Nicaragua offers weapons deal to US

Ortega offers an exchange of missiles for helicopters and medicine.

    Nicaragua hopes to swap arms for medical aid [EPA]
    "But in exchange for medical technology - and not second-hand equipment."

    He has also said that he would accept helicopters in return for the missiles.

    Ortega was elected in January, 17 years after the Sandinista National Liberation Front Party (FSLN), the party he led, was voted out of office.

    Regional rival

    Nicaragua has already destroyed half of the 2,000 missiles supplied by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, when Ortega led the FSLN to oust Anastasio Somoza, then president, in 1979 and fought US-financed Contra rebels throughout the 1980s.

    Ortega has warned that a US plan to help neighbouring Honduras to buy aircraft means that Nicaragua should not drop its defences altogether.

    Honduras and Nicaragua were rivals during the 1980s, when Washington strengthened Honduras's military and air force and used the country as a base for the Contra rebels it funded to fight Ortega's government.

    Honduras says that the light aircraft paid for by Washington are for hunting drug smugglers and helping in natural disasters.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The Victorian Muslims of Britain

    The Victorian Muslims of Britain

    The stories of the British aristocrats who converted to Islam.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    India's shocking farmer suicide epidemic

    India's shocking farmer suicide epidemic

    Falling into a debt-trap and besieged by bad weather, thousands of farmers are taking their own lives each year.