Nicaragua digs mini channel to bring river to sea

Late word from northern Costa Rica reports that Nicaraguan workers have dug a small ditch from a bend in the Río San Juan to the Caribbean coast in Costa Rican territory.

The ditch is just two or three shovelfuls wide, but local observers expect the hydraulic power of the river to blow out a new river mouth during the late November and December rainy season there.

Nicaragua is expected to claim the land north of the river once the new channel creates itself. International treaties set the international boundary at the south bank of the river.

Residents in the area have had experience before with the power of the Río San Juan and the Río Colorado. A small opening is enough for the force of the water to enlarge a channel dozens of feet wide and dozens of feet deep. The reports said that the ditch was dug where Nicaragua workers had cut down trees several weeks ago.

There was no report from Costa Rica, which is believed to have the area under observation.

The work appears to have been going on while the complaint of Costa Rica was being considered in the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States. That body met today but there was no resolution to Costa Rica’s complaint that Nicaragua had invaded Costa Rican land.

Nicaragua, perhaps with the help of other countries, is attempting to improve access to the river. An Israeli newspaper said that Venezuela and Iran are helping in an effort to create a transoceanic canal to rival the one in Panamá.

Costa Rica, which does not have an army, has declined to confront the Nicaraguan invaders and has taken the case to the hemispheric body.

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