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October 5, 2006 [LINK / comment]
Will Nicaragua build a canal?
At the turn of the last century, a serious alernative route to a canal through Panama was along the San Juan river, which forms the southern border of Nicaragua. It would pass through Lake Nicaragua, and then traverse a mountain range before reaching the Pacific coast. That country's President Enrique Bolanños is urging Nicaraguan voters to approve a referendum to seek funding for building such a canal. It would have a wider channel to permit larger ships to pass from the Pacific to the Caribbean, no doubt taking much traffic away from Panama. It would cost $18 billion and take 12 years to finish -- which are only rough estimates, of course. See BBC. It's very ambitious, especially for a country with a shaky political-economic foundation, but it's the sort of prestige-oriented task that could promote national unity. It may be that such plans were the underlying reason for the border tensions between Nicaragua and Costa Rica late last year.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 05 Oct 2006, 2: 42 PM
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