Central American country cuts ties with Netherlands

Nicaragua’s government announced it was cutting diplomatic relations with the Netherlands, accusing the European nation of “neo-colonial and interventionism”.

“Faced with Dutch interventionism, interventionism and neo-colonialism through threats and suspensions of work in the public interest, Nicaragua informed the Dutch government of its decision to intends to immediately sever diplomatic relations between the two sides,” the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry announced on September 30.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega during a rally in the capital Managua on March 21, 2019.  Photo: Reuters

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega during a rally in the capital Managua on March 21, 2019. Image: Reuters

Earlier on the same day, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said that during a visit to the capital Managua on September 29, the Dutch ambassador to Central America Christine Pirenne informed Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada that the Netherlands would not sponsor a hospital as committed many years ago.

“Those who come here disrespecting our people, our homeland should not continue to appear in Nicaragua. We don’t want to have relations with a government that likes to interfere,” he said. “The ambassador came to talk to the Nicaraguans as if Nicaragua were a Dutch colony.”

The Netherlands closed its embassy in Managua in 2013 and runs all Central American diplomacy from its office in Costa Rica.

Earlier this week, Nicaraguan authorities announced the expulsion of the EU ambassador but did not say why. Nicaragua also announced that new US ambassador Hugo Rodriguez “will not be allowed to step foot in Nicaragua”.

Nicaragua said it did not accept the US ambassador because of “disrespectful” remarks he made about Nicaragua before a US Senate hearing. Rodriguez has called Nicaragua a “rejected country in the region”, calling Mr Ortega’s government a “dictatorship”.

“I support using all economic and diplomatic tools to give Nicaragua a direction of change,” said Rodriguez, proposing to exclude Nicaragua from the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement.

Nicaragua is a Central American country with an area of ​​more than 130,000 square kilometers and a population of 6.3 million, bordered by Honduras, Costa Rica and the Caribbean Sea. GDP per capita is more than 2,100 USD.

Hong Hanh (Theo AFP)

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