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Residents, tourists fail to save beached whale

Beached whale on Popoyo

(Posted Nov 15, 12:00) — Residents and tourists working together were unable to save a beached blue whale on Popoyo Beach, which was discovered on Friday morning. Video by Xiomara Diaz. The female whale was an estimated 18 meters long. Dozens of Nicaraguans and foreigners worked throughout the day, evening and into this morning trying to save the whale, but they were unable to push it back to deeper water. Continue Reading →

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Nicaragua’s comptroller general dies

Arguello

Updated (Nov 15, 2014) – Former Comptroller General Guillermo Argüello Poessy died this morning in Managua, after months of battling illness related to diabetes. He was 73. Below is an interview he did with The Nicaragua Dispatch in June, 2012, where he talked about how difficult the war on corruption has become in Nicaragua.  

(The following interview was originally Published June 27, 2012, under the headline: Does Corruption Get a Free Pass in Nicaragua?) —

Guillermo Argüello Poessy might have the toughest job in Nicaragua. With an insufficient budget and an inadequate staff, the Comptroller General is charged with the daunting task of assuring transparency and accountability in a government that isn’t too keen on either. Continue Reading →

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Ernesto Cardenal: the canal will divide Nicaragua like 2 Germanies, 2 Koreas

Ernesto Cardenal thinks the  Chinese Canal will be one of the biggest disasters in Nicaragua's disaster-prone history

We need to denounce to the world what is happening in Nicaragua. President Daniel Ortega exercising the absolute power that he and his wife have over the country, made the National Congress approve in only one day the creation of a law to build an Interoceanic Canal. This law was not consulted at all with the population. The next day, it was approved and a concession was issued at a dizzying speed, even though this will affect Nicaragua for the next 100 years and the concession was give to a Chinese man named Wang Jing who at the time was unknown. The concession just gives Wang Jing rights but doesn’t impose any obligations on him. Continue Reading →

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More Nicaraguans join anti-canal marches

Marches against the canal are growing in strength

Thousands of Nicaraguan campesinos marched on Puerto Principe, Nueva Guinea, on Monday in the 10th march organized against the Sandinistas government’s $50 billion Chinese canal project. On foot and on horseback, campesinos road through the Caribbean jungle town carrying blue-and-white Nicaraguan flags following a truck with blaring speakers that vowed to defend ancestral land from government expropriation. “What do the campesinos want?” ”For the Chinese to leave!” echoed the call-and-response. “What do the farmers want?” Continue Reading →

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Nicaraguans rise up against Chinese canal

Campesinos march against the canal and expropriations in Nueva Guinea

NUEVA GUINEA, Nicaragua — Nicaragua’s muddy countryside rumbled under the staccato of horse hooves and rubber boots on Tuesday as more than 1,000 campesinos marched through Nueva Guinea to protest the construction of a $50-billion, privately owned Chinese canal that would rival Panama’s interoceanic waterway. Under the banners “Our land is not for sale!” and “Chinaman, go home!” Nicaraguan farmers and cowboys vowed to defend their properties from government expropriation and Chinese encroachment. “I would rather die than hand over my property,” march organizer Francisca Ramirez, 39, told Fusion in a phone interview from Nueva Guinea, 175 miles east of the capital. “The people living in this region are already living in extreme poverty. Where are we supposed to go if the government kicks us off our land?”

Suspicions of Nicaragua’s left-wing Sandinista government have turned to alarm as the country’s perpetual president, Daniel Ortega, hatched a perplexing partnership with enigmatic Chinese businessman Wang Jing in 2013. Continue Reading →

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Nicaragua on alert as tsunami danger passes

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(posted Oct 14, 6:15 am)— Nicaraguan emergency-response workers have activated contingency plans to evaluate damage and assess continued risk to lives and properties along the Pacific coast following a strong 7.3-magnitude earthquake and 17 aftershocks over the past 12 hours. Public school classes have been suspended for the day and authorities are calling for calm after a shaky evening. So far there are no serious injuries or deaths reported. There are reports are minor damages to a dozen homes in the affected area. The first quake occurred 67 Km off the coast of Chinandega, at a depth of 22 KM. Continue Reading →

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BREAKING: Normal seas reported following 7.3-quake

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(updated 11:50 a.m.) —Nicaragua has been placed on “yellow alert” for a tsunami on the Pacific coast following a 7.4-magnitude earthquake at 9:50 p.m. off the coast of Chinandega. First Lady Rosario Murillo said that the government has activated its system of disaster prevention, but so far there are no reports of “abnormal waves” or high seas on the Pacific coast. As a preventive measure, school has been canceled all along the Pacific coast for Tuesday. Murillo said the government is investigating reports of damaged homes in León. There are still no reports of injuries or deaths in Nicaragua. Continue Reading →

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Historical docs show U.S. always favored Nicaragua over Panama for canal

Proposed canal route from Menocal's day

Long before President Daniel Ortega and Chinese mystery man Wang Jing teamed up to revive Nicaragua’s age-old canal complex, a studious and diligent U.S. Navy engineer named A.G. Menocal was equally determined to connect the Atlantic and Pacific through a trans-isthmian waterway cut across Nicaragua. Menocal knew his history, was familiar with Nicaragua’s terrain, and was an expert topographer. Between 1876-77, the U.S. engineer was in the employ of the Nicaraguan government surveying harbor improvements in Greytown, while carefully mapping the surrounding river basin. He was a student of previous U.S. engineers who had conducted surveys for earlier attempts to build a Nicaraguan canal in the mid 19th century. He particularly admired the work of Col. Continue Reading →

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