The article in last month’s issue on the Panama Canal rightly points out that the reason for the canal at this site was political. Of nineteen possible routes this was one of the worse. A more attractive one was the San Juan River/Lake Nicaragua route, but as this formed the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica would have been difficult to control.
The Panama Canal can now only be used by vessels of ‘panamax’ size, the locks being 1000ft long and 110ft wide. Very restricted for present and future use.
In the 1960s President L. B. Johnson wanted to build a seaway through the isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico using nuclear explosives. This would be maintenance-free when finished and very cheap to excavate. Fortunately he could not sell this “grand project” to the Mexicans.
The President of Nicaragua has pledged to build an all-Nicaraguan canal on the river Escondido/Lake Nicaragua route. The drive for huge profits may even see this constructed.
FRED MOORE, Canterbury.