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Russian presence in Nicaragua; concern for the US

Russia is expanding its military and financial aid, and it is stirring fear in the US. Behind the solid walls and wires, a visitor can see red-and-blue structures, manicured gardens, globe-shaped devices and antennas. The Nicaraguan government says it’s tracking site of the Russian version of a GPS satellite system. Is it additionally an intelligence base planned to surveil the Americans?

Three decades after this small Central American country turned into the prize in a Cold War battle with Washington, Russia is again planting its flag in Nicaragua. In recent years, the Russian government has added power to its security association here by selling tanks and weapons, sending troops, and building offices proposed to prepare Central American forces to fight drug trafficking.

The Russian surge gives an impression of being a part of the Kremlin’s expansion policy. President Vladimir Putin’s administration has deployed fighter aircraft to help Syria’s war-battered government and ventured up peace endeavours in Afghanistan, also adding the Crimean Peninsula and supporting separatists in Ukraine.

“Obviously there’s been a great deal of action, and it’s on the uptick currently,” said a senior US official acquainted with Central American affairs, who talked on the state of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issues.

As the Beltway world unravels, the Trump camp was suspected of having links with Moscow. The American authorities are also wondering over Russian intentions in its obscure former stomping territory. Present and former US officials are suspecting that the new Russian facilities could have “dual use” capabilities, especially for electronic espionage directed at the United States. Security experts see the military moves in Central America as a conceivable counter to the expanded US military presence in Eastern Europe, showing that Russia can likewise also strut in the United States’ back yard.

American authorities state that they are not yet alarmed by the increasing Russia presence. But they are careful. The State Department named a staff member from its Russia desk to work as a desk official for Nicaragua, because of her work experience. Some American diplomats dispatched to Nicaragua knew how to communicate in Russian and had work experience in Moscow.

Nicaragua’s president’s office, the defence and foreign ministries, and the police all wouldn’t address inquiries for this report. The Russian Embassy in Managua likewise failed to react to queries.

In a previous couple of years, the association has militarised. In 2015, Nicaragua’s parliament, managed by the Sandinistas, announced a resolution enabling Russian warships to dock in Nicaraguan ports. They had an agreement to permit patrolling on the beach, supplying aircraft and armoured personnel carriers, mobile rocket launchers. It provided 50 T-72 tanks to Nicaragua. The nation’s military chiefs previously had an affinity with Russia. Used Soviet-provided equipment battling the contras and received training in the Soviet Union.

While Venezuela has nearly collapsed financially and Cuba improved its relations with the United States. Ortega’s legislature has emerged as Russia’s most steady ideological ally in the hemisphere.

According to media sources, Evan Ellis, a professor in College, said, “The most productive state agreement that Russia has is most noteworthy advances, has been Nicaragua.”

Jacinto Suarez, leader of the Nicaraguan parliament’s foreign affairs committee, and an ally of Ortega’s said in a meeting that the association with Russia is the common outgrowth of the ties the nations created during the 1980s. He rejected those worries over “nonexistent military dangers.”

Present and previous US authorities have a variety of theories about Putin’s aims in Latin America. Some consider Russia’s military activities a reaction to the Obama administration sending more US troops and weapons to NATO nations in Central and Eastern Europe. Others stress that Russia could be seeking after ambitious government agent objectives, for example, blocking Internet traffic in the ARCOS 1 fibre-optic link that keeps running from Miami down the Caribbean bank of Central America. The theory is overflowing that the new Russian satellite site on the lip of the Laguna de Nejapa cavity will be a covert operative office, even though Nicaraguan authorities have said it will utilize for Glonass, Russia’s equivalent of GPS.

Juan Gonzalez, a deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs was working during the Obama administration, said that he had commonly been sceptical about theories that China, Iran and Russia were posing a security threat with their activities in Latin America. ] But he had changed his perspective over the recent years as a result of Russia’s events in Nicaragua and neighbouring El Salvador. (The Salvadoran foreign minister visited Moscow a month ago to talk about trade and finance deals.) The Russian presence has created blended responses among Nicaraguan residents. Some think Moscow as a long-standing ally. Others worry that the Nicaraguan government could utilize the new Russian equipment to spy on its critics.