation, humanitarian aid and trade.
|July 2, 2019|
|1824; 1849||See Nicaragua–United States relations|
|1849||See Nicaragua–Uruguay relations|
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.
The following table includes Republic of China, Georgia, and some of the states with limited recognition:
|Name||Recognized by Nicaragua||Notes|
|See Abkhazia–Nicaragua relations |
Nicaragua recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia 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]."
|Both countries established diplomatic relations on 6 July 1994.|
Nicaragua maintains official diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) instead of the People's Republic of China. In 2007, President Daniel Ortega stated that Nicaragua will maintain its diplomatic ties with Republic of China (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 Republic of China and Vice-president Jaime Moralez Carazo (during Ortega's first tenure) criticized the People's Republic of China for conditioning Nicaragua's diplomatic relations. In 2013 Nicaragua's Foreign Relations Minister announced that Nicaragua will continue its diplomatic relations with the Republic of China.
|Yes||Recognized by 34 UN states, claimed by Morocco.|
|See Nicaragua–South Ossetia relations |
Nicaragua extended diplomatic recognition to South Ossetia and Abkhazia 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. 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]."
Whilst on a state visit to Russia in December 2008, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega expressed his desire to travel to Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the future, and stated that Nicaragua is in solidarity with the people of the two countries.
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. Russia offered to strengthen ties with Nicaragua and to provide aid to Nicaragua to help rebuild areas damaged by hurricanes. 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."
|Yes||Recognized by four UN member states.|
|Yes||A sovereign entity without territory, established diplomatic relations with 104 states.|
Colombia seeks diplomatic and commercial relations with all countries, regardless of their ideologies or political or economic systems. For this reason, the Colombian economy is quite open, relying on international trade and following guidelines given by international law.
Central America is a region found in the southern tip of North America and is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas. This region is bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The combined population of Central America is estimated at 44.53 million (2016).
José Daniel Ortega Saavedra is a Nicaraguan politician serving as President of Nicaragua since 2007; previously he was leader of Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990, first as Coordinator of the Junta of National Reconstruction (1979–1985) and then as President (1985–1990). A leader in the Sandinista National Liberation Front, his policies in government have seen the implementation of leftist reforms across Nicaragua.
Nicaragua, officially the Republic of Nicaragua, is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Managua is the country's capital and largest city and is also the third-largest city in Central America, behind Tegucigalpa and Guatemala City. The multi-ethnic population of six million includes people of indigenous, European, African, and Asian heritage. The main language is Spanish. Indigenous tribes on the Mosquito Coast speak their own languages and English.
The economy of Nicaragua is focused primarily on the agricultural sector. Nicaragua itself is the least developed country in Central America, and the second poorest in the Americas by nominal GDP. In recent years, under the administrations of Daniel Ortega, the Nicaraguan economy has expanded somewhat, following the global recession of 2009, when the country's economy actually contracted by 1.5%, due to decreased export demand in the US and Central American markets, lower commodity prices for key agricultural exports, and low remittance growth. The economy saw 4.5% growth in 2010 thanks to a recovery in export demand and growth in its tourism industry. Nicaragua's economy continues to post growth, with preliminary indicators showing the Nicaraguan economy growing an additional 5% in 2011. Consumer Price inflation have also curtailed since 2008, when Nicaragua's inflation rate hovered at 19.82%. In 2009 and 2010, the country posted lower inflation rates, 3.68% and 5.45%, respectively. Remittances are a major source of income, equivalent to 15% of the country's GDP, which originate primarily from Costa Rica, the United States, and European Union member states. Approximately one million Nicaraguans contribute to the remittance sector of the economy.
The Mosquito Coast, also known as the Miskito Coast and the Miskito Kingdom, historically included the kingdom's fluctuating area along the eastern coast of present-day Nicaragua and Honduras. It formed part of the Western Caribbean Zone. It was named after the local Miskito Amerindians and was long dominated by British interests. The Mosquito Coast was incorporated into Nicaragua in 1894; however, in 1960, the northern part was granted to Honduras by the International Court of Justice.
