Jaime Wu y Daniel Ortega

Jaime Wu, the new unconditional Nicaraguan-Taiwanese of the Ortega Murillos

During the six years that the now former Taiwanese ambassador to Nicaragua, Jaime Chin-Mu Wu, was not in the country due to having stopped a first diplomatic mission (between 2011 and 2017), he returned six times, and in the remaining visits registered in the Ortega propaganda media, he was always received by a member of the Ortega Murillo family or an official of the Managua Mayor’s Office.

However, that is not the only fact that reveals the close bond of the former diplomat with the Ortega regime, which decided to nationalize him along with his wife Cindy Wu Liu, on December 10, a day after the Ortega administration announced the breaking of a relationship of more than three decades with the independentista Taiwan, to recognize the Government of the People’s Republic of China as “the only legitimate government”, in an action that the island described as “contempt”, after years of generous cooperation.

The former diplomat, currently 69 years old, first arrived in Nicaragua in 2007, when he presented his corresponding credentials to the then-new Ortega government, to head the Taipei embassy in Managua. That mission lasted until 2011, but six years later, in 2017, Wu resubmitted his style cards to spearhead the mission for the second time.

On November 12, less than a month before Ortega’s break with Taiwan, The former diplomat revealed to the official media that his mission would end in the next seven days, and also his 42-year career in the Foreign Service of his country. That day, Wu and his wife received the symbolic keys to the Nicaraguan capital and were recognized as “distinguished guests” of Managua. One of the many decorations the regime has awarded him in his years of foreign service.

Wu is the longest-serving Taiwanese ambassador to Nicaragua. In his six-year absence, the Taiwanese representation was led by two ambassadors: Ingrid Hsing and Rolando Jerming Chuang. Hsing was in Nicaragua from 2011 to 2014 while Chuang, from 2014 to 2017.

Decorated Ambassador Jaime Chin-Mu Wu

In 2011, when he concluded his first diplomatic mission in Nicaragua, the former Asian ambassador received the medal of honor “National Assembly”, the highest distinction granted by the Parliament, by then already controlled by Ortega. The distinction is not strange for representatives of the diplomatic corps who conclude their service in Nicaragua. However, the senior Taiwanese official and his wife also received decorations from the Nicaraguan Army and the National Police that year. Last November, the National University of Engineering (UNI) and the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) also gave him awards.

In addition, in February 2018, he received a very particular gift: a painting sent directly by Ortega and his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo, which the official website of Taiwan in Nicaragua thanked with these words: “This February 14, Ambassador Jaime Chin-Mu Wu and his wife Cindy Wu received a beautiful gift from fellow president Daniel Ortega and fellow vice president Rosario Murillo, for the arrival of the Lunar New Year (sic.) ”.

The thank you was later deleted from the page, although it can still be retrieved through the Google cache history, showing how Wu’s diplomatic mission publicly called Ortega “comrade,” the jargon used by supporters of the regime.

The link also extends to the children of Ortega and Murillo, who hold advisory positions in the Ortega government. On November 15, 2021, when Wu was decorated by the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry with the José de Marcoleta order in the Grand Cross Degree, also customary for those who cease their diplomatic service in Nicaragua, the sanctioned children of the presidential couple: Rafael and Camila Ortega Murillo, came to express their congratulations.

The regime’s differences with the former Taiwanese diplomat

Upon hearing the news of the severance of relations, the Taiwanese media recalled that, despite the fact that Ortega gave support to Taiwan at the United Nations, this support was “very little.” In addition, they claimed that the Nicaraguan president “repeatedly” rejected the island’s invitations to make an official visit.

Also, the Taiwanese media recalled that this is the second time that Ortega has broken relations with Taiwan. The first was in 1985, to establish ties with China. After Sandinismo came out of power in the 1990s, Nicaragua resumed its relations with Taiwan and Ortega maintained them during the 15 years of his government until he again announced the breakdown of them to return to the arms of China.

Those 15 years of good relations with TaiwanThey also served to strengthen ties with former Ambassador Wu, who – like few others – has been received directly at the Managua International Airport by members of the Ortega Murillo family, even though they are not official visits.

According to the lawyer and former opposition deputy, Eliseo Núñez, no other diplomat, other than from Cuba or Venezuela, has had that deference. Diplomats of different nationalities are often only received by a delegation from the Chancellery or the Presidency.

But how is it that Wu’s relationship became so close with Ortega and Murillo, to the point of being nationalized at the end of his second diplomatic term, and in less than 24 hours after the break with his country of origin, which he served as diplomat for more than four decades?

In an interview with the program This week, the Costa Rican political scientist Constantino Urcuyo, He assured that Ortega obtained “great revenues” for his family with the Taiwanese relationship. That would help explain why the Ortega Murillos paid special attention to Wu, while he was in Nicaragua or outside the country.

