It is no secret that there is social unrest currently in Nicaragua. Involvement of the USA and other Western states in the background has been reported by several critical articles about the situation in Nicaragua already.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 Western politics and media have switched to attack mode against the Nicaraguan government and report fake news as if there had never been an Iran-Contra-affair.9 This pattern is only too familiar from other conflicts worldwide. Regime change, by now interpreted as a normal event in the media and as usual associated with profound disinformation.
One geopolitical aspect, however, seems to escape the focus of most critics: the project of the Nicaragua Canal which would connect the Pacific with the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean as its neighbouring sea. Once completed this channel would obviously challenge the monopole position of the Panama Canal which is now more or less controlled by the USA and the latest extension of which had been ceremoniously opened as recently as 26 June 2016. Apparently there had been concrete preparations to start the construction work. Until the fighting broke out, that is.
Connecting the dots and thinking “Nicaragua Canal” occurred to me only today, certainly due to the scarce media coverage of the project. Although I had read various articles about the Panama Canal and its possible competitor project, the Nicaragua Canal, already one year ago for historical interest. A brief Google News10 search for “Nicaragua Canal” confirms that my suspicion is perhaps not too outlandish and that this tremendously important geopolitical project might really be associated, at least partially, with the current conflict.
The German newspaper “Südwestpresse” published an article on 18 July 2018 which states:
“The students movement accused [Nicaraguan President] Ortega to have delayed putting out fires in a national park in order to transfer pieces of land to landowners who are his supporters. Opponents of the 50 billion dollar ‘Nicaragua Canal’ project fight against huge expropriations by the state.”
I urge you to abstain from reading this “Südwestpresse” article should you stumble upon it in the internet before you have carefully studied the sources I have listed below. It contains so many false tracks that it is basically poisonous. Nevertheless, it mentions the Nicaragua Canal project.
One article in the journal Spektrum connects the geopolitical dots with China.11 This corresponds with my information and the “published opinion” about the Nicaragua Canal.
Spektrum: “Presumably, China is interested to have this route opened for geopolitical reasons. […] China belongs to the biggest buyers of Venezuelan petrol and both states are close allies. Therefore the Peoples’ Republic looking for secure transport alternatives would be only logical, even if the Panama Canal officially belongs to Panama today and is no longer directly controlled by the US.”
And also the daily newspaper “Mannheimer Morgen” “knows” something about the Nicaragua Canal today: “We have to make public what happens in Nicaragua right now’ is Cardenal’s opening statement in his essay and he fumes that President Ortega had whipped the act to build an interoceanic channel through national congress ‘within a single day’ and had given the concession to a Chinese investor and company called Wang Jing with ‘nauseating speed’ on the very next day.”
There may be many other reasons why both the opposition and the USA as well their allies want to topple the current Nicaraguan government but, in any case, the Nicaragua Canal project should not be overlooked in this regard. Especially since the topic has been raised in the Western media and our propagandists themselves brought the association between the unrest, which the West is yet again “totally innocent” about, and the channel, to our attention.
Such a cheap solution to this geopolitically crucial problem will not be offered again to the USA in the foreseeable future. The Nicaraguan government might survive all low-intensity warfare and media smear campaigns but at least the channel projects will probably be stopped. Even if started, the project might have failed for technical reasons, but do you really believe the USA would have taken that risk and watch the project proceed, just hoping for bad luck of the engineers? With or without the Chinese: This channel would deal a severe blow to the USA, at least from the US hard-liners’ point of view.
The pension cuts discussed by “Südwestpresse” and Co. were implemented in Nicaragua after the IMF (International Monetary Fund), which is well-known for being heavily influenced by the US and forcing states world-wide to adopt neoliberal strategies, pressured the government to do so.
Nicaraguan president defied the IMF orders by cutting the pensions to a smaller extent than decreed by the USA. The fact that our propagandists and “activists”are still outraged about the pension cuts by the Nicaraguan government and blame those for the social unrest exemplifies the breath-taking chuzpah of our propagandists. They just take us for fools. •
12 www.morgenweb.de/mannheimer-morgen_ artikel,-welt-und-wissen-toedliche-traeume-vonfreiheit-und-demokratie-_arid,1293022.html
Source: Rubikon – Magazin für die kritische Masse vom 4.8.2018
Remark: This text was first published in the Internetmagazin “Rubikon – Magazin für die kritische Masse”. Because the publishing was made under Creative Commons, Current Concerns takes the text as second user and remarks that Rubikon needs donations.
