Ortega Insists on Interoceanic Canal

By Rafael Lara  (El Nuevo Diario)

Daniel Ortega. Foto- captura de video.

HAVANA TIMES – President Daniel Ortega announced on Tuesday that new environmental projects are being carried out to resume the megaproject of the construction of the interoceanic canal through Nicaragua, a construction work whose investment was initially estimated at US $50 billion.

“Environmental studies, which had already been submitted, are being prepared again, but adjustments have to be made,” Ortega said during the commemoration of the 39 Anniversary of the founding of the Naval Force of the Nicaraguan Army, held at the Olof Palme Convention Center, in Managua.

The announcement comes a month after the concession period that Nicaragua had granted to the Honk Kong Nicaragua Canal Development (HKND Group) expired.

The company did not present advances for the construction work in the 72 months period.

“We have not renounced (the great interoceanic canal) and, to the contrary, we have, with the Nicaraguan people, a historical commitment to make the canal through Nicaragua a reality,” Ortega said in the celebration of the Naval Force.

No construction work has begun in five years on the supposed canal project and the funding for it never materialized.

He noted that the idea of the construction project of an interoceanic canal in Central America was finally done in Panama, inaugurated in 1914. Ortega insisted that “our commitment is to continue working for the construction of a canal through Nicaragua,” without giving details of how to continue promoting the construction of the canal, which, according to him, is open to companies around the world.

The Nicaraguan president said that the canal is not something that they were inventing or a construction work that will affect or harm anyone, but rather to strengthen global trade and give Nicaragua a source of resources that would allow it to further develop, grow and improve economic conditions.

“It is not madness to think of a canal in Nicaragua,” Ortega said to defend the initiative, after remembering how in the 19th century that project aroused much interest in the US and Europe.

Clause 15.2 of the framework agreement signed by the Executive with HKND established that if the financial closure of a subproject is not achieved within a period of 72 months, the Government or the relevant sponsor will have the right to end the concession.

From that date, several social sectors demand the repeal of the concession law of the project with HKND, because there is not a single significant construction work in the supposed canal route.


14 thoughts on “Ortega Insists on Interoceanic Canal

  • The beauty of the USA does not lie in the eye of every beholder Fernando. Yes, even for those of us who have read the history!

  • Are you intending to invest in the canal Manuel?

  • To preserve the Hemisphere, ( per the Monroe Doctrine ) USA is the only one with deep pockets to even warrant consideration for the Canal. However, first we purchase Greenland with all its minerals. Then the Canal. In the end, it wouldn’t surprise me that Nicaragua becomes a US Territory. Bear in mind that so far they done a great job in managing themselves. Read the History.

  • The I do not know if you can find a financial backer that has the money to build this Canal. But China seems to be the only realistic possibility.

    China might do it to gain the prestige for the 21st century that the US got in the 19th century by building the Panama Canal.

    But if an honest government in Nicaragua were to pursue this project it should couple the purification of Lake Managua as part of the deal. The vast fresh waters of Nicaragua are wasted when sent down the San Juan River. Instead a sizable part of that fresh water should be diverted north to Lake Managua. The contents of the current lake should be dumped over dams into channels toward the Pacific Ocean. The electricity from these dams could be used to pump the water up to Lake Managua from Lake Nicaragua. After the lake is purified, the water going over the dams could be used to irrigate very good soil in the region the canals pass through.

    Under the current plans for the canal much new agricultural land will be created.

    The persons who are displaced by the canal should be given access to the new lands and the new shore lines created by all the reservoirs built to operate the canal.

    Displaced owners should be fully compensated for their lands at the value of the land after the canal is built.

    I can not fathom why the Nicaraguan government wants to screw the owners of properties necessary for the construction of the canal. This is simply stupid. The price of the land acquisition is peanuts to the total costs.

    The canal should be built with reasonable environmental concerns. The potential value to all of Nicaragua is worth the risk.

    The new fresh water reservoirs and fresh lakes will bring much enjoyment and much economic activity.

    There are numerous problems but Nicaragua has a chance to create the greatest man made wonder in the history of mankind.

    While a lot of the workers needed to build the canal and related projects will have to be imported, an honest Nicaraguan government will insist upon a significant percentage of the employees be Nicaraguan citizens and this percentage should increase during the time of the project as more Nicaraguans become trained in the needed tasks and can now perform the jobs.

    New roads of lasting endurance should be built to facilitate the construction.

    At the end of the project most of the construction equipment stays in Nicaragua. Except for some very special machinery, it would be too costly to transport out of the country. And unlike the allies who,after driving the Nazis out of northern Africa, dumped their war machines into the Mediterranean Sea as it would be too costly to transport to Europe to fight the Nazis there, this equipment can stay in Nicaragua and be used for further public and private construction. With all the spare parts of damaged vehicles and Nicaraguan ingenuity , there is a goldmine here for further economic development and construction of new and better highways throughout Nicaragua.

    Think big. Dream big. There is hope for Nicaragua.

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