Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega congratulated his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Thursday on the occasion of the Kremlin chief’s 70th birthday, and reaffirmed his support for the Russian military campaign in Ukraine, which he has publicly supported since day one.
Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla, who now defines himself as a Catholic, and who is about to turn 77, stressed that Putin’s birthday coincides with the feast of the Virgin of the Rosary.
“You celebrate your 70th birthday, coinciding with the feast of Our Lady, the Virgin of the Rosary, who, we are sure, is guiding your steps, your work, your intelligence and sensitivity, accompanying you in these complex moments that the human community is experiencing”, Ortega wrote in a letter addressed to Putin.
In his message, also signed by Ortega’s wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, the Sandinista leader said that Putin’s birthday is “assisted by the maternal love of Maria, by the love of her family, and of her people, with you at the forefront.” the Russian Federation wages noble battles for peace, respect, tolerance, and a peaceful and secure life for all.”
Ortega turned to the Virgin Mary in a context in which at least 60 religious, including priests and nuns, have fled or been expelled from Nicaragua, while at least nine priests and a bishop are imprisoned, accused of alleged treason against the country. or subversives, according to the Nicaraguan Never Again Human Rights Collective.
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“We are with you, contributing our support from the valuable and historic relationship that unites us, and fighting with energy and optimism for that better, multipolar, less selfish world, to which we rightfully aspire,” Ortega continued.
To conclude, Ortega and Murillo wished Putin “to have a good day, and that the love of his family and the heart of his people accompany him and be strength and light, in these hard, necessary and hopeful times.”
Ortega, who returned to the presidency in 2007, after having coordinated a Government Junta from 1979 to 1985 and presiding over the country for the first time from 1985 to 1990, is Putin’s main ally in Central America, who has said that Nicaragua is a partner “very important” of Russia in Latin America.
Russia is an old ally of Nicaragua that during the first Sandinista regime (1979-1990) provided the Nicaraguan Armed Forces with Soviet weapons.
Nicaragua is one of the few countries, along with Venezuela and the small island states of Nauru and Tuvalu, that have joined Russia in recognizing the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and that have received senior Russian officials since Moscow invaded Ukraine.
In addition, at the end of 2020, Nicaragua established a consulate in Crimea, a Ukrainian territory annexed to Russia, which caused the rejection of Ukraine.