Nicaraguan Inter-Oceanic Canal Analysis

787 Words 4 Pages
The construction of the Nicaraguan Inter-Oceanic Canal raises several controversial social, environmental, political, and geoeconomic concerns for Nicaragua, its people, and the international community. Opponents are concerned about the potential for irreversible environmental damage, the disruption of indigenous communities, and the involvement of a private Chinese company that was given the 50-year concession to build and operate the canal. Proponents cite the canal as the only viable option to address the increasing poverty of Nicaragua in spite of its lack of assured long-term economic development. The asymmetrical significance of this model of development, however, as well as the apparent disadvantages of unilateral economic liberalization …show more content…
While either ideology and/or pragmatism certainly play a part in Nicaraguan foreign policy, the principal goal is to obtain the necessary domestic resources so that those in power remain so. Nicaraguan foreign policy then necessarily reflects domestic issues (Gardini and Lambert, 2011, 198). With the state of poverty in Nicaragua, as well as the current lack of interest from foreign investors, canal construction may effectively reduce poverty by providing “50 thousand direct jobs and more than 200,000 jobs indirectly” (Duarte, 2015, 2). The canal would allegedly also change the structure of the Nicaragua economy by making the country a maritime free trade center in the region and potentially fostering cruise boat tourism for the country. The canal is then a pragmatic option for address the poverty and economy concerns of …show more content…
In the 1970’s, Nicaragua opted for a communist, guerrilla warfare path to confronting the Cold War. Given the long and painful history Nicaragua has with the United States - U.S. mercenary William Walker invaded and proclaimed himself president of Nicaragua from 1855 to 1858, the United States backed a 1909 rebellion that sparked a civil war, and a prolonged occupation of Nicaragua by U.S. Marines - it is not surprising that the nationalist and anti-imperialist revolutionary movement was necessarily opposed to the U.S. (Gardini and Lambert, 200). Nicaraguan foreign affairs prior to the revolution, especially under the Somoza dynasty, were colored by U.S. interests. The decision for the Sandinistas to join the Non-Aligned Movement in 1979, less than two months after the new government was established, can then be seen as the first truly Nicaraguan foreign policy. National interest was defined by domestic Nicaraguan concerns and non-alignment was the expressed manifestation of the country’s newfound

Related Documents