Putin’s surprise visit to Nicaragua fuels canal rumors

Vlad's surprise visit to Nicaragua last night is fueling rumors

Vlad's surprise visit to Nicaragua last night is fueling rumors

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed Nicaragua as a “very important ally for Russia in Latin America” during a surprise stopover in Managua last night as part of his political/World Cup tour of Latin America.

In brief comments broadcast on Sandinista media outlets, Putin — the first Russian President to ever visit Nicaragua — noted that the two countries are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic relations, but that “we have to do a lot to continue developing our relations, especially economically.”

Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega, seated next to his wife and his favorite son, Laureano, called Putin’s visit “historic.” He compared it to a “lightning strike” — apparently meant in a happy way.

“We are very happy to have you in our land, which is your land,” Ortega told his Russian counterpart through an interpreter.

Ortega lauded Putin for his efforts to fight the war on drugs and to “fight for peace.”

Putin’s surprise arrival has fueled rumors that Russia is somehow acting as a silent partner in the canal concession Nicaragua granted to an unknown Chinese company. The owner of that concession, enigmatic Chinese businessman Wang Jing, was in Nicaragua this week to announce the route of the canal.

Sandinista officials downplay the rumors of Russian involvement.

“No, I think those are suppositions,” retired Gen. Alvaro Baltodano, economic advisor to President Ortega, told Nicaragua Dispatch in a recent interview in Washington, D.C. “This is a Chinese investment; they are Chinese investors. Who are they going to work with? They are in contact with global companies, from the U.S., Russia, Europe and other parts of the world; China too.”

Pressed on whether the canal project is motivated by geopolitical or military interests in addition to global trade, Baltodano said that’s not a concern people should be worried about.

“We are not in a position to build something for geopolitical reasons or other reasons,” he said. “Here the goals are very clear, and exact, and very transparent.”

 

  • Pepe Turcon

    Except for being drunk and writing a few sentimental novels the Russians are useless. Even their cities were designed and built by Italian artists and until very recently they spoke French in court.
    Lately even their vodka was made with imported US grain.
    In Nica, specially after the 80′s when a few drunk Russians meddled through Nica popular local wisdom coined the phrase:”the Russians are as useless as used toilet paper”
    Given the background…you can easily derive the motives, background and intent of the Ortegas,mind you…you will get yourself very dirty…by just looking.

    • Ken Morris

      You’re ignoring classical music and ballet–as well as no doubt some good recipes for potato and beet dishes.

      Also, with reference to the sentiment that “the Russians are as useless as used toilet paper,” my guess is that this only arose after the USSR was splitting apart and no longer able to supply Nicaragua with arms. Early in the 1980s, I believe, the USSR was a crucial source of arms for Nicaragua in its battle against the US, and when that source went dry, there was understandably much disappointment with the Russians.

      • Pepe Turcon

        Yes…a few sentimental notes includes the music you mentioned.
        Another way to see how the Russians are totally useless (besides the sad notes) is to realize you may have turron from Spain, Olive oil and Ferraris from Italy, Good Caterpillars from Peoria Illinois in the USA, Pejiballes from Costa Rica. And I could go on almost forever except for Russia…well maybe just the AK47 and as for the Caviar bet you the Sturgeons are Iranians…
        When was the last time you or any friend in your Universe bought something produced in Russia? Bet you wouldn’t dare fly one of their planes.
        Remember the fact that… anything ever produced by Russia was stolen from the Nazis after the Russians had lost the war and plundered into Berlin, without the US help they would have disappeared long ago.
        Trust me….they are used toilet paper and that’s a piropo.

        • Carlos Boozer

          You write a lot for someone who’s words have zero value. It’s very interesting… Is that what happens on these types of comment boards, people just make ignorant assertions without backing them up with sources/facts. I guess you’ll take a minute or two to come up with another “clever” assertion in reply to me like the smart individual you are.

        • http://www.mondadori.com/Group/History Alessandra Mondadori

          Right on the money Pepe, talk about those stinking Russians is a waste of time. To bad we did not allowed Hitler to turn them to nothingness, where they belong.

    • Daniel Savage

      Right said, Sir.

