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 given up. We have with the Nicaraguan people the commitment to make the Nicaraguan canal a reality, ”said the president during a speech on the occasion of the 39th anniversary 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 exiles and an economy in free fall.
In his speech, the governor 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 the idea of that wet road, but 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, from 230 to 280 meters wide and 33 meters deep, and includes two ports, an airport, two artificial lakes, two locks, a free trade area and tourist complexes, 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, the beginning of which was planned for the first half of 2017, after successive delays for various reasons.
The cost of the project, on which the date of commencement of the works remains uncertain, is estimated at 50,000 million dollars, according to 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 six 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. .