March 8, 2014

"The Comandante's Canal: Will a grand national project enrich Nicaragua, or only its leader?"

"Last June 15th, Daniel Ortega, the President of Nicaragua, held a ceremony in Managua to announce his newest and most audacious plan to help the country’s poor: a transoceanic canal, stretching from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific, a few hundred miles north of the Panama Canal."
“This is a project,” he promised, “that will bring well-being, prosperity, and happiness to the Nicaraguan people.” The last time Ortega attracted the world’s attention, it was as Ronald Reagan’s great adversary in the Contra war of the eighties: a fighter “against the domination of the capitalists of our country, in collusion with the U.S. government—i.e., imperialism.”...

Ortega’s canal would be the largest civil-engineering and construction project in the world. To lead it, and to bring in money and expertise, he had recruited an obscure Chinese tycoon named Wang Jing, and two days before the ceremony, the National Assembly had approved a concession that put a large swath of the country at Wang’s disposal as a building site....
You'll need a New Yorker subscription to read much further. I have and I highly recommend it. But here's an open article in Scientific American: "Nicaragua Canal Could Wreak Environmental Ruin."
The project threatens multiple autonomous indigenous communities such as the Rama, Garifuna, Mayangna, Miskitu and Ulwa, and some of the most fragile, pristine and scientifically important marine, terrestrial and lacustrine ecosystems in Central America.


mesquito said...

I doubt a canal will be built. I have no doubt some people will grow rich.

Greg Hlatky said...

Environmental concerns are only important in the US. In Leftie countries they're building Socialism.

Michael said...

Ortega! A hero to the lefties of the eighties, the silly twits without a word of Spanish who could pronounce Sandinista with just the right accent. On the radio the leftie stations were rife with those Phoney Spanish accents. If they were pronouncing Managua with a Spanish accent why didnt they pronounce London with a British accent or Berlin with a German. It was all too obvious.
And so now when you come out of a hotel in Managua at any time of the day you will be surrounded by filthy children begging. A dozen or more would not be uncommon. School not compulsory or if it is the attendance is honored in the breach.
So the commandante will sell to the canal builders the land the commandante gifted himself. I am sure he will get a fair price. Viva la revolucion.

David said...

Just keep the damn sea snakes in the Pacific.

Illuninati said...

Michael said...
"Ortega! A hero to the lefties of the eighties, the silly twits without a word of Spanish who could pronounce Sandinista with just the right accent."

Well stated. One of the beauties of the leftie brain is that history is whatever they decide it is. What you are talking about has already disappeared down the memory hole.

Illuninati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SMSgt Mac said...

Poor Venezuelans. This is doomed to failure. Two years ago I had an assignment to model and compare global transportation infrastructures. It was for the purpose of 'optimum' siting logistic support facilities around the world, and by it the world of Intermodal Transport (IMT) was opened to me. Containerization and IMT now means it is cheaper and faster to ship goods West-East and East- West over rail across the CONUS between ports than to go through the Panama Canal (Panama may find their 'Post Panamax' canal profits not up to expectations as well.) The cost of sea transport versus rail is such that Southern US seaports are losing business to Northern US/Canada seaports.

Drago said...

You can feel the love the New Yorker writer has for Ortega and the Sandanista gov't.

Hilariously the writer also calls Ortega a "former marxist"!

Too funny.

He's still a marxist in precisely the same way that DeBlasio is. However, in both cases they are constrained by a reality that keep them from fully enacting their true vision.

I'm sure garage will be along shortly to explain how a canal like this being dug will only result in about 35 temporary jobs, thus probably not worth it! LOL

Drago said...

I think the most laughable line of the article however is: "The last time Ortega attracted the world’s attention, it was as Ronald Reagan’s great adversary in the Contra war of the eighties.....”

"..Ronald Reagan's great adversary in the Contra war..."

Too funny.

