(QCOSTARICA) Nicaragua may not get its armament shipment if Costa Rica can help it. That is the word of President Luis Guillermo Solis.
Given that Nicaragua port of Corinto on the Pacific coast cannot handle the heavy military equipment and weapons, including its purchase of Russian tanks, Nicaragua may have to bring it in by way of Costa Rica’s Puerto de Limon, in the Caribbean.
President Solis, in replying to questions by La Nacion, said that it is unlikely such heavy equipment can arrive without detection and pre-clearance with port authorities; and if it does, the government would have look into the legal options available to impede it.
If, however, the military weapons enter the country illegally, they will be confiscated.
Related: The Death of Democracy in Ortega’s Nicaragua?
Solis said his government, on hearing rumours about the passage of weaponry bought from Russia through Costa Rican territory, is investigating the matter.
There could be no surprise. The president was clear that his government maintains a customs surveillance to prevent surprises.
President Solis played down the news from Managua on Monday, of the government of Daniel Ortega displaying its Russian tank, calling it “a unnecessary show of force that is not acceptable in these times of peace.”
According to Solis, Costa Rica is willing the use of its ports to mobilize goods such as food, medicine and many other products, but “not for the import of weapons or tanks or military aircraft or ammunition of any kind”.
Many goods headed for Nicaragua enter Costa Rica at the Limon port and then moved by land to the Peñas Blancas border with Nicaragua.
Speaking out on the situation is Robert Callahan, who was US ambassador in Nicaragua between 2008 and 2011, warning that the recent purchase of tanks by the Ortega administration is an act of intimidation towards neighbouring countries, in particular, Costa Rica.
“He has thrown three American officials out of the country on the flimsiest of pretexts. In what appears to be an attempt to intimidate his neighbors, especially Costa Rica, which has no armed forces, he has arranged to buy Russian tanks. When three Venezuelan parliamentarians tried to enter Nicaragua to express solidarity with the political opposition, they didn’t get beyond the airport,” Callahan wrote in an opinion article published in the Miami Herald on August 14