Los Angeles Times
Date: Feb 23, 2019
By Ralph Jennings
Taiwan, which counts Nicaragua as one of just 17 formal diplomatic allies, has given the similarly isolated
Central American nation a $100-million-loan to help it ease a stubborn deficit on the heels of nearly a year of protests and riots.
As it hopes to persuade President Daniel Ortega from switching recognition to China as five other countries have done since mid-1916, Taiwan is providing the cash to rebuild infrastructure wrecked by the ongoing street violence.
Nicaragua faces a $320-million deficit caused by the civil unrest because at least two normally helpful countries in Europe are no longer pitching in. U.S. officials, for their part, believe Ortega has cracked down too hard on protesters, some of whom have demanded the longtime leader resign.
China, backed by a $12 trillion-plus economy, frequently outbids Taiwan on development aid to make nations switch allegiance, the foreign ministry in Taipei has said. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and believes the self-ruled island has no right to conduct foreign relations. Taiwan rejects that view.