Ortega talks ALBA at CELAC summit

President Daniel Ortega was accompanied by his wife and daughter at the regional summit

First Lady Rosario Murillo kept President Daniel Ortega in her sights during the summit in Chile

(posted Jan. 28, 2:00 p.m.)- Nicaragua was well represented by three members of the first family during last weekend’s first bi-regional summit between the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the EU.

Accompanying President Daniel Ortega to the summit in Chile were first lady Rosario Murillo and their daughter, Camila Ortega Murillo, whose role in the government is unclear despite her increasingly frequent appearances at official events.

Nicaragua’s spot at table was marked by two name plaques for the presidential couple, while the first daughter sat in the second row next to the other Nicaraguan delegates, Trade Minister Orlando Solorzano and OAS Ambassador Denis Moncada.

During his 20-minute address to the assembly, Ortega talked about a wide variety of loosely related topics, from nuclear arms, drug trafficking and peace talks in Colombia, to Mexico’s historic support for revolutionary processes, the 20th century wars in Central America, and Puerto Rico’s “fight for liberation and independence.”

Ortega expressed his solidarity with Venezuela’s convalescing President Hugo Chávez, called for an end to the U.S. embargo against Cuba, and expressed his support for Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands.

Ortega: CELAC can learn from ALBA

Camila Ortega Murillo (on cellphone) also participated in the Nicaragua delegation to the CELAC-EU summit

Ortega called CELAC a “victory for the people” and said the regional body can learn from other integration initiatives, such as the Venezuelan-led Bolivarian Alliance for Our Americas (ALBA).

ALBA, Ortega said, is not about handouts or gifts, but about “energizing” smaller economies “so they can get out of poverty.”

“Venezuela is not giving away petroleum. We pay for 100%,” Ortega said.

The benefit of the arrangement, he explained, is in the terms of payment, which requires Nicaragua to pay only 50% up front and allows the country to invest 25% of their oil bill in social programs and infrastructure projects. The preferential terms of repayment have allowed Nicaragua to maintain macroeconomic stability, Ortega told the crowd.

But ALBA is not just an oil business, Ortega said. “This is a complementary project to strengthen our economy,” he said.

The president noted that ALBA is also allowing Nicaragua to invest in renewable energy technology and export agricultural products to Venezuela, which is having a hard time feeding itself.


  • valter Karlsen

    Nicaraguas “first family”(ladrones numero uno),has become the richest crooks in Nica-land,together with the inner circle of the communistas.Chavez thinks Venezuelas oil is his.It does not strike his mind that this is not the case..While the populations in Venezuela and Nicaragua get poorer and poorer,the shameless “elite” doesn’t seem to care.
    I have spent four and a half years in Nicaragua,and have seen first hand what goes on there.Nicaragua is full of decent poor people.The rich ones are garbage.Unfortunately this will not change in the foreseeable future.

    All the best to the poor ones.To hell with rich ones.