Is Nicaraguan Canal a Boon for Trade or a Boondoggle?
Nicaragua revives its age-old canal-building dreams.
For nearly a century the Panama Canal has been the only game in town for anyone who wanted to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific without making the long voyage around Cape Horn.
In that time more than a million ships, from bulk carriers to cruise liners to nuclear submarines, have passed through its locks, taking advantage of the world's most famous shortcut.
Panama's canal may (or may not) soon face stiff competition. Last June Nicaragua's National Assembly overwhelmingly approved a plan to grant a Chinese company, the Hong Kong–based HKND Group, exclusive rights to build a canal spanning the country.
The planned canal could be about 175 miles (282 kilometers) long, more than three times the length of Panama's, with