Sunday, July 20, 2008

Taiwan Corrupts Its Allies Again?

From Costa Rica, the report that $1.5 million in Taiwan donations to the nation has gone MIA:

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias denied any knowledge of a 1.5 million dollar donation from Taiwan for his country's poor, but which allegedly was diverted for pet projects elsewhere in the government.

"I had no knowledge of this help from the government of Taiwan which I learned about from the press just recently," he said in remarks published Saturday in the La Nacion newspaper.

La Nacion earlier this month alleged that the office of Arias' brother and chief of staff, Rodriguez Arias, paid scores of government consultants with two million dollars that had been donated by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE).
The sad legacy of our lack of international status is stories like this....


Dezhong said...

This always reminds me of that Simpsons episode about the One-Trillion-Dollar note.

Mr Burns: See with your eyes, not with your hands!
Fidel Castro: Please! We are all amigos here!
Homer: Mr. Burns, I think we can trust the President of Cuba!
(Mr. Burns reluctantly hands over the money)
Mr. Burns: Now give it back.
Fidel Castro: Give what back?

StefanMuc said...

I suspect this could be handled better. Maybe instead of trying to give to governments, the money could go to NGOs which actually produce results? I think for Taiwan it would be beneficial to be associated with *successful* aid programs. Rather than trying to make friends with dubious politicians, trying to win the hearts of the population might be a better long-term strategy.

TicoExpat said...


The money was put in a bank. A third party, not handed directly to the Government. Why? Because the Minister in charge of building those dwellings for poor people requested it so. Why? You see why. In most of these corruption cases, the recieving governments do not allow the funds from donations to go to the specific government entities which can monitor/or monitor by law the funds, because they already have other plans for them.

This bank receives funds from several other developed countries and supoposedly channels assistance accordingly. However, since Taiwan is at a "weaker" position, these corrupt politicians feel they can get their hands in the cookie jar without retaliation.

Most politicians are related to one another, making it quite difficult to uncover the truth. The bank's president is Arias treasure's cousin. This cousin's enterprise received 300 thousand USD of that same money.

Finally, public opinion is molded by the media, and most media in Central America touts the advantages of switching to China - one billion customers! Sure, PRC nationals have invested heavily in media there, but there is a serious anti-Taiwan slant due to corruption cases and illegal fishing. No medical aid or technical assistance can remove that stench.