A Chinese Man, A $50 Billion Plan And A Canal To Reshape Nicaragua : Parallels : NPR

A Chinese Man, A $50 Billion Plan And A Canal To Reshape Nicaragua

by CARRIE KAHN

August 14, 201410:35 PM ET

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Morning Edition 4 min 50 sec

A family swims in Lake Nicaragua, which will encompass nearly half of the proposed canal's 172-mile route. Environmentalists worry that oil spills, pollution and dredging will destroy the country's largest supply of fresh water.

A family swims in Lake Nicaragua, which will encompass nearly half of the proposed canal’s 172-mile route. Environmentalists worry that oil spills, pollution and dredging will destroy the country’s largest supply of fresh water.

Carrie Kahn/NPR

One hundred years ago today, the first ship passed through the brand-new, U.S.-built Panama Canal; a century later, Panama owns the canal outright, and the country is one of the most prosperous in the region.

Panama’s neighbor to the north, Nicaragua, is hoping a transoceanic canal and similar prosperity are in its near future. The government has joined forces with a Chinese billionaire to construct a 173-mile, interocean canal.

It may cost more than $50 billion, but the government says the mega-project is critical to lifting the nation out of dire poverty. Critics say the environmental and social damage will be irreparable.

Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

 

via A Chinese Man, A $50 Billion Plan And A Canal To Reshape Nicaragua : Parallels : NPR.

Great reporting by Carrie Kahn of NPR. She’s been doing some good pieces for them as the NPR Latin American person living in Mexico City but reporting on the Caribbean and Central America too. The great thing about radio is that you can hear the people discuss the plan and its potential effects and feel the emotion and perhaps concern in their voices.

As we’ve reported here before about the current plan for the canal, there was a plan as far back as about 130 something years ago too. But Nicaragua Insiders tell me that the government and Daniel Ortega are determined to see this through, so it may actually become somewhat inevitable.