MANAGUA, Nicaragua — The leftist Sandinista government is looking for new oil sources to make up for a significant reduction in the supply from the Soviet Union, the newspaper Nuevo Diario reported.
Henry Ruiz, minister for foreign trade and cooperation, was quoted as saying that the Soviets, who have supplied almost all the 765,000 tons of crude oil that Nicaragua uses annually, recently announced they will be able to guarantee delivery of only 40% of that amount.
Nicaragua is "undertaking negotiations with Latin American countries, principally Mexico, to acquire crude oil, since the Soviet Union, the country's principal supplier, is facing limitations," Ruiz said at a ceremony Thursday.
Any oil supplied by U.S. companies was cut off by the trade embargo imposed by the Reagan Administration in 1982, leaving Nicaragua dependent on Mexico and Venezuela.
About a year later, Venezuela stopped sending oil, and Mexico cut its shipments to a trickle when Nicaragua fell behind on its payments. Nicaragua then turned to the Soviet Union for help.