Latin America

Nicaragua becomes a proxy battleground for Russia-U.S. tensions

The renewal of a decree allowing Russian — and American — armed forces to conduct exercises on Nicaraguan soil has drawn a harsh response from the White House, and more sanctions

Managua, Nicaragua Nicaraguan Army soldiers prepare to take part in a military parade in Russian tanks to mark the 42nd anniversary of the founding of the National Army on Bolivar Chavez Avenue in Managua, Nicaragua. Credit: Inti Ocon/dpa/Alamy Live News
Nicaraguan Army soldiers prepare to take part in a military parade in Russian tanks to mark the 42nd anniversary of the founding of the National Army. Photo: Inti Ocon/DPA/Alamy Live News

For decades, Nicaragua has permitted the entry of foreign armed forces to conduct military exercises on its soil. Troops from the U.S., Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, and neighboring Central American nations are given this authorization thanks to a rolling decree, reissued every two years, which seeks to allow for “mutually beneficial exchange and humanitarian assistance.” 

However, the most recent renewal of this order, on June 7, has caused something of a diplomatic furor between Nicaragua and the White House.

Announced on the second day of the 2022 Summit of the Americas — to which Nicaragua was not invited...

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