Nicaragua on Monday recalled its ambassador to Argentina ahead of the inauguration of radical right-wing libertarian Javier Milei as the South American country’s next president following his criticism of the Nicaraguan government.
Milei is set to take office on December 10. In the lead-up to his November election win, Milei said Argentina would not do business with “dictators” or “communists,” and that he would withdraw its ambassador to Nicaragua, among others.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo had initially congratulated Milei on his victory, but Nicaragua’s foreign ministry said the withdrawal of its ambassador comes “in the face of repeated declarations and comments” from the incoming Argentine government.
Ortega – a former Marxist guerrilla who ruled Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990 after toppling the right-wing Somoza family dynasty – has been increasingly isolated internationally since he launched a violent crackdown on dissent in 2018.
The 78-year-old president, who has remained in office since returning to power in 2007, has said he was forced to act on the 2018 protests, arguing that adversaries were attempting to oust him in a coup.
Since his election, Milei has softened his tone with some of the countries he had criticized on the campaign trail, including China and Brazil.
A representative for Milei declined to comment on Nicaragua’s decision to withdraw its ambassador to Argentina.