Nicaragua reaffirmed its alignment with Russia’s political position by refusing to sign the declaration condemning the invasion of Ukraine, promoted to the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) during a special session this Friday.
At Washington, the director of the National Security Council for the Western Hemisphere, Juan González, warned that the sanctions which The United States imposed this Friday against Russia will have an impact on Latin American governments that have close ties with the government of Vladimir Putin, as is the case of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.
In an interview with the voice of americaGonzález, who is a special assistant to United States President Joe Biden, said the sanctions against Russia should be seen as so severe that “they will impact countries that have economic affiliations with Russia, and that’s by design.” .
“Venezuela is going to start feeling this pressure, Nicaragua will feel this pressurelike Cuba. But at the end of the day, what we want are negotiated solutions to the crisis in Venezuela, with a restoration of democratic order in Nicaragua, and we want Cubans to be the ones who determine their future, not a dictatorship “González told the Voice of America.
In the case of the European Union (EU), member states have focused its second set of sanctions against Russia by attacking its financial system and stifling the financing of banks and state-owned enterprises, leaving aside for the time being more severe trade retaliation which could inflict significant damage also on EU countries because of their economic ties with Moscow .
The EU has chosen to exclude from this sanctions package the far-reaching trade measures that, for example, the United States have adopted, since they would have “huge impact” in the economy of its Member States, which would be forced to pay “high price” by them. This is how community sources recognize it, pointing out that the bloc has a commercial relationship with Russia that multiplies by ten that of Washington: “Their trade ratio is 8 billion and ours is 80 billion”.
These reasons explain why EU sanctions do not currently include restrictions on trade in luxury goods, such as diamonds, gas import bans or the disconnection of Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system. , a fundamental pillar for the functioning of the international financial system. .
Exiting Russian entities from this system, as happened for certain Iranian entities following the European sanctions in 2012, would amount to cutting their financial links with foreign countries by preventing them from receiving foreign currency or making transfers for their commercial transactions and would have an effect “devastating”according to an analysis by the Carnegie Europe Center.
With this scenario, the EU preferred to focus on cutting off funding channels and denying access to capital markets to the Kremlin, its state-owned enterprises and Russian banks through a series of decisions in the financial field. Private banks Alfa Bank and Bank Otkritie and public Sberbank, Vneshtorgbank (VTB), Gazprombank, Russian Agricultural Bank and Vnecheconombank (VEB) join the list of entities sanctioned by the bloc, the financing of public companies like Kamaz is also stopped, Rostec or Almaz-Antey and the opening of new deposits of more than 100,000 euros to Russian citizens in European banks is prohibited.
The crisis of Russian military operations in Ukraine was addressed by the OAS Permanent Council, where 23 countries endorsed the statement of condemnation and the call for Russia to cease aggression and open diplomatic dialogue to resolve the dispute.
One of the countries that promoted the statement of condemnation was Guatemala. Besides Nicaragua, the other Central American country that has not signed the document is El Salvador.
The Salvadoran political analyst Napoleón Campos said he was disconcerted by the attitude of the diplomacy of President Nayib Bukele, who even through his social networks directly castigated the American government for its position in relation to the crisis in Ukraine.
Campos also referred to the position of Nicaragua, which he said he was not surprised and which, in his view, will worsen the situation of international isolation in which the Ortega regime has found itself since the electoral farce of November 7. . of 2021.
“The OAS resolution demonstrates that there is widespread concern and dismay in the hemisphere over what is happening in Ukraine. The vast majority of OAS countries agree in condemning this violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and self-determination,” Campos said.
The declaration drawn up within the Permanent Council sets out in its fourth point the ‘condemnation of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, which is contrary to the principles of respect and territorial integrity, as well as to the prohibition of the threat and the use of force and peaceful peace”. resolution, enshrined in international law and in the Charter of the United Nations”.
The statement was promoted by Guatemala, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, United States, Grenada, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Honduras and Venezuela.
Ortega has specifically used arguments related to sovereignty and the defense of independence to promote absurd prison sentences for presidential candidates, opponents, human rights activists, businessmen, journalists and peasant and student leaders.
The representative of Nicaragua did not participate in the debate on the statement of condemnation. Countries that have not adhered to this instrument such as Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina have done so, focusing their interventions on the need to reach political agreements to end military operations in Eastern Europe .
‘Insane support’, says analyst
“Daniel Ortega’s support for Russia’s position is insane, but let’s understand that here they understand each other as tyrants. Moreover, with the visits of the Russian Deputy Prime Minister ( Yuri Borisov) and Russian State Duma Chairman (Vyacheslav Volodin) Daniel Ortega reconfirmed his pariah character in the American hemisphere and internationally,” Campos added.
Volodin is in Nicaragua at the height of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He was received by Laureano Ortega Murillo, son of the dictator, and Gustavo Porras, president of the National Assembly.
He appeared this Thursday in the parliamentary hemicycle to deliver a speech in which he thanked Daniel Ortega for having been one of the first leaders to support Russia in the unilateral recognition of the pro-Russian separatist territories of Donetsk and Lugansk (eastern Ukraine), including supporting the Russian army. After his speech, he was applauded by Ortega deputies and their collaborationist political allies.
“We thank the President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, who was one of the first to declare the importance of recognizing the independence of the popular regions of Donbás to guarantee the security of the people,” he said.
He stressed that “Nicaragua is one of Russia’s strong partners” and that the two countries are strengthening their relations based on mutual respect, trust and “guided by the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of States Kings”.
Remoteness can be aggravated in Central America
The specialist in international issues and professor at the University of Costa Rica, Carlos Murillo Zamora, said that the main political impact that the Ukrainian crisis could have in Central America depends on the diplomatic positions that Nicaragua will take in the future. Indeed, it is the country that has most openly supported Russia’s position, including the use of troops in Ukraine.
“If even (Vladimir) Putin continued his campaign beyond Ukraine, Ortega would surely support him. This shows Putin’s estrangement from the rest of the Central American countries that in the future discussions related to the Central American integration process, which is currently very weak,” said Murillo Zamora.
“From my point of view, this may even affect the process of electing the Secretary General of the SICA (Central American Integration System) because the gap between Ortega and the other Central American leaders is widening with this crisis in Ukraine,” he said. -he adds.
Russian foreign policy expert, Ivan Ulysses Kentros Klyszczinterviewed on the show This evening – posted on Facebook and YouTube due to censorship by the Ortega regime – said the military escalation in Ukraine will lead Latin American countries aligned with Moscow “to have to weigh the serious diplomatic and even economic consequences” of maintaining these ties political and ideological. .
“This will force Russia’s allies in Latin America to think about the goals they are achieving through their collaboration with Russia. A major conflict between Ukraine, Russia and the West would make any collaboration with Russia too costly in terms of diplomacy, international relations and in terms of economic ties. It’s hard to predict what kind of impact there would be, but it would definitely make working with any of these countries very difficult,” Kentros said on the show.