In Paradisiacal Nicaragua, Contemplating a Canal. (The New York Times, 4/24/2015)
In the intervening centuries, Ometepe and Lake Nicaragua have remained a respite from occasional political and military flare-ups. In the civil war that ended 25 years ago, the region saw virtually no combat, since islanders went to the Honduran border or elsewhere on the mainland to fight. The beauty of Ometepe and the vast waters of Lake Nicaragua are two immutable constants that Nicaraguans can rely on.That is bound to change if Wang Jing, a Chinese billionaire, has his way. A consortium he led won approval last year from the Nicaraguan government to build a canal across the country. The plan, which would connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and shave about 500 miles off the shipping route from New York to Los Angeles, is the realization of a centuries-old dream that has outlasted the construction of the Panama Canal, about 450 miles south of the proposed route.