By Martin Mowforth
In November 2022, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) signed a collaboration agreement with the Nicaraguan government’s Transport and Infrastructure Ministry (MTI) to provide funding for a deep-water port project in Bluefields on the country’s Caribbean coast.
Plans for the port were first put forward in 2015 but were followed by several years of delay whilst the search for funding went ahead. CABEI considers that the project will not only integrate well with Nicaragua’s other infrastructure improvements but will also aid the process of Central American economic integration.
Bluefields is the capital of Nicaragua’s South Caribbean Autonomous Region and is located at the mouth of the Bluefields River. English is the most commonly spoken language of the town. It is the country’s main Caribbean port and through it are exported hardwood, seafood, shrimp and lobster. In 1984 its harbour was illegally mined by the United States and in 1988 much of the local infrastructure was destroyed by Hurricane Joan.
The proposed port will reduce Nicaragua’s dependence on ports in Honduras and Costa Rica and should lower costs for Nicaraguan exporters. In fact, finance minister Iván Acosta says that the port should help the country to double the value of its exports in five or six years, should attract considerable future investment, and should improve living conditions in the whole southern region. (But it is always worth remembering that politicians’ promises and predictions are seldom realised.)
It hardly needs to be pointed out that at present these statements are predictions rather than reality, but there is no doubt that over the last decade Nicaragua’s efforts to improve the country’s infrastructure have borne fruit and have proved popular with a majority of the populace. It is also worth noting that while CABEI, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have good relations with the Nicaraguan government, regularly praising its financial management and transparency, the government of the United States of America imposes stranglehold economic sanctions on the government of Nicaragua largely because of the latter’s supposedly fraudulent elections. The allegations of electoral fraud originate mainly from the USA which busies itself interfering in other countries’ elections in its attempts to fill the world with governments that will slavishly follow US dictats.
- Alliance for Global Justice, 17 November 2022, Nicanotes: ‘CABEI to Finance Deep-Water Port in Bluefields’
- Bnamericas, 17 November 2022, ‘Nicaragua partners with CABEI to advance deep-water port project’
- MercoPress, 14 March 2022, ‘Nicaragua announces new deep-water port in Bluefields’
- Radio La Primerisima, 15 November 2022.