Costa Rica's president-elect Luis Guillermo Solis


Costa Rican president-elect Luis Guillermo Solis

(posted April 9, 12:30 pm) — Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega on Monday sent a congratulatory letter to Costa Rican president-elect Luis Guillermo Solís, who earlier this week called Nicaragua an “uncomfortable neighbor.”

Ortega acknowledged Solís’ concerns about the strained relations between the two countries, but congratulated him anyway.

“We are happy that they held elections in Costa Rica in peace and tranquility,” Ortega said Monday night. “Costa Rica now has a president-elect, and we are happy and congratulate the people of Costa Rica and congratulate the president-elect. And we understand that the president-elect thinks there aren’t conditions to normalize political and diplomatic relations between our countries.”

Ortega said the border problems between the two countries will be resolved in the International Court of Justice, but the ongoing litigation “shouldn’t stop the established political and diplomatic dialogue between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.”

“We are brother countries. Thousands of Nicaraguans work in Costa Rica; it’s an indispensable work force for the Costa Rican economy,” Ortega said.

Solís, who will not visit Nicaragua on his victory tour of Central America but said he will invite Ortega to his inauguration, said he doesn’t expect to have a chummy relationship with the Sandinista president. Still, Solís says he hopes the political tensions between Managua and San José don’t affect Nicaraguan and Costa Rican citizens.

“Nicaragua and Costa Rica, as neighboring countries, need to have a relationship that doesn’t include any grounds for divorce,” Solís said in a recent interview with Radio Caracol.

“As president, I won’t get closer to the government of President Daniel Ortega, but relations are not ruptured, nor should they be,” Solís added. “We should keep in mind the ties that exist between our countries, but Nicaragua was an aggressor in Costa Rican territory; they invaded and we are asking that they are punished on an international level.”