Nicaragua Canal

Also found in: Wikipedia.

Nicaragua Canal

Nicaragua Canal, proposed waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. One often considered route would be 172.8 mi (278 km) long and would generally follow the San Juan River, then go through Lake Nicaragua near the southern shore and across the narrow isthmus of Rivas to the Pacific Ocean. First proposed by Henry Clay, the U.S. secretary of state in 1826, the route was an important factor in negotiation of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (1850). In more recent times the route has been considered as an adjunct to the Panama Canal; it would shorten the water distance between New York and San Francisco by nearly 500 mi (805 km).

Under the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty (1916), the United States paid Nicaragua $3 million for an option in perpetuity and free of taxation, including 99-year leases to the Corn Islands and a site for a naval base on the Gulf of Fonseca. Costa Rica protested that Costa Rican rights to the San Juan River were infringed, and El Salvador maintained that the proposed naval base affected both it and Honduras. Both protests were upheld by the Central American Court of Justice. The court rulings were ignored by Nicaragua and the United States. The action was bitterly criticized by Latin Americans and others as an example of U.S. imperialism. A possible route was surveyed in the early 1930s, and a barge canal was proposed later in the decade. In 1970 the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty was rescinded.

In 2013, Nicaragua granted the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. a 50-year concession for the building of the Nicaragua Canal. The company subsequently proposed (2014) a route that would begin at Punta Gorda on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast (more than 40 mi/65 km N of the San Juan River's mouth), cross Lake Nicaragua, and then enter the Pacific at Brito.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
China plans six development corridors across Asia, Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, including the 30-year delayed Kra Canal in Thailand, cutting travel by 1,200 kilometers to the Indian Ocean and bypassing Singapore, the $49-billion Nicaragua Canal about 3.5 times longer than Panama Canal.
By: Mahmoud Oraby CAIRO -- 7 August 2017: Viva Nicaragua Canal channel made a list of the cheapest countries in the world to travel for vacation.
Neither the government of President Daniel Ortega nor its Chinese partner in the project, an untested construction firm called Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Group (HKND Group), has said otherwise.
Nicaragua is looking to build a more massive Nicaragua Canal with the help of a Chinese consortium.
With a $50 billion deal between Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development (HKND) and the government of Nicaragua to build the Grand Canal, China Inc.
Megaprojects like the famous Nicaragua Canal, or the inter-ocean railroad that will link the Pacific coast of Peru with the Atlantic coast of Brazil, have spawned far-reaching controversies.
HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Group (HKND), a Chinese infrastructure firm, announced Wednesday that it was delaying the construction of a $50 billion canal across Nicaragua to late 2016, but gave no reason for its decision, according to reports.
The BBC reports an unconfirmed figure of 15,000 demonstrators who marched in opposition to the construction project by Chinese firm Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development (HKND).