Nicaragua’s president, Daniel Ortega’s latest proposal is to build a canal that would be similar to Panama’s at an estimated cost of $30bn – about four times as much as Nicaragua’s gross domestic product. The project is awaiting appraisal by the nation’s legislature.
Costa Rican officials have described the project as “pharaonic”. There are no pharaohs in Nicaragua but Ortega’s project does involve the excavation of enough earth to fill the Suez Canal three times over, on top of what is being dug up in the current expansion of the Panama Canal.
“There have been talks with Japan, China, Russia, Brazil and South Korea, and everyone’s agreed the canal’s a great idea,” said Ortega.