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06/20/2022

On Nicaragua’s decision to open territorial waters to the Russian navy

On Nicaragua’s decision to open territorial waters to the Russian navy

Nicaragua’s President has announced a decree that will allow navies and troops of various countries, among them those of the Russian Federation, to enter the countries’ territorial waters. The decree has been approved recently also by the National Assembly of the country.

The US government as well as western press has decried the decree as opening the gates of America further to Russia.

We spoke about the decree with Nestor Espinosa, who is a Nicaraguan journalist and the Executive Director of the ExtraPlus TV Channel.

What is the background of the current decree on territorial waters and the entry of foreign navies and troops?

It is a regular and repeated procedure that the government of Nicaragua carries out to request from the National Assembly to authorize the entry of foreign vessels and troops into the country for purposes of exchange and assistance humanitarian in emergency situations. The approval is requested twice a year, since the authorization has a duration of 6 months. It is, therefore, a tradition that the Nicaraguan Army, as the institution of national defense, to hold friendly and cooperative relations with other international armed forces and armies of countries in the region Central America , the hemisphere and the world. The purpose is military exchange and humanitarian assistance.

An authorization since 1998

Already in 1998, after the Hurricane Mitch, the government of President Arnold Alemán (1997-2002) requested the temporary entry of foreign troops to the national territory to provide humanitarian assistance in response to the the effects of the meteorological phenomenon.

For his part, the engineer Enrique Bolaños, President of the Republic between 2002 and 2007, not only continuously demanded periodic authorization for the entry of foreign troops and vessels to the country, but that also demanded the authorization (July 2003) to send Nicaraguan troops to participate in demining as well as medical and civilian tasks to civilians in Iraq. This occurred as part of a multinational military contingent in the context of the intervention Western military in the Middle East.

The authorization given on June 14 of this year is applicable to the second semester of 2022, starting July 1. It will allow that troops and vessels from the United States of America, the United States of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Republic Dominican, Cuba, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Russian Federation can enter the country in a rotating manner until December 31 of this year, when will surely a new authorization be requested a for the six months.

In my opinion this is a very sovereign measure, not at all of unfriendly or threatening nature. Additionally, in a preventive way, the measure seeks to anticipate the country’s eventual needs in terms humanitarian matters.

Can you explain the meteorological phemanons further?

It suffices to mention the weather conditions of this year: rain season lasts from May to November 2022, and it has started atypically with strong accumulated rain in almost the whole national territory national and especially in the pacific and central regions. This has been caused by continuous rainfall during the first fortnight of June , when several climatic phenomena came together: low pressures, trough axes and tropical waves. These have allowed the passage of large cloud masses loaded with humidty, which has left several territories affected, especially by floods.

Nicaragua faces meteorological and sismic threats

One must remember that Nicaragua is not only exposed to different meteorological threats due to its geographical and geological position, but also faces seismic and volcanic risks that could pose a huge danger for the population. The population could be affected as occurred in 2020, when two strong hurricanes hit the Carribean Coast of the country in less then 2 weeks, or in November 2016, when Hurricane Otto entered the Caribbean, while on the Pacific side there was an earthquake that caused a tsunami threat alert.

So this decision can by no means be considered beyond the normal, and even muchless a threat or provocation, as the US Assistant Secretary Brian Nichols did in the last week. Remember that the troops and vessels of his country have also been included into the authorization approved by the assembly – as always.

If threats against national security were to be measured, Nicaragua “clould feel intimadated” by the presence of US bases around it

If it’s about measuring threats against national security, Nicaragua well could feel intimidated by the presence of US troops and military bases in the territory of Hondurans, north of the borders of our country. These have since the 1980s not only performed military training, but also participated in the training and equipping of irregular armed groups that caused the deaths of thousands of people in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua could also feel threatened by the United States and by the presence of its troops, ships and naval vessels of great power, within military bases in the territory of Colombia, including in territoral waters in the Caribbean that actually belong to Nicaragua. Our ownership over these has been recognized by the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 2012, but Colombia refuses to admit this fact.

To this day, Nicaragua has demonstrated to be a country abiding by the international law and respecting the sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples. Our country desires good, friendly and respectful relationships with the international community.

If the matter is known for its periodical nature, why does the US government and the Pro-Americam press exaggerate its meaning?

The United States needs, pathologically, to have an “enemy”. For the Noth American power, it is important have an “enemy” that represents a “threat” to the country. Today, it is the Russians. And it also cunitnues to be the communism. They consider the Islamic world also as an “enemy”. They plant in their population the Manichean idea of the “good guys” and the “ bad guys”, where they are of course the first. The current Russophobia, propagated by West, is part of that disease. Those who do not side with the “good”, who do not blindly follow their path and plans, like Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela, are of course also the enemies.

Who ever proclaims to be independent is considered an “enemy” in Washington

The proclamation of sovereignty, independence, self-determination means for the United States a declaration of hostiliy and, with great fanfare, those who pronounce their independence are declared a threat “to the national security”.

There is no possibility that thr United States enters relationships of friendship and respect, because for them, there are only interests and relations of domination.

Therefore, Nicaragua has reconfirmed the idea ogf being the “the enemy” for the US by committing “the sin” of maintaining relations with countries like Russia or China, which are on their part “dangers” for Washington.

In the current context  with Russia as “enemy ”, according to the thinking of the United States, who ever does not state its hostility to Moscow becomes automatically an enemy of Washington as well. (“you are either with me or against me”.)

A multipolar world is for the US a crazy idea, they still keep on wanting to be the only pole.

Continuing good relatins with Russia, China – and Turkey

Nicaragua carries good relations with the Federation Russia and the People’s Republic of China, having lately also entered the Belt and Road. Do you expect the latest threats from Washington to affect these cooperations in anyway?

Nicaragua is a sovereign State, which not only declares it, but that also practices it. It is strategic for the country, under this perspective, to establish wide trade relations with the rest of the world .

In that sense, the relations with China and Russia, in addition to other nations , like Turkey, are necessary for Nicaragua. Therefore it seems to me that these American threats  will not change this route of friendship and cooperation.

Yunus Soner
Political Scientist, former Deputy Chairman of Vatan Party (Turkey) Soner has participated in diplomatic visits to China, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico, among others. He has conducted meetings with President Bashar Al Assad (Syria), President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran), President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (Mexico), Manuel Zelaya (Honduras) and Foreign Ministers, Ministers of Finances and Representatives of Parliament from various countries. He has worked on Turkish-Russian, Turkish-Syrian, Turkish-Chinese and Turkish-Egyptian relations as well as on Latin America. Soner has had media participation in various international media channels, among them Russia Today and Sputnik (Russia), CGTN (China), Press TV (Iran), Syrian TV, El Mayaddin (Lebanon) and Telesur (Venezuela) and Turkish media. He has been a columnist to Turkish daily newspaper Aydınlık
 

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