February 27th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) Russia has its eyes on expanding its military presence by establishing military bases in Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba according to a statement by Russian Defense Minister, Serguei Shoigu, and Costa Rica is not thrilled by the proposal.
Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, has always maintained friendly relations with Russia, which for its part has donated military hardware to the country and participated in training and joint exercises.
For Costa Rica, the idea of a Russian military base in Nicaragua is worrying, according to Foreign Minister, Enrique Castillo.
“It’s part of the plan of intimidation that Nicaragua is pushing in the region, arming themselves with the most modern weapons and equipment […] Russia has been involved in supporting Nicaragua on several occasions and would supply [naval assets] to Nicaragua,” Castillo told the digital newspaper, CRHoy.com.
Castillo said that the installation of such a military base would alter the region by superimposing the presence of a world power in Central America, adding that the establishment of such a base could not be called part of the effort to fight drug trafficking.
“The presence of a military base whose purpose is disguised [as fighting drug trafficking] is something that is very disturbing, altering the balance of the region, which would mean the presence of an extra continental power in Central American waters,” Castillo said.
Castillo also expressed his distrust of Nicaragua’s government. “We have no confidence in Nicaragua, they have repeatedly deceived us and has given false gestures of wanting to negotiate [… ] they have lost our trust,” Castillo said, referring to recent territorial disputes between Costa Rica and its northern neighbor.