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October 03, 2008


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I thought that the Nicaraguan canal initial plan was abandoned due to active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. I read somewhere that it all started with a stamp that showed a steaming volcano ca. 1900 (not sure how reliable this story is).

Lobbyists for the Panama route distributed pictures of volcanos to Congresspeople during the debates, but they weren't decisive. Nobody's vote was swayed because of a postage stamp; the actual volcanic risk was negligible. Rather, their votes were swayed because the Nicaragua route was more expensive, and much of the GOP leadership had a financial stake in going through Panama.

The story about the stamp, though, is true, not apocryphal.

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