Nicaraguan ruler Daniel Ortega is “an opportunist dictator” who is undermining democracy in Central America, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday in reaction to his remarks that labeled that country “a province of China.”
The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry recalled in a statement that when Ortega returned to power in January 2007, Taiwan provided cooperation programs to Nicaragua “based on goodwill and development principles to help friendly countries. “
“These programs are being expanded even though the two countries cut diplomatic ties in December 2021,” the statement added.
Ortega severed ties with Taiwan after the fraudulent November 2021 election, in which the dictator jailed all opposition candidates. Taiwan did not congratulate Ortega on his “victory.”
“Taiwan is a province of China; it is not a republic; it is not a state; it is just a province of China; and it is recognized at a global level and approved by the United Nations,” said Ortega on Friday.
The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry also said that Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, “have been complicit in the efforts of the People’s Republic of China to undermine democracy in Central America and expand its influence in the region.”
“They continue to promote the “one China” principle,” the ministry said, describing their behavior as “reprehensible.”
Taiwan has become Nicaragua’s second-most important cooperator, and its emphasis is on social programs to help the poorest.
The Ministry of Republic Affairs 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,” he said.
The ministry pledged that the government and people of Taiwan are committed to protecting national sovereignty and will continue to strengthen cooperation with other democracies to counter the spread of authoritarianism.
The Ortega dictatorship has been widely accused of human rights violations. In a March report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Group of Experts on Human Rights in 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 are arming the justice system, arming the legislative function, and arming the executive function of the state against the population,” said Jan Simon, president of the Group of Human Rights Experts in Nicaragua. The alleged crimes include extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detention, torture, arbitrary deprivation of nationality, and the right to remain in a country, according to the report.