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A New Canal for Panama

Duration:
18 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 29 October 2013

A hundred years after the construction of the Panama canal, a project to widen it is underway. We look back at the extraordinary human cost of building the original waterway, how it transformed world trade and the controversy which engulfed it. Matthew Parker, the author of Hell's Gorge, a historical account of the building of the canal, tells us about where the drive came from for the original project. But does it make sense to spend over 5 billion dollars constructing a third lane when freight ships have already found a way to move their goods through the northwest artic passage? Ilya Marotta of the Panama Canal Authority believes it does. Meanwhile, in Cuba three years after the government made attempts to get people off the government payroll and into business, Sarah Rainsford reports on why the reforms make life tough for shopkeepers and shoppers?

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