Serranilla Bank is a partially submerged reef, with small uninhabited islets, in the western Caribbean Sea. It is situated about 350 kilometres (220 mi) northeast of Punta Gorda, Nicaragua, and roughly 280 kilometres (170 mi) southwest of Jamaica. The closest neighbouring land feature is Bajo Nuevo Bank, located 110 kilometres (68 mi) to the east.
Bajo Nuevo Bank, also known as the Petrel Islands, is a small, uninhabited reef with some small grass-covered islets, located in the western Caribbean Sea at, with a lighthouse on Low Cay at . The closest neighbouring land feature is Serranilla Bank, located 110 kilometres to the west.
Territorial disputes of Nicaragua include the territorial dispute with Colombia over the Archipelago de San Andres y Providencia and Quita Sueno Bank. Nicaragua also has a maritime boundary dispute with Honduras in the Caribbean Sea and a boundary dispute over the Rio San Juan with Costa Rica.
Colombia–Nicaragua relations entail the diplomatic relations between the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Nicaragua. The relationship between the two Hispanic American countries has evolved amid conflicts over the San Andrés y Providencia Islands located in the Caribbean sea close to the Nicaraguan shoreline and the maritime boundaries covering 150,000 km² that included the islands of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina and the banks of Roncador, Serrana, Serranilla and Quitasueño as well as the 82nd meridian west which Colombia claims as a border but which the International Court has sided with Nicaragua in disavowing. 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.
The 2008 Andean diplomatic crisis was a diplomatic stand-off between the South American countries of Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. It began with an incursion into Ecuadorian territory across the Putumayo River by the Colombian military on March 1, 2008, leading to the deaths of over twenty militants, including Raúl Reyes and sixteen other members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). This incursion led to increased tension between Colombia and Ecuador and the movement of Venezuelan and Ecuadorian troops to their borders with Colombia.
Nicaragua–Russia relations are the relationships between the two countries, Russia and Nicaragua.
Honduras–Russia relations are the bilateral relations between Honduras and Russia. Both countries have signed diplomatic relations on September 30, 1990. Honduras is represented in Russia through its embassy in Moscow. Russia is represented in Honduras through its embassy in Managua (Nicaragua) and two honorary consulates.
Abkhazia–Nicaragua relations refers to bilateral foreign relations between the Republic of Abkhazia and Nicaragua. Nicaragua recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia on September 5, 2008.
Nicaragua – South Ossetia relations refers to bilateral foreign relations between Nicaragua and the Republic of South Ossetia. Nicaragua extended diplomatic recognition to South Ossetia and Abkhazia on 5 September 2008.
International reaction to the 2009 Honduran coup d'état of June 28, 2009, was that the coup was widely repudiated around the globe. The United Nations, every other country in the Western Hemisphere and others, publicly condemned the military-led 2009 Honduran coup d'état and ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya as illegal and most labelled it a coup d'état. The Obama administration, along with all other governments in the hemisphere, branded the action a "coup." Every country in the region, except the United States, withdrew their ambassadors from Honduras. All ambassadors of the European Union were recalled. Venezuela said it would suspend oil shipments, and Honduras's neighbors — El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua - stopped overland trade for 48 hours. The World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank suspended lending to Honduras.
Mexico–Nicaragua relations refers to the diplomatic relations between Mexico and Nicaragua. Both nations are members of the Association of Caribbean States, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the United Nations.
The 2018–2019 Nicaraguan protests began on 18 April 2018 when demonstrators in several cities of Nicaragua began protests against the social security reforms decreed by President Daniel Ortega that increased taxes and decreased benefits. After five days of unrest in which nearly thirty people were killed, Ortega announced the cancellation of the reforms. However, the opposition has grown - through the 2013–2018 Nicaraguan protests - to denounce Ortega and demand his resignation, becoming one of the largest protests in his government's history and the deadliest civil conflict since the end of the Nicaraguan Revolution. On 29 September 2018, political demonstrations were declared illegal by President Ortega.