Thailand's efforts to extradite former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and charge him with corruption were made quite a bit harder last night, thanks to Nicaragua of all places:
The Nicaraguan government announced late Wednesday it had named
Thaksin a "Nicaraguan ambassador on a special mission" to bring
investment to the Central American country and issued him a passport in
The announcement came just hours after the Thai
government said it had revoked Thaksin's personal passport, accusing
him of stoking the unrest that paralyzed the Thai capital earlier this
If you're wondering what Nicaragua has to with any of this you're not alone. Thai authorities seem to have been taken off guard by this development as well. Thaksin has spent some time in Nicaragua since he was exiled so it's conceivable he simply payed for a passport, though he claims to be short on money since the Thai military seized his assets.
This isn't the first time in recent months that Nicaragua has stuck its nose into an international dispute that seemingly doesn't concern it at all. Last September it became the first (and so far only) country other than Russia to recognize the breakaway Georgian territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Granted it's only two examples, but it will be interesting to see if President Daniel Ortega continues to offer his country as a one-stop-shop for conferring (albeit dubious) legitimacy on international scofflaws.