12 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2015
    1. 'Trees of Life': Nicaragua capital transformed into first lady's new-age vision

      Moving away from the canal project which has been the main focus of my posts, this article covers a completely different impact of international action into Nicaragua. First Lady Rosario Murillo designed and commissioned the trees of life in all of Managua's public parks. The intriguing factor involving these 17 meter tall trees is accompaniment to an equally large sized mural of late Venezuelan populist leader Hugo Chavez in Managua's center. This connection to Chavez just shows how western investment alone has not been the only factor that has shaped Nicaragua, and that Chavez and Venezuela equally have shaped the nation. Additionally, the populist rule of Chavez during his rule over Venezuela seems to be influencing the Ortega "husband and wife dynasty's" 2016 campaign by building larger than life trees all throughout the city as an attempt to "give back" to the people for cutting down most of the real trees as a result of massive public works projects.

  2. Nov 2015
    1. “El Güegüense o el Macho Ratón” is one of the oldest of the handful of literary works from popular indigenous culture that have survived from Latin America's European dominated colonial era. Essentially a piece of street theater conceived in the indigenous Nahualt language, it combines music, dance, dialogue and masquerade portraying the interaction of an indigenous merchant with a Spanish colonial official.
    1. Tempers flare between Nicaragua, Costa Rica over US-bound Cuban asylum seekers

      Here's an interesting article bringing to light yet another issue plaguing Nicaragua as a result of foreign actors and their regional location. The Cuba refugees bound for the US have found themselves attempting to use Nicaragua as a gateway further into Latin America and have seen their advance halted by Nicaraguan authorities. For Nicaragua, this foreign influx is an unintended consequence of being relatively close to the United States and has significantly dampened Nicaraguan relations with neighboring Costa Rica. This will be an interesting story to follow, as it seems to mimic the current Syrian migrant crisis seen in the Balkans right now, where states like Nicaragua are negatively impacted simply due to their location on the road to the United States in the same way that states like Greece and Italy are negatively impacted on the Syrian migrant route further into the EU.

    1. Nicaragua: A Success Story in the Making

      In continuing with the theme of international actors in Nicaragua, it is also equally important to touch upon the views of Nicaragua in foreign media. This article comes courtosy of the Huffington Post and shows how the US would like to paint a picture of a prospering Nicaragua with strong economic development. In contrast to last weeks article that really focuses on the discontent of the local farmers in Nicaragua with the government reluctance to hear there side in regards to the canal project. In fact one key omission from this article is the description of how Nicaragua was able to gain this new GDP through private investment from abroad exclusively. This places Nicaragua in a precarious situation as it makes them essentially dependent on this foreign investment that has come about through the canal project.

    1. Nicaragua’s Interoceanic Canal, a Nightmare for Environmentalists

      This article brings to light yet another theme we have examined thus far in our study of Latin American history. Foreign influence into Latin America tends to utilize a strategy of completely decimating land in order to maximize their profits. We saw this with US sugar companies in Cuba and with the mining and agricultural goods throughout colonial Latin America and now yet again this Chinese funded canal project seems to be following suit. As in McCook's reading, those who suffer the most of this neglect are the small, semi-subsistance farmers who rely on the consistency of the environment as their only source of food and income.

  3. Oct 2015
    1. Russia Ready to Join Nicaraguan Canal Construction When Progress Noted

      An update on the Canal project in Nicaragua which since the first announcement of Chinese investment into the country has been a largely driven by international actors trying to capitalize on economic potential of the project. It now appears that the Chinese will not be international presence within Nicaragua as the Russians now have staked an interest in the project. Its clear that these actors have successfully influenced the Nicaraguan government through the foreign investment for this project, as the government is willing to go along with whatever the investors propose. This connects to the fact that the Oretega regime is struggling with a legitimacy issue currently and this project, in the mind of Oretega, has the potential to legitimize his regime again through the vast economic potential it offers.

    1. Odds on the Nicaragua Canal Project and Other Political Bets

      Interesting update on the massive Nicaraguan canal project. In this article, International firms like the International Business Times and the Harvard Business Review analyze both the current progress on the project as well as the future potential of the project and how it has changed. This is an interesting take because within Nicaragua, the canal has always been an international project, financed by Chinese investors and now criticized and analyzed by American firms. Next week I plan to seek out a truly Nicaraguan source on this canal project in order to be able to compare and contrast international views with domestic views. Definitely worth a read.

    1. Nicaraguan government denies permit to B2Gold mining project

      This article follows suit with my article from last week which touched upon the role of foreign actors within Nicaragua. Foreign actors within Nicaragua have been responsible a large portion of the country's history, most notably the US and Soviet influence in the Nicaraguan Revolution during which the Soviet backed Sandanista militia overthrew the Somoza government who had ruled Nicaragua for 43 years prior to this change. The important piece of this article is the fact that Nicaragua rejected this foreign investment into extracting gold from the nation's rivers, a project which the government rejected due to environmental concerns. Will this recent push for environmental concerns change Nicaragua's mindset on foreign investment?

    1. Chinese Entrepreneur to Build Nicaragua Canal Loses Much of His Assets

      Interesting article about foreign investment into Nicaragua, this time in the form of a canal expected to rival the Panama Canal as the main route of passage from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. This theme of foreign investment into Latin America has played a major role in the infrastructure of the region, dating back to the British private companies who built railroads in Argentina and the American companies in Mexico.

  4. Sep 2015
    1. Nicaragua: The country travellers haven't yet discovered

      I found this article quite interesting because of how in the perception of other regions of the world, in this case New Zealand, Nicaragua is simply a forgotten nation and not a hotbed for conflict as the American media seems to paint it. In fact, this article really touches upon the positives of what Nicaragua has to offer and rarely mentions the political situation in Nicaragua, which is the main point the US media seems to focus on.

    1. In Divided Nicaragua, National Dish Brings Rich And Poor Together

      I came across this article on NPR and found it quite interesting that in a country as politically and socioeconomically divided as Nicaragua there is one things that unites all classes: vigoron. What began as a street food in Granada, Nicaragua has now captivated the entire nation. In fact, the dish has survived the Somoza dictatorship and the brutal Sandinista and Contra civil war that ensued afterwards. Definitely worth a read.

    1. Dueling stories behind shooter at Nicaragua protest reveal sharp divide over Sandinista government

      Interesting story involving Nicaragua's Sandinista government and their alleged support of a shooter at a peaceful anti-Sandinista rally in Managua. The anti-Sandinista's have staged protests every Wednesday since President Daniel Ortega and his party eliminated term limits, enabling Ortega to run for his third consecutive term. Ortega's FSLN currently controls all four branches of the Nicaraguan government: executive, judiciary, electoral authority,and the national assembly. This removal of term limits will essentially enable Ortega to have an unlimited reign as Nicaragua's president.