China in Central America
While Obama played golf the Communist Chinese
cut a canal deal in Nicaragua.
President Manuel Ortega said on Saturday that the construction of a massive inter-oceanic canal in Nicaragua that could significantly alter global trade would start at the end of 2014.“The Nicaraguan government and HKND Group are pleased to confirm that canal construction work will begin as planned in December 2014,” Ortega announced alongside Chinese tycoon Wang Jing, whose group has secured the rights to dig and operate the waterway.
Ortega gave the Chinese group a concession to manage the future shipping channel for 50 years, with the possibility to renew the contract for another 50 reports Agence France-Presse.
The massive 30-billion-euro project would connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and rival the century-old Panama canal.
The Panama canal is currently building a new lane of traffic to double its capacity, but the expansion is running behind schedule.
Nicaraguan authorities have said that besides the future waterway, their project would include an oil pipeline, an overland route, two deepwater ports, two airports and duty-free zones.
Nicaraguan legislators in June approved granting Wang Jing the canal concession, and in December the Supreme Court in Managua said the project did not violate the constitution.
Opponents say the project is not financially feasible and have raised concerns about displacing indigenous groups and damage to the environment.
Saturday’s announcement appeared to contradict recent government statements that construction would be delayed until 2015.
One week ago, Manuel Coronel Kautz, president of the canal authority, told a national newspaper that digging would not start on time because the canal’s path remained undefined.
Panama is currently expanding its century-old canal, and the massive project is running behind schedule.
The Panamanian upgrade aims to make that 80-kilometer waterway, which handles five percent of global maritime trade, big enough to handle new cargo ships that can carry 12,000 containers. That project is costing $5.2 billion, including a third set of locks for the canal which currently welcomes ships that carry up to 5,000 containers. Feasibility studies are under way in Nicaragua. But it is not yet known how the future canal might be built in mechanical and logistical terms, if it gets a final green light.
|'We Love China'|
Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega and Chinese businessman Wang Jing have signed an agreement giving his company the right to build a shipping channel across Nicaragua that would compete with the Panama Canal.
|United States Marines with the captured flag of Augusto César Sandino in 1932.|
United States occupation of Nicaragua
Why is there no U.S. built canal in Nicaragua? The people of Nicaragua have not been fond of America over the years due to our endless interference in their internal politics going back to the 19th century.
The United States occupation of Nicaragua was part of the larger conflict known as the Banana Wars. The formal occupation began in 1912, although several other operations were conducted before the full-scale invasion. United States military interventions in Nicaragua were intended to prevent the construction of the Nicaraguan Canal by any nation but the United States.
Nicaragua assumed a quasi-protectorate status under the 1916 Chamorro-Bryan Treaty. The occupation ended as Augusto C. Sandino, a Nicaraguan revolutionary, led guerrilla armies against U.S. troops. The onset of the Great Depression made it costly for the U.S. government to maintain the occupation so a withdrawal was ordered in 1933.
See United States occupation of Nicaragua.