Republic of Nicaragua
República de Nicaragua
CAPITAL : Managua
FLAG : The national flag consists of a white horizontal stripe between two stripes of cobalt blue, with the national coat of arms centered in the white band.
ANTHEM : Salve a ti, Nicaragua (Hail to You, Nicaragua).
MONETARY UNIT : The gold córdoba ( C $) is a paper currency of 100 centavos. There are coins of 5, 10, 25, and 50 centavos and 1 and 5 córdobas, and notes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, 500,000, 1,000,000, 5,000,000, and 10,000,000 córdobas. C $1 = US $0.0668 (or US $1 = C $14.96) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard, but some local units also are used.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Labor Day, 1 May; Liberation Day (Revolution of 1979), 19 July; Battle of San Jacinto, 14 September; Independence Day, 15 September; All Saints' Day, 1 November; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
TIME : 6 AM = noon GMT.
Spanish is the official language and is spoken by the overwhelming majority of the population. Some Nahuatl and other Amerindian words and phrases are in common use. English is often spoken as a second language at professional levels.
In July 1982, the nation's departments were consolidated into six regions and three special zones, each to be administered by an official directly responsible to the central government. However, under the Chamorro government, Nicaragua has returned to the old system, with 15 departments and two autonomous regions along the Atlantic coast.
Local elections for mayoralties accompany national elections.
In 2002 the armed forces numbered an estimated 14,000. The army had around 12,000 personnel equipped with some 127 main battle tanks. The navy had personnel numbering approximately 800, operating five patrol and coastal combatants. The air force of 1,200 had no combat aircraft and 15 armed helicopters. Nicaragua spent $26 million for defense in 1998 or1.2% of GDP.
Nicaragua is a charter member of the UN, having joined on 24 October 1945, and belongs to BCIE, CACM, CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO and WTrO.
In 1979, the Nicaraguan Institute of Insurance and Reinsurance took over all domestic insurance companies. There were five domestic insurance companies operating in 2000, including the government-owned Iniser; Seguros America, Seguros Centroamericanos, Seguros Metropolitana, and Seguros Pacificano. All private insurance companies were majority owned by Nicaraguan banks.
Nicaragua has no territories or colonies.
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