"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Obama Golfs While Russian Fighter Jets Come to Nicaragua

Now Putin Arms Nicaragua

(IPS News)  -  Nicaragua, the second-poorest country in the Americas, is tapping into its depleted coffers to upgrade its ageing military fleet with costly new equipment from Russia – a move that has sparked controversy at home and concern among the country’s Central American neighbours.
The decision was officially confirmed Feb. 10 by the Nicaraguan army chief, General Adolfo Zepeda.
When rumours spread in the international media that Managua was seeking to acquire a fleet of six to 12 MiG-29 fighter jets, Zepeda acknowledged that they were looking for warplanes for “defensive” purposes: to intercept drug trafficking flights by cartels in the country’s Caribbean region. He also said the military planned to buy gunboats. No further details were offered.
The announcement drew criticism from civilian sectors in Nicaragua and Central America, which argued that the poorest country in the Americas after Haiti shouldn’t be trying to buy fighter planes, which in the case of the MiG-29s cost 29 million dollars apiece.
According to World Bank figures, 42.5 percent of Nicaragua’s 6.1 million people were living in poverty in 2009, the last year official statistics were provided by the government.
Nicaragua has supported geostrategic readjustments by Russia in its zone of influence, on the last occasion backing the Kremlin in the conflict with Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.
Russia has responded to that support with donations and loans of technology, medicine, means of transport and food. The military provisions and cooperation totaled 26 million dollars from 2009 to 2014.
Russian warships dock in Nicaraguan ports while its fighter jets land in Managua; and Nicaraguan and Russian vessels patrol the waters of the Caribbean, as a training centre for the fight against drugs is being built in the capital with Russian funds and support from Russian experts.
On Feb. 11-12, Russia’s defence minister, Sergey Shoygu, visited Managua with the stated aim of strengthening bilateral cooperation in the area, after his deputy minister, Anatoli Antonov, included Nicaragua on a list of Russia’s three main military partners in Latin America, along with Cuba and Venezuela.

Read More . . . .

The MiG 29 Comes to Nicaragua
“One doesn’t combat drug trafficking with that kind of heavy military equipment for fighting wars,” Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel González said in late February after bringing up the matter with Secretary of State John Kerry.
A former armed forces commander in Honduras, Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, told media there that Nicaragua’s possible acquisition would create “an imbalance for the region.”
Colombia has been more muted, but its air force contains aged C-7 Kfir fighters from Israel and Cessna A-37 Dragonfly light strike jets, neither of which are a match for the MiG-29s. Colombia maintains a dispute with Nicaragua over maritime territory, following a 2012 ruling by the International Court of Justice in The Hague that expanded Nicaragua’s sea boundaries to the detriment of Colombia.  (McClatchy News)

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/03/23/260684/russias-return-to-nicaragua-worrying.html#storylink=cpy

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