(CNN Spanish) – Nicaragua’s National Assembly on Tuesday ratified the presidential decree that will allow foreign armed forces to enter the country from July 1, including troops from Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and the United States, although the purposes of each country differ.
The decree was approved by a vote of 78 deputies, mostly from the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front, without opposing votes, with 11 deputies from minority parties abstaining.
Representative Alejandro Mejia Ferretti, Third Secretary of Parliament, read out the explanatory statement of the decree justifying approval in the military tradition to hold joint humanitarian exercises.
For his part, Sandinista MP Valmaro Gutierrez said that dozens of similar decrees had been ratified in the National Assembly since 2007 and that the international media had manipulated their approval.
In the decree signed by President Daniel Ortega on June 7 and now endorsed by the Nicaraguan Congress, entry to ships, aircraft and military personnel is also allowed from Central America and Mexico for the purpose of “exchange of mutually beneficial humanitarian assistance in cases of emergency.”
The decree describes, in several articles, the type of authorization that extends to different countries. In the case of the United States, the rule states that it will be a coordinated entry with the Nicaraguan Army to carry out humanitarian aid operations and search and rescue and rescue missions in case of emergency or natural disaster.
In the case of Russian military forces, entry permit includes the same purposes as the U.S. military’s humanitarian assistance, but adds multiple layers of cooperation, such as exercises, “experience sharing,” “anti-illegal navy” operations in the Caribbean, countering drug trafficking and transnational organized crime. National security training.
The decree stipulates that 230 Russian soldiers and military equipment will enter Nicaragua on a rotational basis in the second half of this year. It sets lower figures for the Venezuelan military and Cuba.
The decree published in the newspaper La Gasita also allows the alternate departure of 50 Nicaraguan military personnel, ships and aircraft to the Russian Federation with the aim of “participating in exchange exercises, military education and training in humanitarian assistance operations.”
Ortega voiced support for Russian President Vladimir Putin in February when he recognized the independence of the breakaway self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, both located in eastern Ukraine, a fact the United States deemed “deeply troubling.”
In addition, Managua voted against Russia’s expulsion from the UN Human Rights Council, a measure the council took after noting the humanitarian consequences of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.
In March, Nicaragua abstained from voting on a UN resolution condemning and calling for an end to Russian interference in Ukraine.