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

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    We explore how Salah Ed-Din unified the Muslim states and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from the crusaders.