The Nicaraguan canal is a delusion, but human rights abuses and land grabs in the project’s name are all too real.
By Robert Nelson March 17, 2016
The planned Chinese canal through Nicaragua has received little attention in the United States, and when it does, the reaction is usually alarmist. Daniel Runde in his Foreign Policy piece provides a typical example: “The canal’s construction should be seen as a geostrategic probe by China. The depth of the canal, a reported 28 meters, should also raise eyebrows as it would be deep enough for Chinese submarines to quickly and covertly cross between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.”
But the canal almost certainly will not happen. To the extent that the project should worry the United States, the focus should be on human rights abuses and not on any perceived challenge to the outmoded Monroe Doctrine.
The canal will not happen because it does not make sense. The primary reason is that there is no demand for a second Central American canal, making the project financially unfeasible. In an interview with CNBC, Bruce Carlton, president and CEO of the National Industrial Transportation League, a shipping industry advocacy group, speaking for the vast majority of industry experts said, “I sincerely believe we don’t need another canal. I don’t think there’s enough ship traffic to warrant the construction of another canal.” In addition, at a cost of $40 billion, even if the Nicaraguan canal received all of the Panama Canal’s current traffic (an impossible assumption) it would take 40 years for the project to break even. Add on that the Panama Canal offers faster transit times, that no current American ports can handle ships the size that the Nicaraguans are talking about, and that global warming could possibly open a faster and free route north of Canada, and the whole project seems like a fool’s errand.
Read the rest here–>Source: China’s Fantasy Canal Doing Real Damage in Nicaragua | The Diplomat
Is China’s Fantasy Canal Doing Real Damage in Nicaragua?
El Portón Verde has not been reporting very much about the proposed Interoceanic Canal lately, mostly because not much has been happening, and also that most reporting from the US-based media is pure propaganda and I’d rather not assist in that endeavor.
That said, this is a very well-written piece from “The Diplomat” which “is the premier international current-affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region.” In other words, this site doesn’t appear to be to far in the tank for one particular point of view or another but rather seems to be dedicated to quality analysis and commentary.
Unfortunately, it appears that my worst case scenario is aligning to a point where it is likely to come true. That is, in the game that is being played here, where this Chinese company, HKND is supposed to be able to build an interoceanic canal from the Caribbean coast in the east all the way over to the Pacific coast on the west, but is actually much more interested in a land grab, making resorts and golf courses.
Any actual digging will be short-lived, and the result will be that Nicaragua will unfortunately experience all the negative consequences to the natural environment with none of the economic benefits that a functioning canal is supposed to provide the people of Nicaragua.