Skip to main content

Ryan Robertson

Anchor/Investigative Reporter

Share
International

Russian troops going to Nicaragua

Share

Ryan Robertson

Anchor/Investigative Reporter

Share

Russian troops are headed for Central America thanks to a decree authorized by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. The measure permits Russia to deploy troops, planes and ships to Nicaragua, a country about a thousand miles south of Florida.

The decree was published last week and confirmed by Russia. Under its provisions, Ortega also granted permission for Russian forces to carry out law enforcement duties, develop cooperation in areas including humanitarian and emergency responses, combatting organized crime and drug trafficking.

Nicaragua also authorized the presence of small contingents of Russian troops for the “exchange of experiences and training.” These contingents will be allowed to operate in Nicaragua twice a year.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said this is a routine measure.

This is the first time there will be a significant presence of Russian forces in the region. The new Nicaraguan law also authorizes the U.S., Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela and other Central American countries to deploy troops in the same manner.

While it’s unlikely the U.S. will accept the invite, Venezuela and Cuba probably will, which could mean this is the first step toward a routine military association between Russian allies in the region.

Ortega’s goodwill towards Russia dates back to his days in the leadership of the 1979 revolution which ousted dictator Anastasio Somoza. Ortega served as president from 1985 until 1990. He was re-elected in 2007.

Ortega’s government arrested dozens of political opposition leaders in the months before his fourth consecutive term last year. He also shut down dozens of nongovernmental groups he accused of working on behalf of foreign interests. Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans have been chased into exile.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

RUSSIAN TROOPS ARE HEADED FOR CENTRAL AMERICA.

IN A DECREE AUTHORIZED BY NICARAGUAN PRESIDENT DANIEL ORTEGA, RUSSIA IS ALLOWED TO DEPLOY TROOPS, PLANES AND SHIPS TO THE COUNTRY ABOUT A THOUSAND MILES SOUTH OF FLORIDA.

ALSO, THE DECREE SAYS TWICE A YEAR RUSSIA CAN DEPLOY SMALL CONTINGENTS OF TROOPS FOR THE “EXCHANGE OF EXPERIENCES AND TRAINING.”

RUSSIA SAYS THIS TRAINING IS TO DEVELOP COOPERATION IN VARIOUS AREAS INCLUDING HUMANITARIAN AND EMERGENCY RESPONSES, COMBATTING ORGANIZED CRIME AND DRUG TRAFFICKING.

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THERE WILL BE A SIGNIFICANT PRESENCE OF RUSSIAN FORCES IN THE REGION. THE NEW NICARAGUAN LAW ALSO AUTHORIZES THE U-S, MEXICO, CUBA, VENEZUELA AND OTHER CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRIES TO DEPLOY TROOPS IN THE SAME MANNER.

WHILE IT’S UNLIKELY THE U.S. WILL ACCEPT THE INVITE, VENEZUELA AND CUBA PROBABLY WILL; WHICH COULD MEAN THIS IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARD A ROUTINE MILITARY ASSOCIATION BETWEEN RUSSIAN ALLIES IN THE REGION.