Daniel Ortega, leader of Nicaragua's revolutionary government,was given the red carpet treatment reserved for the leaders of "fraternal" countries when he arrived here today for an official visit.
The 37-year-old Sandinista commander received kisses and bear hugs from top Soviet officials and a ceremonial ride into Moscow with thousands of residents lining the streets waving Nicaraguan flags.
Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, who is ailing, did not attend the airport ceremonies, but Moscow television showed him receiving Ortega and other Nicaraguan officials in the Kremlin later in the day.
At a Kremlin dinner in Ortega's honor tonight, Brezhnev repeated his criticism of U.S. support for Britain in its conflict with Argentina, depicting the United States as seeking to "preserve or restore" domination over Latin America.
Brezhnev called for a negotiated solution to the Anglo-Argentine conflict and expressed "full support" for Nicaragua's proposals to negotiate its differences with the United States.
Diplomatic sources here suggested that Ortega's visit symbolizes the growing rapprochement between Moscow and the three-year-old Nicaraguan government. These sources said they expect the Russians to provide most of items on Ortega's long shopping list.
Latin American sources here said Ortega's shopping list includes requests for greater Soviet economic assistance as well as for military hardware. They specifically mentioned Nicaragua's desire to acquire Soviet aircraft and armored vehicles. Also mentioned was Nicaragua's desire to strengthen its naval forces.
It was expected that Ortega's official visit will also lead to the establishment of closer ties between the Soviet Communist Party and the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front. Ortega is a guest of the Soviet party's Central Committee.