Mega canal project threatens to uproot Nicaragua’s farmers

A Chinese-financed shipping canal in the works to connect Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast to the Caribbean would dwarf Panama’s famous waterway. But while Nicaraguan officials say the project will create much-needed jobs, human rights advocates and environmental groups are protesting the construction. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports on the controversy.


JUDY WOODRUFF: Next to Nicaragua and a massive project to connect the hemispheres with another canal that’s stirring up controversy.

Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO:They came by the busload. They piled into cattle trucks. They came by horse and mule from miles around for a rally that likely tripled the population of the dusty little town of Los Chiles.

At stake was Nicaragua’s sovereignty, they chanted, sold to the Chinese. The object of their protest is a shipping canal to be built by a Chinese company. As described in this video dubbed from Chinese into Spanish for Nicaraguans, it would stretch 170 miles across the country to connect its Pacific coast to the Caribbean and thus the Atlantic.

It’s not a new idea. The Americans once considered it. This map from 1870 shows a proposed route for a shipping shortcut between the Earth’s hemispheres. In the end, the U.S. Congress opted to build in Panama.

Nicaragua’s waterway will dwarf the Panama Canal, three times as long and twice as deep. Cost estimates range from $50 billion to $100 billion.

read the rest here-> Mega canal project threatens to uproot Nicaragua’s farmers.

You gotta love the faux-concern in  Judy Woodruff’s voice here as she introduces the topic of the Nicaraguan Interoceanic Canal as being soooo “controversial.” Not to say she’s not correct in that the canal is getting people excited, both positively and negatively, but let’s make sure we understand that PBS Newshour has an agenda and a viewpoint here, okay?

With that in mind, this is a balanced piece of reporting IMO, although like many news reports on the canal, certain conclusions have already been drawn before a real environmental and social impact report has been released. Specifically, when you hear someone say that the environmental damage will be so terrible and the financing so suspect, you can’t really say one way or another about these subjects yet since the formal reports have not been released and that funding will only come after the environmental and other feasibility studies are released and thoroughly studied by the parties involved.

So it is a bit of a cart before the horse situation here. Now once the reports are released, it is open season against HKND unless there is a clear committment to mitigation of any environmental damages that will be proven by a large part of the budget being committed to repairing any damages and engineering solutions to prevent extensive harm being caused by the building and running of the canal assuming it ever goes into operation.

The Sandinista's canal spokesman says the route is being moved south, but how far south will it go?


2 thoughts on “Mega canal project threatens to uproot Nicaragua’s farmers

  1. As an American ex-pat you intervene against the national interests of Nicaraguans: Almost 80% Nicas want the canal and the previous opposition government under the President Enrique Bolanos was the first to seek realization of the canal project, and ex-President Enrique Bolanos still wants the canal, as does the “private sector” and the labor unions. An Assistance Sec. of Commerce of the U.S. was in Managua in July 2014 and assured the business associations that: “If the private sector wants it , the U.S. will not oppose the canal.” A response to Sam Lazaro is being circulated, but Sam Lazaro and his institute in St. Mary’s U. – can’t be reached by published e-mails. The response has been sent to the local metro newspapers and to others in geopolitical field. Sam Lazaro did at least provide a platform for some information by the developing specialists.—– Of course YOU are now seen as a foreigner who intervenes with propaganda against the internal issues in Nicaragua and between Nicaraguans. But it may interest you to know, the real geopolitical agents who are active to destabilize the government and to prevent the canal, are not Americans, but Europeans who are agents of European NGOs in Nicaragua. Their names are known and published, one of the NGOs had been expelled from another nation in Latin America for “conspiracy” identical to the violent demonstrations organized and by this NGO in Nicaragua in Dec. 2014. The details were to sent to San Lazaro, but his e-mail address is non-functioning. . But at least many in the geopolitical field in the U.S.and worldwide are receiving this analysis. — You might reflect on your sense of judgement, as a foreigner who does business in Nicaragua, it does not seem decent to intervene in your fashion!

    • Greetings Otton and thank you for your comments! I have to say at the least it is an extensive commentary and I´m so glad you shared your opinion. Question: are you being paid for your comments? No judgement jess sayin’…
      On reading and re-reading your comments, I’m not clear if you are directing your comments about sense of judgement to me or this San Lazaro of whom you speak, so in that case I’ll not be making further comment.
      Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Portón Verde

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