Excluded from Democracy Summit, Ortega Ups Ties with Russia

Rafael Ortega Murillo, Iván Acosta (second and third from the left) and Laureano Ortega Murillo (second from the right), all of them sanctioned members of the Ortega regime, in Russia. // Photo: Taken from official media.

Two sons of Daniel Ortega and the Minister of Finance lead Nicaraguan official mission in Russia.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – On the eve of the Summit for Democracy, organized by the US President Joe Biden, to which Nicaragua was not invited, two sons of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, headed an official delegation to Russia, whose ultimate goal is to strengthen relations with the Kremlin.

Laureano Ortega Murillo, presidential advisor for Investments, Trade and International Cooperation; and Rafael Ortega Murillo, presidential delegate, lead the mission together with the Minister of Finance and Public Credit, and the Nicaraguan ambassador in Moscow, Alba Torres.

The sons of Ortega and Murillo began their work agenda this Monday with a meeting with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov and continued Tuesday with the signing of a cooperation agreement “to promote the peaceful use of applied nuclear technologies in energy, agriculture and medicine,” informed the Government of Nicaragua.

In the meeting with the Russian deputy minister, they addressed “the main issues on the bilateral agenda in the political, economic and commercial fields,” the Nicaraguan executive said in a statement. Likewise, they met with the representative of the Russia-Nicaragua Mixed Intergovernmental Commission, Veronika Skvortsova, with whom they evaluated “all the projects being implemented and those to come,” without specifying the projects.

There was also a “follow-up meeting with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) with the perspective of expanding cooperation in the supply of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines for Nicaragua,” the source continued.

Finally, the Nicaraguan delegation also met with the vice president of the General Council of the United Russia Party, Andrey Klimov, “with the aim of strengthening ties with the FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front) Party through the signing of a cooperation and brotherhood agreement that is being prepared between both organizations,” according to the information.

The Summit for Democracy

Meanwhile, in the Western Hemisphere, President Biden has invited 110 allied governments considered to be democracies; leaving out Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Regarding the last three, the US Government indicated that they are facing “some challenges” in terms of democracy.

The meeting scheduled for December 9 and 10, will also include members of civil society and the private sector, who will have a session with the heads of state, sponsored by Biden himself, and another issue, with the participation of governmental and non-governmental representatives.

Uzra Zeya, Undersecretary of Democracy and Human Rights of the State Department, said Tuesday in a press conference prior to the start of this summit, that her country has “several concerns” about the Central American countries that have not been invited. Mainly in matters of “governance” and the fight “against corruption.”

The official stated that she would have “liked” that some of these countries participate in the summit, but she stressed that “the focus of the meeting is to work with those governments that have demonstrated their willingness to advance and make commitments in these areas.”

Nicaragua an ally of Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Nicaragua is “a very important” partner of Russia in Latin America and congratulated the Sandinista leader for his supposed “overwhelming victory” in the elections on November 7. He further said he will intensify the “strategic” bilateral cooperation with the Central American country.

Those elections, in which Ortega assigned himself 75.87% of the votes for his fourth consecutive term (fifth in total), with his main contenders in prison, have not been recognized by the bulk of the international community.

The 51st General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) considered that the elections “were not free, fair or transparent and do not have democratic legitimacy.” The United States called it “a pantomime” and the European Union (EU) a “fake.”

On the contrary, among the countries that have congratulated Ortega for his reelection are his allies from Bolivia, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Palestine, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

With information from EFE.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.