South Ossetia and Abkhazia: Nicaragua Recognizes Independence.
Below is an article published by The Herald Tribune.
Nicaragua has recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, backing the Russian stance on the Georgian regions and siding with other leftist Latin American countries to defy Washington.
The Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla leader who had close ties to Moscow during the Cold War, has criticized the Georgian attempt to regain control of South Ossetia and supported the counterattack by Russia.
Venezuela and Cuba have sided with Russia in the dispute, but Ortega went further in fully recognizing the regions' independence.
"The government of Nicaragua recognizes the independence of the republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and we are completely with the Russian government's position," Ortega said in a speech late Tuesday [02 September 2008].
Moscow sent troops and tanks to defend South Ossetia from the Georgian bid to retake the rebel region by force. Many world leaders also criticized Russia after it recognized the two regions as independent states.
The breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria - itself not recognized internationally - has followed Russia in formally acknowledging the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela said last week [August 2008] that he backed the Russian position on the regions, but stopped short of formally recognizing them. Belarus, a close ally of Russia, did the same.
Ortega, who lost power in a 1990 election, was voted back into power in 2006 on a platform of reconciliation. Since then, he has irritated Washington with his warm relationship with Chávez.
Cuba is continuing to send signals that Havana wants to strengthen its relationship with Moscow. State-run media on Thursday [28 August 2008] highlighted the arrival of Russian aid following Hurricane Gustav.
State television showed two huge cargo planes arriving at the José Martí airport, which serves Havana, at the top of its morning news broadcast. Cuban soldiers were seen unloading supplies. Such scenes have not been seen in Cuba since the Soviet Union collapsed.