The extent of these benefits is not clear, “but they were blackmailing Taiwan, getting money from it in exchange for maintaining the recognition of diplomatic relations,” said the political scientist.

Núñez, for his part, considered that it is a business matter. “He is going to become a kind of broker,” he says, referring to the term used to identify a person or institution that organizes transactions between a buyer and a seller, in exchange for a commission when the operation is executed.

Jaime Wu and Reina Rueda
The former ambassador of Taiwan, Jaime Wu and the mayor of Managua, Reina Rueda delivering a house in the El Recreo Norte neighborhood. Photo: El 19 Digital

The “decent houses” inaugurated by the ambassador of Taiwan

Wu has been a “very popular” figure in Nicaragua, unlike other diplomats. He appeared from time to time in the media, mainly in the ruling party, visiting projects or handing out houses for people with limited resources.

Between January 5 and March 17, 2021, the former ambassador appeared 22 times in the Ortega propaganda medium, The 19 Digital, delivering homes in different projects together with Mayor Reyna Rueda, Deputy Mayor Enrique Armas or some other official of the Mayor’s Office of Managua. Thus, Wu marched almost weekly opening houses.

His relations also reached the National Police, designated as the highest repressive arm of the Ortega regime. In December 2018, with a balance of more than 300 murdered by the Ortega massacre against Nicaraguans, the former Taiwanese ambassador appeared delivering a donation of three million dollars, to expand the Roberto Calderón Hospital of the Police.

While other ambassadors distanced themselves from the social outbreak, Wu maintained and strengthened his closeness with the regime.

From 2020 to September 2021, Taiwan was the most generous of the bilateral donors to the Nicaraguan public sector. This year, Taiwan had committed 1.051 million cordobas (about 29.7 million dollars) for donations to various ministries, and more than 800 million cordobas had already been executed, when Ortega announced the break to confirm his geopolitical realignment with mainland China.

“The Government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate Government that represents all of China, Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory,” declared the regime in an official statement, to which Taiwan reacted lamenting that “a long friendship and successful cooperation that benefited both peoples, they were despised by the Ortega government ”.

Ramona Rodríguez, rector of Unan Managua
Ramona Rodríguez, rector of Unan Managua together with the ambassador of Taiwan, Jaime Wu. // Photo: Courtesy

“It hurts us”, breakdown of relations with Costa Rica

Publicly, Wu has not mentioned a word about the breakdown of relations between Nicaragua and Taiwan. However, in 2011, five years after Costa Rica’s break with the island, the former ambassador declared in an interview with the newspaper The Press, that that fact “affected his feelings.”

“Psychologically, that (break with Costa Rica) affects our relations with many countries in this region, but at the same time we also have the trust of other Central American countries; We always maintain a traditional, very fraternal relationship, ”said the former diplomat.

Wu also admitted then that relations with Nicaragua, especially with the Ortega Murillos, were not good from the beginning. At the end of his first diplomatic administration in Nicaragua, he confessed that at the beginning there were many doubts, but the ties were becoming stronger.

Furthermore, there was a breaking point between Taiwan and Nicaragua, when President Ma Ying Jeou visited the country in 2009, and was not received by Ortega at the Managua Airport. According to Wu, he put his position at the disposal of his government, due to the criticism that arose in Taiwan at the rudeness of Ortega, who at that time was more aware of the coup against Manuel Zelaya, in Honduras.

“In reality,” Wu later justified, “President Ma’s visit has received excellent attention, because President Ortega, after his arrival, received President Ma and his delegation at the Presidential House (which is the residence and office of Ortega, who does not use the Presidential House built –exactly- with funds from Taiwan) and in the afternoon took them to a ceremony (…) personally took them in their car ”, he said.

El Colegio de México expert on Asian issues, Marisela Connelly, said in an interview with the show Tonight, that the breakdown of relations is a very strong blow for the Taiwanese.

Regarding Wu’s nationality, the expert commented that there will be no repercussions in China or Taiwan. “Looking at it from the perspective of China, this is already something circumstantial, which does not have so much to do with the interests that Nicaragua now has with China; so that’s secondary. Perhaps they did it in an effort not to make Taiwanese feel so bad, “he valued.

One week after Ortega’s break with Taiwan, Wu would remain in Nicaragua, without commenting on the end of these relations or his plans in the Central American country. CONFIDENTIAL unsuccessfully tried to contact him.

Requests were sent to the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the country’s official position on the nationalization of Wu. However, the entity referred to Managua, where the website of the Embassy in Nicaragua was taken down, and no one answers phone calls.

In an official statement, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu said that the former Nicaraguan ambassador is “retired from the diplomatic service” and had no further comment on his family or personal life.

However, the chancellor clarified that Wu, as a former high-level diplomat who had access to confidential information, is bound by the Classified Protection, Information and National Security Act, which prevents former public servants from revealing confidential information to anyone. third, according to the Taipei Times.

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