(Translation Current Concerns)
cc. The renowned Swiss historian J. R. von Salis described the usurpation of the Panama Canal by the then US government in his very own way of writing.
“Roosevelt has pursued two foreign policy objectives during his presidency: 1. To build the Panama Canal as an undertaking to be carried out exclusively by the United States and under the control of the United States; 2. To exclude foreign interference or land seizure in any part of the Western Hemisphere. Both led to the US interference in Central America itself, taking land on the Isthmus of Panama and establishing its political and economic supremacy in the Caribbean.
Three obstacles had to be overcome before the work on the canal could begin. One was the 1850 Bulwer-Clayton Treaty between the United States and England, stipulating equal rights of both partners and the non-fortification of the future canal; the second was the ‘New Panama Canal Society’, who had a priority right to construct the canal; the third and largest of these was that the South American Republic of Colombia owned sovereignty over the area intended for canal construction, as the province of Panama was belonged to this state.
In 1902, the British government renounced its rights under the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty in an agreement signed between Ambassador Pauncefote and Secretary of State Hay and ratified by the US Senate. England recognised the right of the USA to build and fortify the canal under its exclusive control, subject to the right of passage for ships of all nations on equal terms. British politics thus confirmed its partial withdrawal from Central America (where, however, Jamaica, British Honduras and some smaller Antilles islands, along with British Guiana and the Bahama Islands, still belonged to the British Empire) and the recognition of the special rights and interests of the United States in the Caribbean. It was the time when, after his victory over the Boers, England consolidated its supremacy in Egypt, East and South Africa, concluded a neutrality agreement with Italy, allied itself with Japan and began to settle amicably the many colonial disputes with France and to acknowledge French establishment in Morocco. The British renunciation of well-acquired rights in the Caribbean region did not weigh too heavy in comparison to the prospect of becoming able to withstand the expanding German fleet by rectifying relations with America, Japan, Italy (and in 1904 also with France) and to build up an effective defence of the countries surrounding the North Sea by withdrawing naval units from the Caribbean (later also from the Mediterranean).
The ‘New Panama Canal Company’ – the legal successor of the French de Lesseps Company – held the building concession granted by the Republic of Colombia; its owners favoured the possibility of assigning their rights to the USA and made an appropriate offer to the Washington government. Also in the province of Panama itself, the leading groups wanted the Americans to take the construction of the canal into their own hands. However, the plan failed in summer 1903 due to opposition from the Colombian parliament, rejecting a concession agreement between Secretary of State Hay and Colombian negotiator Herran. An uprising against Colombian supremacy in Panama on 3 November had been instigated by interested parties of the ‘New Panama Canal Society’; the presence of American warships prevented Colombian troops from going ashore to suppress the insurgency movement. Roosevelt was sharply criticised for the offence, wherein he undoubtedly had a hand, ‘and he later admitted that he simply ‘took’ Panama to put an end to the endless chatter and get the work going’ (Beard). Anyway, he recognised the government of the new Republic of Panama just three days after the outbreak of the uprising, and on 18 November, in a treaty between Secretary of State John Hay and Panama’s representative, Philipp Bunau-Varilla, the conditions were agreed where under the USA could begin the canal connection. The small republic left the canal zone to the United States for loyal hands and the right to fortify and defend it; the property of the ‘New Panama Canal Society’ was transferred to the United States, paying Panama the same compensation they had offered to the Republic of Colombia.
In addition, the United States were granted similar privileges in the Republic of Panama as in Cuba, guaranteeing independence and preservation of peace and order on the territory and exercising supervision over public financial management. Panama became in fact an American protectorate.”
Source: von Salis, J. R. Weltgeschichte der neuesten Zeit, Volume II/1, America-Asia-Europe; Orell Füssli Verlag Zürich, new edition 1980, pp. 57.
(Translation Current Concerns)
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