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Taiwan unleashes fury at Nicaragua president for supporting 'one China' principle

Daniel Ortega calls Taiwan a province of China in recent speech

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Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega. (Reuters photo)

Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Saturday (Oct. 14) called Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega an “opportunist” dictator after he recently labeled Taiwan a province of China and said the U.N. does not recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Ortega and his wife have become willing accomplices in China's efforts to undermine democracy in Central America and expand its influence in the region, MOFA said in a statement. They have continuously promoted the "one China” principle, the ministry said, describing their behavior as “reprehensible.”

When Ortega returned to power in January 2007, Taiwan provided cooperation programs to Nicaragua based on the goodwill and development-oriented principles of assisting friendly countries, MOFA said. These programs were extended even after the two countries severed diplomatic relations in December 2021, it added.

For over 15 years, Ortega “unabashedly” received significant amounts of aid for Nicaraguans, the ministry said. However, after switching recognition to Beijing, Ortega and his wife aligned themselves with the authoritarian Chinese government for more assistance, it said.

MOFA reiterated that Taiwan is “a sovereign and independent country” that has never been ruled by China." “This is an objective fact and the current reality,” it said.

The ministry pledged that the Taiwanese government and people are committed to defending national sovereignty and will continue bolstering cooperation with other democracies to counter the expansion of authoritarianism.

In August, Nicaragua forced a proposal to eject Taiwan from the Central American Parliament and invite China instead. Taiwan withdrew from the body preemptively, saying the move “seriously damages the years of cooperation and friendship between Taiwan and the Central American people.” The resolution passed with a vote of 73 to 32, with nine abstentions.

The Ortega administration is currently in hot water for allegations of human rights violations. In a March report to the Human Rights Council, the Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua found that “widespread and systematic human rights violations” against Nicaraguans have been committed by pro-government groups and approved by Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo.

“They have been weaponizing the justice system, weaponizing the legislative function, weaponizing the executive function of the State against the population,” said Jan Simon, Chair of the Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua.The alleged crimes include extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions, torture, arbitrary deprivation of nationality and of the right to remain in one's own country, according to the report.