TODAY NICARGUA – “¡Nicaragua no se vende!” protesters in the central city of Juigalpa exclaimed in a recent demonstration. This rallying cry, Nicaragua is not for sale, reverberates throughout the country in momentous opposition to the construction of the proposed Nicaraguan canal—a $50 billion USD project spearheaded by Chinese venture capitalist billionaire, Wang Jing, and enthusiastically approved by the Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega. The pair intend to slice Central America’s largest country in half with a canal three times the size of Panama’s, displaced communities, economic impracticality, and environmental degradation be damned.
A SECRET DEAL; A PUBLIC OUTCRY
In a characteristically clandestine arrangement, the Ortega administration approved the operation during a seven-day Congressional session in 2013, sans parliamentary debate, public consultation, or prior feasibility/environmental impact studies. The approval granted a 100-year concession to Wang Jing’s Cayman Island-based firm, the Hong Kong Nicaraguan Canal Development Investment Company (HKND). Lofty parameters expropriate land rights to the 172 miles long by an average 1,000 feet wide stretch of Nicaraguan land on which the proposed project will be built, giving HKND carte blanche authority, without having to pay taxes, for the ensuing century. The concession subsequently … continue reading