Following Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele’s decision to expel Venezuelan diplomats from his country, causing a diplomatic crisis, political analysts in Nicaragua view the Daniel Ortega government as increasingly isolated, being the only country in the region to continue to support the Chavista government.
Ricardo de León, a Nicaraguan expert in international law, told Voice of America that “all Central American countries, both within the OAS [Organization of American States] and the U.N. [United Nations], have voted in favor of resolutions for Maduro to either call for new elections or recognize the National Assembly. Nicaragua is becoming isolated for being the only [country] that supports the Nicolás Maduro regime.”
The analyst also said that newly elected Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei would most likely replicate El Salvador’s measure, leaving Nicaragua as the only country in the region to maintain diplomatic relations with Maduro.
Former Nicaraguan diplomat Bosco Matamoros is of the same opinion, and asserts that the situation in Nicaragua shows two tendencies in Central America.
“One goes in the direction of democracy, while the other takes an authoritarian turn. Unfortunately, Nicaragua is the only representative of this authoritarian tendency, and it’s the only country in the region to support Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela [and] group known as ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America], which has failed to reach any of its goals,” Matamoros said.
Strategically speaking, analysts say, Nicaragua is at risk of being isolated and excluded from main regional trends, excluded from multilateral organizations and of indisputably losing markets, which a vulnerable nation like Nicaragua can’t afford.
José Pallaís, member of the Nicaraguan nongovernmental organization Civic Alliance, condemned the Sandinista government’s position and warned about the dangers of Nicaragua becoming another Venezuela in Central America.
“The Ortega-Murillo government has sided with a government that violates human rights, one that has many similarities with practices that occur in Venezuela as well as in Nicaragua; meaning the restrictions of human rights and liberties, human rights violations, and citizen detentions,” Pallaís told VOA.
University and rural leaders also said that the Ortega government’s position sends a warning, in that the government might also replicate Maduro’s radical position of refusing to seek a negotiated exit from power, causing more social and economic turmoil.
“What he’s doing is showing the criminal nature of the regime that also exists in Nicaragua, because they share interests and strategies,” said Max Jerez, member of the Nicaraguan University Alliance. “This should send a warning that we might be seeing the Venezuelan strategy being applied in Nicaragua, with Daniel Ortega refusing to negotiate and continuing to cling to power.”
For Sandinista lawmaker Luis Barbosa the Nicaraguan government will continue to maintain friendly relations with Venezuela and “sister” nations like Cuba.
“Nicaragua will always have good relations with Venezuela, with Cuba, with all those countries that respect our country,” Barbosa said.
On several occasions, Ortega has expressed his support for his Cuban and Venezuelan counterparts and condemned international sanctions imposed on these countries by governments such as the United States.