The Nicaragua Canal?

Dan Grech Oct 3, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Ever since the Panama Canal opened in 1914, Nicaragua has been talking about building its own canal. Almost a century later, it’s finally planning to do it. Nicaragua announced the $20 billion project at a meeting if Western defense ministers yesterday, but maybe it should’ve waited a little longer. Dan Grech reports from the America’s Desk at WLRN.


DAN GRECH: October 22, the people of Panama will vote on whether to expand their canal to accommodate massive new container ships from Asia.

The $5 billion plan has some heavy opposition.

That led rival Nicaragua to propose its own canal at Monday’s summit

Robert Pastor directs the Center for North American Studies at American University. He says Nicaragua’s timing was terrible. It could tweak Panamanians’ national pride.

ROBERT PASTOR:“The idea that Nicaragua might try to propose a different canal may be sufficient incentive for the Panamanians to line up foursquare behind expanding their own.”

Pastor says there isn’t enough international financing for two canal projects in Central America and investors are likely to back Panama’s plan, which is much more detailed and much less expensive.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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