Nicaragua. According to Countryaah, new tensions with neighboring Costa Rica, with which there is an old conflict over the San Juan border, arose during the first half of the year when President Daniel Ortega presented plans to allow foreign companies to search for and extract oil in the borderlands between the two countries. Among other things, Nicaragua held talks with the Spanish oil company Repsol about oil rights in the Caribbean, and in August the US Noble Energy oil drilling started in the area. Even Colombia, with which Nicaragua has a legal process before the International Court of The Hague, warned Ortega of expansionist tendencies after a Nicaraguan oil platform in July proved to infringe on its territorial waters.
In January, President Ortega passed a new law regulating financial compensation for war veterans from the Civil War in the 1980s. The law guarantees, among other things, old age pension, housing, free health care and some tax cuts for former members of the army, but does not include deserters or members of the dictator Anastasio Somoza’s National Guard.
In January, a series of bilateral agreements were signed with the Russian Federation, with which Nicaragua has historical ties and which is the country’s largest donor. Among other things, it was agreed on continued large deliveries of wheat from the Russian Federation.
Ortega won the November 2011 presidential election with 62.5% of the vote. In second place, liberal Fabio Gadea Mantilla had to settle for 31%. In other words, Ortega made solid progress from the election 5 years earlier. The parliamentary elections gave the FSLN 63 out of the 92 seats in parliament.
In June 2013, the National Assembly granted a 50-year concession to the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company to build and operate a canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The construction of the canal is budgeted at 40-50 billion kroner. US $. It went live in December 2014 and was scheduled to be completed 5 years later. The routing of a channel through Nicaragua had been proposed several times in the past. The United States considered building a canal through Nicaragua in the late 1800’s, but pressure from France and planting false stories in the US press instead prompted the United States to build the canal through Panama. The canal should start at the Brito River’s mouth in the Pacific, go up through Lake Nicaragua and end at the Punta Gorda River’s mouth in the Atlantic. Farmers and environmental groups have protested against the construction.
In January 2014, the National Assembly, by 64 votes to 25, passed a constitutional amendment that removed the restriction on the terms a president can be re-elected. The then 68-year-old Ortega could then be re-elected as many times as he could get a majority in the population. The move was sharply criticized by the opposition.
Nicaragua benefited from cheap oil from Venezuela during these years.
In 2015, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) ordered the Nicaraguan government to protect the Miskito people who were in frequent violent confrontations with prominent landowners. In 2013-15, 24 miscarriages had been killed during these confrontations.
In November 2015, the government approved an environmental study that highlighted the environmental impact of building a canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Construction could thus start, but it was uncertain, however, whether sufficient funding could be provided for the construction that would become a competitor to the Panama Canal.
Also in November, the government closed the border for Cubans who wanted to travel to the United States from Costa Rica. Many Cubans traveled out of Cuba these months because they feared that the US open-door policy toward Cubans would be set as US-Cuba relations were normalized. As a result, in January 2016, there were 8,000 Cubans in Costa Rica. The United States then paid to have them flown on.
In 2016, Nicaragua chose not to sign the Paris Agreement to reduce CO 2 emissions. The reason was that the country did not think the agreement went far enough to protect the globe from global climate change. Nicaragua itself was experiencing rapid development towards renewable energy sources. Acc. the government’s own information was 25% of the country’s energy covered by renewable energy sources in 2007. This had grown to 52% in 2016.