  • Ken Morris

    Interesting. There’s an obvious risk to Nicaragua of Putin visiting, since that just inflames those who worry about Russia’s influence, though then again there’s nothing wrong with it and it’s even an honor. It looks like they compromised by having the visit but not giving it much fanfare.

    BTW, I can live with the joke about a positive lightening strike (it is a funny dig) but you might want to be careful about identifying a son as Ortega’s “favorite.” Are you sure? Why?

  • Maria Mikhailitchenko

    As a Russian, I can tell you that we happen to be quite useful in flying spaceships, contributing to the fields of math and physics and fighting Nazis (you are welcome!) As far as Nicaragua is concerned, I think that it would be smart for them to benefit from what Russians have to offer as long as it doesn’t involve giving up anything that other powers are willing to do for the country. As the Russian saying goes, a gentle calf feeds from two cows. Multiple benefactors are better than one as long as you can play them off each other in a smart way.

    • Adriano

      You, Russians, useful in fighting Nazis? And Stalin, what was he? A Fascist makes no difference from a Nazi. They both needed concentration camps. And what about Putin’s Government today, a neo-fascistic dictature or neo-feudalistic Middle-Age state pretending to be “modern” Russia, but still based on antique ruling systems coming from the times of the Czars? Not to speak about all the human rights infringements and man-despising laws you Russians approve! And all this Neo-Nazi groups battering and tormenting gays, are you fighting them? No, you promote them supported by the Church and the Government. You are just one of those blindfolded naive Russians who cannot cope reality – or are afraid of it.

      • Maria Mikhailitchenko

        What Russians are inside their own country and what they believe or how they govern themselves is frankly none of your business, not that you understand any of it anyway. Making remarks denigrating an entire nation in a public forum on the other hand is plain racist! So you of all people shouldn’t even be talking about human rights.

        • Adriano

          The Russians do not “govern themselves”. Incidentally, human rights transgressions are an international matter and if Russian’s politicians and its bootlicker are not able to respect them, it deserves criticism. Putin’s regime is based on such transgressions, see for example his new law prohibiting curse words in books and films: this is against freedom of speech and in the arts. It’s censorship like in Stalin’s times. I am visiting Moscow for work since 20 years, every year 1-2 times and I am not an outsider as that, I have many Russian friends; which means that I understand quite a lot and your answer that we do not “understand” is just typical. You don’t come up with better arguments. I am not denigrating a nation, but its Government. The people live in fear and don’t have the courage to admit the thruth. I am very fond of Russian Culture and – since I have decided some time ago not to visit Russia anymore, I will miss many friends!

  • Maria Mikhailitchenko

    You have Russian friends? Call them fascists in their face and I promise you won’t have them as friends anymore….as I said, disparaging a whole nation and refusing to recognize its positive contributions is plain racist and I have nothing further to say to you.

    • Adriano

      I see you are twisting all my words up because you cannot justify yourself. I am certainly not calling my freinds them Fascists, but the political system. Most of those Russians friends of mine, they too are not understanding and deeply disapprove what’s going on in Russia.

  • Alessandra Mondadori

    Well, an update on Russia’s level of civilization. Technology stolen from WW2 Germany just killed 300 innocent civilians, 80 children at 35,000 feet altitude on a Malaysian civilian aircraft from Holland to Kuala Lumpur.. All provided by the monkey do Putin. Hey Russians, you can go to hell. Lets hope the next US administration nukes the vodka lovers once and for all to the stone age, where they belong.

    • Nica

      No US goverment will have enough eggs to nuke Russian. The problem with Russian is that the Russian goverment is really independent. They care about his own interest first. Not like other countries that are willing to put first american interest in front even going against his own people. Few countries in the world have such level of independence. This is why US hates them and keep sending us messages that this countries are bad or evil people govern them.

      • http://www.mondadori.com/Group/History Alessandra Mondadori

        We have controlled nukes nowadays. We could get rid of sectors in any city. You will be surprised how nukes have evolved in the US Army. You shouldn’t be afraid of them.

  • http://www.mondadori.com/Group/History Alessandra Mondadori

    Let’s hope we get rid fast of that useless idiot Obozo at the Oval office and send a Special Ops to annihilate Putin, his family and friends. Much like Bush did to Osama.