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Nicaragua on the Brink, Once Again

Nicaragua on the Brink, Once Again | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Jon Lee Anderson on protests in Nicaragua over proposed social-security reforms that are threatening the stability of the government of President Daniel Ortega.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The status quo of the Nicaraguan political system threats to be completely upended and this article is a good primer for getting a handle on the situation. 

 

Tags: Nicaragua, political.

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David Stiger's curator insight, September 23, 2018 3:43 PM
Nicaragua's present situation is an example of how out-of-touch leaders can ruin a country The president-dictator, Ortega, and his co-dictator wife, Murillo, have been in power since 2007 ruling with deaf ears and black hearts. Due to their recent decision to raise the cost of social security while reducing its benefits (something truly bizarre), civil unrest has spilled into the streets permeating throughout the whole country. To quell the anger, Ortega had his soldiers open fire on protesters (another bizarre decision). Average Nicaraguan citizens are enraged and ready for a change of power. 

Ortega first took power in 1979 when his socialist "junta" overthrew an oppressive right-wing regime. Essentially one group of extremists replaced another. The situation only worsened with the involvement of the U.S. Seeing the pro-Soviet Marxist takeover in its geographic backyard, Ronald Reagan authorized military support for a group of right-wing counter-revolutionaries (known in Spanish as 'Contras') who used terrorism to retake the government. Ortega was removed from power in 1990. The  article points out that the C.I.A. backed Contras led to the destruction of the Nicaraguan economy. The United States is a paradox as it raves about democracy at home but goes out of its way to support extremist regimes with little regard to human rights abroad. This self-serving "my interests above all" attitude will only come back to haunt the U.S. as chronic instability in its backyard can spill over to other countries and slither its way to the U.S. border. 

A salient feature of dictatorships, like Ortega's regime, is that they control the media and the news. Only two newspaper outlets, La Prensa and Confidencial, stand independently to oppose the government's "official narrative." Interestingly enough, Ortega and Murillo's children run the pro-government media outlets - illustrating how close family connections between business and government are unhealthy for society. These kindred relations weaken checks and balances because of conflicts of interest.

Two things to take away from this article: One is that the U.S. needs to either cease meddling in foreign affairs or be much more careful. The second is that this scenario serves as a reason why the world needs transparent democratic societies. This latter form of governance ensures that no single group can hold onto power for so long, becoming insensitive to the needs of the people, and continuing to rule simply to hold onto power. 




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Nicaragua unveils major canal route

Nicaragua unveils major canal route | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Nicaraguan government and the company behind plans to build a canal linking the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean have settled on a route."

Seth Dixon's insight:

A Chinese firm (HKND) is planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's.  I've been following this issue as I prepared to co-author an article  for Maps 101 with Julie Dixon and it is clearly a major environmental issue.  However, this issue is much more geographic than just the angle; China and Nicaragua are vying for greater control and access to the shipping lanes that dominate the global economy and international trade.  This shows that they are each attempting to bolster their regional and international impact compared to their rivals (the United States for China and Panama for Nicaragua).   


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

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BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 1:15 PM

A Chinese firm (HKND) is planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's.  I've been following this issue as I prepared to co-author an article  for Maps 101 with Julie Dixon and it is clearly a major environmental issue.  However, this issue is much more geographic than just the angle; China and Nicaragua are vying for greater control and access to the shipping lanes that dominate the global economy and international trade.  This shows that they are each attempting to bolster their regional and international impact compared to their rivals (the United States for China and Panama for Nicaragua).   


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

Olivia Campanella's curator insight, September 26, 2018 4:26 PM
The Nicaraguan government plans to build a canal linking the Atlantic to the Pacific. This canal will be 278km (273 miles) and stretch from Punta Gorda through Lake Nicaragua in the Atlantic to the mouth of the Brito river in the Atlantic. This canal will cost over 40 billion dollars just to rival the Panama Canal. It will be 230m- 520m wide and 27.6m deep. Construction will be expected to begin in December and be finished within 5 years.
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 4:56 AM
The Nicaragua Canal is planned to rival the Panama Canal and give the Chinese the easier and cheaper route. Since the US own the Panama Canal, they can control the rates they give out to other countries wanting to use the Canal. China, upset with these rates us trying to take control of their own Canal that passes threw Nicaragua and avoiding the Panama traffic. 
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Launch of world's biggest 'ship'

Launch of world's biggest 'ship' | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A floating vessel that is longer than the Empire State Building is high has taken to the water for the first time.  Despite appearances, Prelude cannot strictly be described as a ship as it needs to be towed to its destination rather than travelling under its own power."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a floating testament that economies of scale will continue to push the limits.  Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America.  This is one reason why Nicaragua is planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what Maps 101 has to offer). 


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

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Cam E's curator insight, February 4, 2014 5:34 PM

I've got a weak spot for massive ships, plain and simple. I think there's even a future in ship-based cities which move around the world's oceans. Eventually ships can become so large and so advanced that the normal threats associated with the open ocean will do little to scratch them. For a comparison, the ship pictured is the Prelude FLNG, and it's almost twice the length of the Titanic.

