Nicaraguan Foreign Minister, Denis Moncada, speaks to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrob.
“For years, the Russian government has been focused on occupying Nicaragua as a platform for cyber and electronic operations… This agreement is a delivery of the country’s security to the Russians.”
Nicaragua held presidential elections in early November under highly repressive conditions, with seven major opposition candidates imprisoned and hundreds of political prisoners. Incumbent President Daniel Ortega ran practically unopposed. Pre-election polls revealed that majorities of Nicaraguans would have voted for an opposition candidate over Ortega if given the chance. Facing international isolation, a significant element of Ortega’s survival strategy leans on extra-hemispheric actors, including Russia, for support. Spanish-language digital military journal Diálogo relays that Nicaragua’s National Assembly recently ratified an agreement to permit Russia a larger role in Nicaragua’s cyberspace. Russia has promised to help Nicaragua monitor its cyber domain, which includes bringing forth evidence that would fall under the country’s repressive “cybercrimes” legislation, reports the outlet. Most recently, according to popular U.S. Spanish-language outlet CNN Español, Nicaragua announced official relations with China, dropping diplomatic recognition of Taiwan. Facing criticism from much of the international community, the Ortega regime is eager to bolster its hold on power by deepening its partnership with Russia and China. Further, given that the country’s opposition has used the internet to criticize and to organize itself politically (including in exile abroad), authoritarian great power rivals could ensure Ortega a much greater level of control over the domestic security apparatus. As Ortega becomes increasingly isolated and desperate, Nicaragua will likely become an important platform for rivals to project power.
“Nicaragua rompe relaciones diplomáticas con Taiwán y solo reconoce a China
(Nicaragua breaks diplomatic relations with Taiwan and only recognizes China),” CNN Español (the Spanish-language outlet of the popular U.S. outlet), 9 December 2021. https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2021/12/09/nicaragua-taiwan-china-orix/
The Nicaraguan government decided to break relations with Taiwan and will only recognize China, as announced by Foreign Minister Denis Moncada at a press conference this afternoon…Nicaragua’s announcement leaves just over a dozen countries around the world with official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, including Honduras and Guatemala.
Source: “Rusia interviene en seguridad informática de Nicaragua (Russia intervenes in Nicaraguan IT security),” Diálogo (a Spanish-language digital military journal), 15 October 2021. https://dialogo-americas.com/es/articles/rusia-interviene-en-seguridad-informatica-de-nicaragua/#.YWnYwxrMI2y
For years, the Russian government has been focused on occupying Nicaragua as a platform for cyber and electronic operations…This agreement is a delivery of the country’s security to the Russians…and it will serve to launch, from a closer place in the hemisphere, cyber-attacks or interference in elections.
Image caption: Nicaraguan Foreign Minister, Denis Moncada, speaks to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrob.