Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega wished the United States a happy anniversary on Sunday. The United States celebrates its 235th Independence Day on Monday.
In a letter to the U.S. government, Ortega advocated a strengthening of relationships between the two countries.
“Hailing the government and the people of the United States on this historic date, we reiterate our willingness and our commitment to promote and strengthen the respect and cooperation between our governments and people,” said Ortega in a letter sent to Washington, D.C., to mark Independence Day.
“Nicaraguans fully agree with the Declaration of July 4, 1776, particularly when it says that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Ortega said.
In the letter, Ortega said that Nicaragua, which became independent 190 years ago, also is on its own path to democracy and is determined to maintain that line and defend its “sovereignty” and “model” of government, according to the country’s cultrual and historic identity.
Ortega, who ruled the country in the 1980s, began a second term in 2007. Although Nicaragua’s constitution forbids consecutive presidential terms, Ortega is his party’s candidate in this year’s elections.
Ortega, of the leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) hopes to be re-elected in the upcoming presidential elections on Nov. 6. After the Sandinista revolution in 1979, his party ruled the country until 1990. The FSLN returned to power again after winning the 2006 elections.
CORRECTION: The story originally stated that the FSLN has led the country for the last 30 years. Opposition parties ruled from 1990 to 2006.