National News 24 November 2017
Photo: Polaris Infrastructure

US Considering Sanctions
The opposition party in Venezuela is trying to turn up the heat on Nicaragua’s connection with the government of Venezuela (through Hugo Chávez then Nicolas Maduro) by visiting Washington last week and meeting with U.S. State Department officials as well as some members of the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees. In particular, they expressed concerns in relation to the business deal known as ALBANISA, a joint venture between Nicaragua and Venezuela through the state owned oil companies in both countries. The Venezuelan group is trying to extend the financial sanctions that are punishing Venezuela (and its leaders). The US Embassy here in Managua served notice to any U.S. citizens and companies that they need to review business transactions with Venezuela-affiliated companies such as ALBANISA to ensure compliance with the U.S. sanctions.

Government Denies Traffic Law Reform
The government of Nicaragua has declared as “Fake News” the story circulating on various news and social media sites that they are considering reforms to the laws on traffic infractions. National Assembly member Raquel Dixon held a press conference to make it clear that “The National Assembly is not considering such an initiative”. As to the allegation in the news story that the information was published on the official website of the National Assembly, Dixon said that they are investigating the incident to determine where, if at all, it could have been posted.

Speeding in Nicaragua
After a traffic fine “blitz” that caused much discontent, the National Police have decided that drivers traveling less than 90 kilometers per hour on open roads will not be fined for speeding.

This comes after a wave of 2,500 Cordoba fines (plus a 3 month license suspension and another 2,000 Córdobas for a seminar before you get it back) had been applied across the board, even for those with infractions from the lower speed limit roads.

The countrywide circular, by the Deputy Director of the National Police (Commissioner Francisco Díaz) says: “Related to fines for speeding, traffic agents will only impose fines on drivers traveling at a speed greater than 90 kilometers per hour, on open roads.”
Already an objection to that circular has been made by some groups who state that the law of Nicaragua allows for maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour on the “open road”.

Polaris Infrastructure
Riding on the success of the production well (SJ 12-4) and the drilling of the second new production well (SJ 12-40) as part of the 2017 San Jacinto drilling program, completed on November 1, 2017, drilling will continue at the San Jacinto Geothermal Plant in Nicaragua as part of its expansion of electricity production from that area. With the rigs in place and available, the economies of scale are being capitalized on with plans to drill a third new production well as part of the 2017 program. The Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Infrastructure, Marc Murnaghan said “We are pleased with our achievements during the third quarter of 2017 as the San Jacinto steam field continues to deliver consistent generation”.

Nicaragua to Test Digital Television
A giant leap for TV viewers could be happening in Nicaragua if the testing of high definition TV is successful. TELCOR (The Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Postal Services) the regulatory body governing TV broadcasting has announced that tests are scheduled to begin in March of next year. TELCOR will be aided by the digital technology and transmission division of the Government of Japan. Orlando Castillo (TELCOR) said “Apart from the technology having such an advantage over analogue television in terms of the actual image, it can include information about emergencies and disasters. Digital signals are produced in such a way that a return path can be created between the consumer and the broadcaster. This opens the possibility of interactive applications.”

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