Archive for Nicaragua
Colombia has recalled its ambassador to Nicaragua for consultations over an ongoing territorial dispute that a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in favor of the Central American country has failed to resolve, Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said Wednesday. “We have decided to call our ambassador, Luz Stella Jara, who should be arriving tomorrow, so she can report on why it is impossible to have a dialogue with Nicaragua,” Holguin told a press conference. The ICJ affirmed last year that a series of islands strategic for fishing, the San Andres archipelago, belong to Colombia, but at the same time extended Nicaragua’s jurisdiction in the Caribbean waters, angering the South American country. Colombia has refused to abide by the decision, saying its borders must be set by treaties and not by court verdicts, leading Nicaragua to present a new lawsuit at the ICJ Tuesday. Nicaragua’s most recent suit demands Colombia respect the initial ICJ ruling, which gives it rights over 75,000 square kilometers of formerly Colombian waters. On Nov. 27, 2012, Colombia withdrew from the American Treaty on Pacific Settlement (Pact of Bogota), under which it recognized the jurisdiction of the international court. However, its withdrawal didn’t go into effect until Wednesday.
Nicaragua’s embassy in Moscow has received an official asylum request from fugitive former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, an embassy spokesperson confirmed to RIA Novosti. A Nicaraguan radio station on July 6 published what it claims is Snowden’s asylum request, although Nicaraguan officials have not publicly confirmed that the document is real. Snowden, who is wanted by the US for leaking details of secret state surveillance programs, has submitted more than 20 requests for asylum. Most have been rejected or countries have told Snowden that he would have to file the application while on their soil. On Friday, Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega was reported as saying that, “if circumstances permit,” his country would “receive Snowden with pleasure.” Venezuela and Bolivia have also said that they are willing to grant him asylum. Snowden is thought to have arrived in Russia on a Hong Kong – Moscow flight on June 23. The United States has revoked his passport, and he is now believed to be holed up in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport ever since. Russia was one of the countries to which Snowden initially submitted an asylum application, but he withdrew it after President Vladimir Putin said on July 1 that Snowden would only be able to stay if he “stopped his work aimed at harming our US partners.”
Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia has opened an embassy in Nicaragua. According to Apsnypress, Abkhazia’s ambassador to Venezuela, Zaur Gvajava, will also take on the function as ambassador to Nicaragua. Nicaragua will help Abkhazians in their relations with other countries and will offer support in their attempts at getting recognition for Abkhazia’s independence, Zaur Gvajava said. He notes that a so-called foreign affairs delegation will arrive from 20 to 27 May and sign an agreement about visa-freedom. “The document is already prepared and only signatures are necessary.” Also Georgia’s other breakaway region, South Ossetia, have opened an embassy in Nicaragua, thereby establishing diplomatic relations. Ambassador will be Namir Kozayev, who is also ambassador to Venezuela. Officials in Tbilisi say nothing has changed legally by this. On August 26, after a five-day war in August 2008, Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In total, five countries have recognized the separatist regions. Nicaragua was first to follow Russia on September 5, 2008. The President of Venezuela followed suit in September 2009, and after him, the Pacific island states of Nauru and Vanuatu. The Republic of Vanuatu is located on 83 islands in the Pacific Ocean. Its area is 12 000 square kilometers, and the population was 243 000 in 2009. In the western part of the Pacific is Nauru with a population of 14 000.