Aidan Lowery's curator insight, March 22, 2016 12:51 AM
unit 6
BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 1:19 PM

This is a floating testament that economies of scale will continue to push the limits.  Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America.  This is one reason why Nicaragua is planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what Maps 101 has to offer). 


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

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Nicaragua's Controversial Canal

The proposed Nicaragua Canal could be one of the largest engineering projects in history and promises to bring thousands of jobs to the impoverished country. But the government’s secretive deal with a Chinese-led firm has some Nicaraguans raising the alarm about displacement and environmental destruction in the canal’s path.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm fascinated by massive geo-engineering projects.  Usually, the proponents of the project will support it claiming that by reconfiguring the geographic settings it will lead to the economic growth of the country and strengthen their political situation.  Opponents cite that traditional land use patterns will get disrupted, the poor will be displaced, and the environment will be degraded. This canal is not so very different from many other geo-engineering projects in that respect.

 

Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, industry, economic, environment, political, resourcespolitical ecology.

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Blake Joseph's curator insight, April 24, 2015 9:38 PM

The Chinese government is seriously considering plans to build a new canal through Nicaragua that will rival the United States' Panama canal. The size of the planned canal will be much larger than the Panama canal, allowing much bigger freighters and cargo vessels to be able to pass through it to and from the Chinese mainland. While many Nicaraguans are enthusiastic about the potential jobs and money involved in the project, others can see through this and sense great problems for the country if completed. The canal would destroy many environments within Nicaragua such as Lake Nicaragua and the forest that are located nearby, displacing many people who live and depend on the area for food and work. China is fast becoming a world superpower, and is alarmingly similar to the old Soviet Union as far as a lack of environmental protection and the welfare of citizens. I fear the future environmental impact this will have on Nicaragua could be devastatingly similar to the fatal impacts of other old Soviet failures like the Aral Sea or Chernobyl (without the radioactive isotopes, of course). I think many Nicaraguans do as well.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 1, 2015 7:13 AM


Chapter 5

Humans value, change and protect landscapes

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 1:12 PM

I'm fascinated by massive geo-engineering projects.  Usually, the proponents of the project will support it claiming that by reconfiguring the geographic settings it will lead to the economic growth of the country and strengthen their political situation.  Opponents cite that traditional land use patterns will get disrupted, the poor will be displaced, and the environment will be degraded. This canal is not so very different from many other geo-engineering projects in that respect.

 

Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, industry, economic, environment, political, resources, political ecology.

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China's Plan to Dig a Canal Across Nicaragua

China's Plan to Dig a Canal Across Nicaragua | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"By the end of this year, digging could begin on a waterway that would stretch roughly 180 miles across Nicaragua to unite the Atlantic and Pacific oceans."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America; China is strategically working on strengthening their geopolitical position in the South China Sea and all international waters.  This is one reason why a Chinese firms are planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's.  This article highlights the reasons for concern (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what else Maps 101 has to offer). 


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 12:30 AM

Here in this article, it is discussed why the plan to dig a canal across Nicaragua could be a very bad idea. One main concern is the fact the Wing Jang's company has no prior infrastructure construction background, where the money is coming from, the whole $40 billion. Jang denies the government will have a role in paying. There is also the environmental standpoint. A proposed route would cut through Central America's largest fresh water lake, Lake Nicaragua. The lake is a major source of drinking water and irrigation, and home to rare freshwater sharks and other fish of commercial and scientific value.There is also the possibility of Pacific sea life entering the freshwater of the lake. Economic benefits from this new canal are not even guaranteed. That is just to name a few.  Overall, it seems to me that the earth's environmental affects would outweigh the monetary economics because the potential damage that could be done is devastating to both wild life and people of the country and region.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 1:18 PM

Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America; China is strategically working on strengthening their geopolitical position in the South China Sea and all international waters.  This is one reason why a Chinese firms are planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's.  This article highlights the reasons for concern (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what else Maps 101 has to offer). 


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, February 9, 2018 3:58 PM
(Mexico/Central America) Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, is subsidizing land to a Chinese entrepreneur to build a canal hopefully boosting the economy and unemployment. However, concerns for the environmental impact, rivalry with the Panama Canal, and Chinese control in the Americas are globally relevant. The agreement allows the Chinese company to privately own the canal for 100 years while Nicaragua receives some income. Nicaragua claims the canal will double the economy and triple employment rates, although the public is skeptical. The canal is being constructed through wetlands and Lake Nicaragua, a principle source of drinking water, raising environmental concerns for the rare tropical species and indigenous peoples of the area. The lack of transparency in the canal route and environmental damages raise concerns for biologists, while economists argue that the expanded Panama Canal is a superior choice for shippers.
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Geographic Ignorance

Geographic Ignorance | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:
The Comedy Troupe 'The Mighty Boosh' doesn't need to work too hard when Chelsea Handler makes it so easy. 
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Sabrina Conroy's curator insight, July 15, 2013 4:33 PM

Just another prime example of American ignorance. We're all guilty! But to what extent is this our fault and to what extent is it what we're taught at a young age in school. 

David Madrid's curator insight, July 26, 2013 1:27 AM

Existe la ignorancia geofrafica en personajes publicos.

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, September 11, 2013 7:44 PM

Oh wow...