The Nicaraguan Canal

On June 13, 2013, the President of Nicaragua, President Ortega, and the chairman of HKND Group, Wang Jing, signed an agreement given HKND Group the exclusive rights to construct and manage the Nicaraguan canal and associated projects for 50 years.

The idea of creating a canal through Nicaragua is not new. The earliest plans of creating a canal through Nicaragua originated  as early as the 1500s by the Spanish. Dreams of creating a canal continued until the present day but seemed to temporarily halt because of the potential canal’s environmental threats. Currently, Nicaragua and HKND Group are assessing the technological and economic feasibility of constructing the canal. The two parties are also assessing the potential environmental, social, and regional implications of various routes. A HKND spokesman reported that the estimated $40 billion project would be privately funded.

According to the HKND Group, the proposed Nicaragua Canal will help relieve the Panama Canal from the 21st century’s growing global economy. The current Sandinista government has reported that the canal will help Nicaragua’s economic growth and the country’s formal employment within the next four years. The government has further stated that the canal will eradicate poverty in the country.

For more information about the potential Nicaraguan Canal, please refer to these websites:

http://www.nicaraguadispatch.com/news/2013/07/nicaragua-canal-bonanza-or-boondoggle/8152

http://hknd-group.com/the-project/

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/glance-history-nicaragua-canal-plans

http://world.time.com/2013/06/13/nicaraguas-chinese-canal-behind-the-audacious-40-billion-bid-to-build-a-rival-panama-canal/#ixzz2ZvmZzmWA

About Johanna Fernandez

CLASS Treasurer– 2015 Candidate for Juris Doctor at Cornell University Law School
This entry was posted in Nicaragua and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Nicaraguan Canal

  1. SCM3 says:

    The government is painting a rosy picture when it is clear the environmental impacts and costs to the government for canal maintenance in the long-term will outweigh the benefits. Many analysts have already noted that the 40 billion price tag is an optimistic figure likely to be exceeded as well. The large difference in tides between the two coasts will require very complex engineering work. Mistakes could result in sea water flooding into Lake Nicaragua, destroying the country’s largest source of freshwater (at a time when we say the future wars of the world will be about water more than oil). The government is also violating numerous autonomy laws of the black and indigenous peoples of the Caribbean Coast’s Autonomous zones by making unilateral decisions affecting the autonomous regions. In short, it is extremely complicated, and still to be seen if this will actually ever be completed.

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m glad that you presented the complications of building the canal. As with any project, there are always plenty of social and environmental factors that come into play. As you said, this is a proposed project. Cheers.

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