Libya has chosen a veteran Nicaraguan diplomat to represent Moammar Gadhafi’s government at the United Nations, the Nicaraguan government said Wednesday. The Nicaraguan government posted on its official website a Spanish version of a letter from Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking that Miguel D’Escoto Brockman represent the Gadhafi regime’s interests before the world body. D’Escoto was U.N. General Assembly president from 2008-2009 and a former Roman Catholic priest who later served as a foreign minister in Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government. U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said Wednesday that the U.N. had not yet received the letter, but noted that the Nicaraguan mission had scheduled a news conference with D’Escoto at U.N. headquarters on Thursday. A man who answered the phone at the Nicaraguan mission said diplomats were unavailable for comment because they were in a meeting. Libya’s former envoy to the U.N., Ambassador Abdurraman Mohamed Shalgham, disavowed Gadhafi’s government shortly after the February uprising that has now become an armed insurrection against the longtime leader. But he and other former Libyan diplomats who have since cut ties with the Gadhafi regime continue to work sporadically out of the mission. U.N. correspondents continue to receive communiques from the Libyan rebels’ Interim National Council via the mission’s official email account, including two on Wednesday. Gadhafi’s government has asked the United Nations to no longer recognize Shalgham and the other former Libyan diplomats attached to the U.N. mission. Now 78, D’Escoto was born in Los Angeles and holds dual U.S. and Nicaraguan citizenship. Ordained a priest with the Maryknoll congregation, the Vatican suspended D’Escoto and two other priests who were involved in the Sandinista revolution, brothers Ernesto and Fernando Cardenal, in the 1980s for their political activity. The late Pope John Paul II publicly admonished him during a trip to Central America. He became foreign minister in Daniel Ortega’s government after the 1979 triumph of his leftist Sandinista revolution and remained in the post until 1990. A communique on Nicaraguan government website said that D’Escoto had been instructed by President Daniel Ortega to “accept this appointment and represent the people and government of Libya in its struggle to reestablish peace and defend its legitimate right to resolve, without outside meddling, its domestic conflicts.” D’Escoto “will support the Libyan brothers in their diplomatic battle for respect for their sovereignty and self-determination, both of which have been violated,” the statement said.
U.S. diplomats accuse Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government of taking bribes from drug traffickers and receiving “suitcases full of cash” from Venezuelan officials, according to confidential documents released this week by WikiLeaks. The leaked documents from the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, allege that Ortega has used drug money to finance campaigns for the Sandinista National Liberation Front. The money from international drug traffickers is “usually in return for ordering Sandinista judges to allow traffickers caught by the police and military to go free,” reads a May 5, 2006, cable from an embassy official. The official said that in one 2005 case, a Supreme Court judge “coordinated a complicated scheme to make 609,000 dollars in drug money seized from two Colombians ‘disappear’ from a Supreme Court account.” Another Sandinista judge accused of complicity in the bribery scheme, Rafael Solis, denied that he took bribes, telling local Nicaraguan television station Channel 63 that the WikiLeaks documents are “baseless and have no credibility.” Spokespeople from Nicaragua’s foreign ministry and vice president’s office declined to comment on the cables, while Ortega’s communications department did not release an official reaction. The report says Ortega uses Venezuelan oil money to fund Sandinista campaigns and that “several unconfirmed reports indicate that Ortega will have as much as 500 million dollars at his disposal over the course of 2008.” That same cable said that Nicaraguan officials “receive suitcases full of cash from Venezuelan officials during official trips to Caracas.” Over the course of three years, Ortega’s government received almost a billion dollars in assistance from Venezuela, according to a cable dated Feb. 25, 2010.
A Nicaraguan official found dead in his Bronx apartment last month committed suicide, sources said. Cesar Mercado, 34, was discovered with his throat slashed and had 12 stab wounds to the stomach. He also had liquid drain fluid in his system, which burnt some of his organs. The United Nations consul general was found by his driver who was picking him up to take him to the UN, where he worked for the General Assembly.
The Central American diplomat found dead with his throat slashed in the Bronx had human hair in both hands, the city’s top cop said Friday. There were 10 hairs in his right hand and five in the left, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. The discovery suggests a fierce struggle between Nicaraguan Consul Cesar Mercado and another person, police sources told the Daily News. He was likely grappling with someone he knew, the sources said. The medical examiner’s office said preliminary findings were inconclusive. Investigator with the medical examiner’s office stopped short of ruling Mercado’s death a homicide, telling police they need more information before making an official determination. Mercado’s driver, who was about to take him to the UN General Assembly, found his body around 10:30 a.m. Thursday just inside the doorway of his apartment on the Grand Concourse near E. 180th St. Two knives were found inside the apartment. The victim’s throat was slashed and he also had knife wounds to his abdomen. The medical examiner found “hesitation wounds” on the victim’s neck – injuries that could potentially have been made by Mercado himself, Kelly said. Mercado was last seen alive Wednesday afternoon and a neighbor heard commotion in the victim’s apartment overnight.