France and Nicaragua


Political relations

In the 1980s, France refused to align with the policy of blockades and support to the “Contras”, counter-revolutionary groups supported by Ronald Reagan.


The French Minister Delegate for Development met with the Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Samuel Santos López (6 February 2013) and with President Ortega’s Special Adviser for National Development Policies, Mr Paul Oquist (19 November 2013). Mr Santos López was also received in Paris by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Laurent Fabius, on 23 May 2013.

The French President’s personal envoy for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr Jean-Pierre Bel, made a visit to Nicaragua from 26 to 29 March 2017, during which he was received by President Ortega and the Foreign Minister, Mr Denis Moncada.

A delegation from the French Senate’s France-Mexico and Central America friendship group visited Managua in April 2018.

Economic relations

Trade between France and Nicaragua is limited: in 2018, we had a trade deficit with Nicaragua, with €49.6 million (€44.4 million in 2017) of imports and €9.6 million of exports (€10.2 million in 2017).

Several companies have representation offices in Managua (Alcatel, Air France, L’Oréal, Peugeot, Renault and Sanofi).

France received a Nicaraguan economic delegation in November 2013, Mr Orlando Solorzano, the Nicaraguan Minister of the Economy, Industry and Trade, met in particular with Mr Benoît Hamon, French Minister Delegate for the Social, Mutually-Supportive Economy and Consumer Affairs.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Almost 1,300 pupils study French at the Alliance Française branch in Managua and its two annexes in Léon and Granada. The Alliance Française acts as a European cultural centre in Managua. The Franco-Nicaraguan Lycée Victor Hugo in Managua currently teaches 278 pupils.

About 10 students from Nicaragua go to France every year as Spanish assistants, and about 40 per year study in French universities.

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Other cooperation

French NGOs are very present and active in Nicaragua, particularly in the areas of food security, water, renewable energy, prevention of domestic and sexual violence, urban planning and rural development. Certain French local governments are also involved in cooperation. Proparco, a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), continues to provide €100 million in financing for projects with significant social impact (including access to telecommunications, support for the agricultural sector).

Updated: November 2019