Germany and Nicaragua: Bilateral relations
The people of Germany and Nicaragua have enjoyed a long-standing close friendship for many decades. This is partly due to the solidarity movements in both eastern and western Germany in the 1980s when the civil war was raging in Nicaragua. Some thirty town twinning partnerships and a large number of private initiatives such as the Nicaragua Associations in Germany or the German‑Nicaraguan Culture Initiative in Managua (Iniciativa Cultural Alemana Nicaragüense – ICAN) continue to foster these relations. Currently, civil society cooperation is being hampered considerably due to a series of repressive laws and measures.
There are close historical ties between the two countries dating back to the 19th century when Germans emigrated to Nicaragua. The German influence can be felt even today, particularly in the coffee-growing region in the north. Around 1000 German nationals live in Nicaragua and a few hundred Nicaraguans in Germany.
In addition to the German Embassy, German institutions active in Nicaragua include the German-Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a bilingual German School, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). The German school in Managua is considered to be one of the best schools in the country.
Until the outbreak of the serious political crisis in April 2018, which is still ongoing, a growing number of German tourists were discovering the land of lakes and volcanoes as a holiday destination. Around 18,000 Germans visited Nicaragua in 2017. The German companies Ritter Sport and Dräxlmaier are major investors.
With aggregate development cooperation worth around one billion euro, Germany has so far been one of the country’s principal bilateral donors. Governmental cooperation between Germany and Nicaragua focuses on water. Through regional programmes, Germany is also supporting the development of renewable energies.
Against the backdrop of the continuing serious political crisis, the German Government and the international community are working for the release of political prisoners and the restoration of the rule of law and of civil liberties. In February 2023, the regime deported 222 political prisoners to other countries. Like more than 90 Nicaraguans who had already fled into exile, they were expropriated and stripped of citizenship.