Ronald Reagan's great adversary was the international communist movement of which ortega was a little pissant.

Of course, the Marxist ortega was LOVED LOVED LOVED by the dems in congress and the media.

They couldn't get enough of him!

Who can forget Jim Wright and the dems having to create at least 3 versions of the Boland Amendments (to budget resolutions passed by the ortega-loving dems in Congress).

Why 3 versions you ask?

Great question.

Every time the dems in congress stood up for Ortega and the commies Ortega would do something that exposed publicly what he was all about and the bad PR forced the dems to back down.

I'm still laughing remembering Jim Wrights backtracking like crazy after passing a version of the Boland Amendment and then Ortega running off for public appearances in Moscow with his masters!

Good ol Jimbo was in a tough spot then, right after assuring everyone that ortega was not a moscow puppet!

Amexpat said...

I doubt it'll happen as Panama is having problems financing the completion of the widening of its canal.

It would be a shame if they did build it as it would ruin Lake Ometepe, which is unique and beautiful. Also, this volcano might not like it.

Biff said...

Among the single words most likely to set off my BS detector: pristine.

And how pristine can it be, when the land is inhabited by "multiple autonomous indigenous communities?"

Mitch H. said...

I wonder if they'll dig it with half a million impressed peasants armed with spoons?

CWJ said...

Wasn't Nicaragua the site the US originally considered for the canal before settling on Panama? I recall the advantage is that it would require fewer locks.

William said...

The building of the White Sea Canal was one of Stalin's great crimes. Some 126,000 workers were sent out in the Russian winter in street clothes with garden tools to dig it. At least ten percent of them perished. What is more haunting is how many western intellectuals witnessed this atrocity and considered it a huge quantum jump for mankind. Beatrice Webb, a Nobel Prize winner and one of the founders of Britain's Labor Party, was a visitor at the site and marveled at the morale of the workers who were using the project to overcome their bourgeoise prejudices.........I didn't read the article. Does it mention that Ortega is a child molester?

Dr Weevil said...

"Miskitu" Indians? There were called Miskito back in Contra days, when Ortega's air force was bombing them.

cubanbob said...

Mac I'm in the import-export business and I haven't found the sea-rail option to be as a practical matter cheaper and faster than standard port to port marine cargo.

As for the canal I doubt that it will ever get built ( unless the Chinese really want to push this and that would be for reasons other than economic ones)but I have no doubt that some Nicaraguan officials will get really rich from this scheme.

Michael said...

As you descend to the Managua airport it would be of interest to notice the large lake on which shores the city was erected. Notice anything missing on the lake? Boats? Homes? Docks? I believe the lake is a cesspool. A rather large one but a cesspool nonetheless. Even the filthy beggar children won't take a dip.

I wonder if d'Blasio will be a limited partner in some of the land that will happily lay in the path of the canal. The canal wont be built, of course, but you can bet the land will be sold to make way for it. At least the land owned by the Commandante and his very limited partners.

Poor Nicaragua. Wonderful landscape, beautiful people, corruption on stilts. Viva la revolucion.

Drago said...

William: "Does it mention that Ortega is a child molester?"

No, it doesn't.

In the same way that Mao's predilection for 10 year old girls was not really helpful for the leftist narrative.

Thus, it never happened.

It never existed.

If the girls who were victimized by Mao (now women) showed up and wanted to speak about it, they would probably be labeled "trailer park trash" by the left.

"War on Women" you know.

Steven said...

"Miskitu" Indians? There were called Miskito back in Contra days, when Ortega's air force was bombing them.

Depends on whether you're using the Spanish name for the tribe (Miskito) or the indigenous language name for the tribe (Miskitu).

Jupiter said...

"The last time Ortega attracted the world’s attention, it was as Ronald Reagan’s great adversary in the Contra war of the eighties"

Actually, there was a bit of a stir when his daughter accused him of molesting her. But Lefties seem to be pretty much OK with that.