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Taiwan Gets Cold Feet with Ortega, Fears US Sanctions

“No Taiwanese bank wants to be involved in the transfer, for fear of being sanctioned by the US.”

gobernante reunido con el embajador de Taiwán, Jaime Wu. Foto: Cortesía

Néstor Arce

24 de mayo 2019


The news last February, that Taiwan would lend 100 million dollars to the Ortega Government of Nicaragua, through its Export-Import Bank (Eximbank), brought outrage and cheers from opponents and supporters of the regime.

Three months later, the news that the government of Taiwan  the small not onot delivered anything to its Central American counterpart, but does not seem to have much hurry to give anything, will surely change the faces of happiness to bitterness.

An official Taiwanese source, with presence in Central America, said that so far no disbursement has been made, because “no Taiwanese bank wants to be involved in the transferring of funds operation, for fear of being sanctioned by the United States, which has made the disbursement impossible.”

Although a transaction with the Central Bank or Ministry of Finance, if done today, would not generate sanctions at this time (or in the future), because in theory sanctions cannot be applied retroactively, the fact is that neither the Taiwanese banks or the Government, have done anything about it.

In both cases, the reason is the same: neither the banks nor the administration of this “rebel island,” as continental China considers it, want to upset the United States, not only because it is the leading power on earth, but because that country is, precisely, its greatest support against the constant Chinese harassment.

“It is possible that they will not disburse anything. It is possible that Taiwan does not intend to disburse anything to avoid getting into trouble with the United States,” reiterated a private sector source, whose professional activity requires contact with various entrepreneurial and diplomatic sources abroad.

“Surely the Taiwanese Government is thinking about it too, because it remembers the time it donated money to build a stadium, and Ortega used it to build houses, and I do not think they liked the “flexibility” with which the Nicaraguan Government used the funds,” he added.

Confidencial contacted the first secretary of the Embassy of Taiwan in Managua, Eva Wei, who responded that “this is a case between the Eximbank and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Nicaragua, so we do not know more about this issue.”

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Néstor Arce

Néstor Arce