Wed. Dec 11th, 2019

Ortega says he has not given up building an interoceanic canal through Nicaragua

The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, said Tuesday that his Government has not renounced the project of building an interoceanic canal through this Central American country.

"We have not resigned. We have with the Nicaraguan people the commitment to make the Nicaragua canal a reality," the president said during a speech on the occasion of the 39th anniversary commemoration of the Naval Force.

"Our commitment is to continue working for the construction of the interoceanic canal in Nicaragua," said Ortega, who had not referred to that project long before the crisis in the country broke out and has left hundreds dead, tens of thousands in exile and an economy in free fall.

Nicaragua is going through a serious crisis that has left 328 dead since April 2018, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), although some groups raise 595 fatalities, while the Executive only recognizes 200 – what he calls "terrorists" "," coup plotters "and" common criminals "- and denounce a failed coup attempt.

In his speech, the president said that the construction of the interoceanic canal, in charge of the Chinese firm HKND Group, "is a project approved by the majority of Nicaraguans."

He also stressed that it was not the Sandinistas who had this idea of ​​that wet road, but that it was the Americans and the British since the mid-nineteenth century.

In 2013, the Government of Nicaragua granted HKND Group the concession for the channel for a period of 50 years, extendable for another 50.

According to its design, the project consists of a wet road 275.5 kilometers long, 230 to 280 meters wide and 33 meters deep, and includes two ports, an airport, two artificial lakes, two locks, an area of Free trade and resorts, among others.

The canal would enter into operation, according to the company's calculations, five years after the start of the most important works, that is, the excavation of the canal and the construction of the west sluice, which were planned to begin in the first half of 2017 , after successive delays for various reasons.

The cost of the project, on which the most important works start date remains uncertain, is estimated at $ 50 billion, according to the HKND Group.

On June 13, the Government had hands-free to activate the clause of the Framework Agreement of the canal project that indicates that if its subprojects are not concluded in 6 years after its formalization, in 2013, it could cancel the concession to the firm China.

For the clause to enter into force, the Government had to invoke it, which has not happened, and notify it to the counterpart.

The Nicaraguan Government has not ruled on how the interoceanic canal project works for more than two years, which includes a silence about its future plans regarding the execution of the works.

. (tagsToTranslate) Ortega (t) waived (t) build (t) interoceanic (t) Nicaragua

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