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Ortega Says Free Trade with China “Frees Us from Sanctions”

The dictator described the commercial rapprochement with China as a “Christmas gift” and a “strategic move.”

Daniel Ortega

Daniel Ortega, speaking on December 20, at the graduation ceremony for police cadets. Photo: Office of the Presidency

22 de diciembre 2023

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Daniel Ortega hailed the new trade agreement between China and Nicaragua, raising the level of diplomatic relations to that of a “strategic association,” as “the best Christmas present,” and “a great piece of news.” Ortega also declared that the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries is a “strategic” step that “frees us from any sanctions” (from the US or Europe).

“This is great news,” the ruler affirmed joyfully during the graduation ceremony of Police cadets, held at the Olof Palme Convention Center in Managua.


On December 19th, Ortega held a telephone meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which finalized in an agreement to raise the level of diplomatic relations between the two countries to that of a “strategic association.”

In his address to the cadets, the dictator stressed that the achievement of a free trade agreement with China “is a strategic step, because it frees us from any sanction they could level on us, like the ones the sell-outs in the United States are demanding, insisting we be removed from the [CAFTA] trade accord.”

In contrast, according to Ortega, Nicaragua has relations with China “that have been developing in an exemplary manner.”

“Thank God, thank Christ, thanks to the Virgin, this is the best Christmas present the Nicaraguan people are receiving,” Ortega highlighted, holding a copy of the accord in his hands and in the presence of the Chinese military attachés in Nicaragua, among other guests.

“Our brothers are here to lend us a hand, not to attack us. Let the imperialists of the earth learn [from them] how a country should govern, how they should work for peace,” he continued.

More praise for China

“If all the great powers, instead of going around promoting war, shared the practices of the People’s Republic of China: developing relations with no conditions of a political type, but instead contributing to the development of all the developing countries, the world would be different, the world would be in peace and there probably wouldn’t be people dying of hunger, poverty, or misery,” he remarked.

Ortega added, “China is modeling the behavior of a great power that doesn’t disrespect any country that’s developing.” He underlined their “notable achievements.”

“China is transforming at a speed that has the imperialists of the earth trembling, but not because China is going to make war on anyone. What they’re in a panic about is their economic, technological and scientific development; at the velocity that China is growing and becoming the most powerful economy in the world, one that does share with the developing countries,” Ortega added.

Xi Jinping invites Ortega to visit China

Ortega related that during his telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping invited him to visit China.

He reminded Ortega that Nicaragua was the first country in Central America to open relations with [then] Peking, during the decade of the eighties, when the Sandinistas governed Nicaragua. Further, the Chinese mandate recalled that [Ortega] was the first Central American president to visit China.

“He invited me to visit China once again, and I told him I hope to visit China again, that it would be an honor,” Ortega stated.

During his address, Ortega emphasized the “speed with which these relations are moving” with China, given that relations were only reestablished two years ago.

“The results are in full view. There are the 500 [Chinese] buses in full view that arrived like nothing other than a bolt of lightning. And the housing projects that are being developed,” he stressed.

US officials assert that “China promises much and doesn’t come through”

Eric Jacobstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the US State Department, gave little importance to the announcement of a trade agreement between China and Nicaragua that elevated the level of their diplomatic relations to that of a “strategic association.” He warned the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo that China “promises a lot, then doesn’t come through.”

“We’ve seen in the region examples of countries that seek out China, and the Chinese government promises a lot but can’t carry out what they’re promising. I believe we’re going to see the same thing with what’s happening in Nicaragua,” Jacobstein expressed to reporters in a telephone interview.

With information from EFE.

Translated by Havana Times.

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Confidencial es un diario digital nicaragüense, de formato multimedia, fundado por Carlos F. Chamorro en junio de 1996. Inició como un semanario impreso y hoy es un medio de referencia regional con información, análisis, entrevistas, perfiles, reportajes e investigaciones sobre Nicaragua, informando desde el exilio por la persecución política de la dictadura de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo.

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