Nicaragua receives vaccines from China

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Iimmediately after the restoration of diplomatic relations

The first 200,000 doses of the Chinese COVID-19 Sinopharm vaccine have arrived. A million vaccines have been promised by Ortega’s new ally.

By Confidential

HAVANA TIMES – On Sunday, December 12, Nicaragua received the first 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine against COVID-19. This is the first shipment of a million doses promised by China, just three days after the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan in order to reconnect them with Beijing.

The batch of vaccines arrived from China in the company of the Nicaraguan delegation which had gone there to formalize the resumption of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Managua. Laureano Ortega Murillo, son of the Nicaraguan ruling couple, led the delegation in his official role as advisor on investment, trade and international cooperation.

According to official information, the donation was received at Managua Augusto Caesar Sandino Airport by Minister of Health Martha Reyes; Carlos Saenz, secretary general of the ministry; and a delegation headed by the Vice Minister of the Chinese Embassy in Costa Rica.

“On behalf of President Daniel Ortega and Vice-President Rosario Murillo, we, the Nicaraguan people, express our deep gratitude for this gesture of solidarity, cooperation, friendship and brotherhood on the part of the people and government of People’s Republic of China, ”said Laureano Ortega, quoted in the Sandinista media.

China strengthens its presence in Central America

On Thursday, December 9, the Ortega government announced its new diplomatic policy, “recognizing that there is only one China in the world, whose legitimate government is the People’s Republic.” They added a claim that the island of Taiwan is an “inalienable part of [mainland China’s] territory. ”With this declaration, the Nicaraguan government severed diplomatic relations with Taipei.

A few hours after the regime’s break with Taiwan, China announced the renewal of diplomatic relations with Nicaragua. Beijing’s precondition for such relations is that the other country must recognize the territorial principle of “one China”. The government of mainland China asserts its sovereignty over the hitherto independent island of Taiwan.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced the signing of a joint declaration instituting, as of December 10, “mutual recognition” and the re-establishment of diplomatic relations “at the level of the embassy”.

Following the diplomatic break with Nicaragua, the number of countries recognizing Taiwan as an independent state was reduced to fourteen, including several Latin American countries, including Guatemala, Honduras and Paraguay.

Nicaragua has joined others in the region, notably Panama and El Salvador, which in recent years have also severed ties with Taiwan to ally themselves with Beijing; Costa Rica did so in 2007.

For its part, Taiwan deplored the severance of bilateral relations with Managua, accusing the Ortega government of “demeaning” the long friendship between the two peoples.

Ortega seeks resources to maintain power

Until this change, Taiwan was Nicaragua’s main bilateral donor, funding 27 projects in the areas of food production, orchards and better pig farming, among others. These projects have been valued between 30 and 50 million US dollars, according to data from the Nicaraguan government.

Political analyst Evan Ellis is a professor and researcher at the War College of the US Department of Defense and an expert on Sino-Latin American relations. In an interview with Confidential, he said Nicaragua’s break with Taiwan and their decision to align with China was “long overdue.” In the short term, Ellis said, “this will likely breathe new life into Ortega’s continuity in power and help him with additional resources and the ability to distribute money that they can siphon off new loans and contracts.” with Chinese companies ”.

Ellis continued: Although Taiwan “has been a good friend” of the Nicaraguan regime, the Ortega-Murillo duo could eventually “come to an agreement with the Chinese to get more money than they were able to extort from the Taiwanese in the over the past several years. ”This political game has also been influenced by the sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe, and the possibility of their suspension from DR-CAFTA, the free trade agreement between America Central and the Dominican Republic.

“I believe that Ortega’s first imperative is to maintain power, especially in anticipation of more American and European sanctions, the possibility of being excluded from CAFTA, and also of losing the investments of the West that they had. attracted as part of their integration with the US market. Like Venezuela’s position with China and Russia, having the People’s Republic of China as a partner also helps block actions by the UN and other organizations against Nicaragua for their lack of democracy, ”said Ellis.

Lea más desde Nicaragua aquí in Havana Times.


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