Why did Central America shift UN votes on Russia-Ukraine war?

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Central American countries have shifted their voting records on United Nations resolutions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during the past months, underscoring their complex relationships with global superpowers and each other, according to analysts.

Nicaragua was one of only five countries to vote against a UN resolution last week calling for non-recognition and a reversal of Russia’s “attempted illegal annexation” of four regions in Ukraine. Russia, Belarus, Syria and North Korea also voted against the resolution.

The October 12 resolution passed in the UN General Assembly with 143 votes in favour. Honduras was among 35 abstentions and El Salvador was one of eight countries not present for the vote.

The three Central American countries voted differently on a March 2 resolution demanding Russia immediately withdraw all military forces from Ukraine. Honduras voted in favour of that resolution and El Salvador and Nicaragua both abstained.

“The surprising thing is not now, but rather Nicaragua’s choice in March,” said Carlos Cascante, a professor of international relations at the National University in Costa Rica.