Can Nicaragua deliver on huge potential? –

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(CNN) -- Pounding humidity, a treacherous climb and bees who were more than happy to sting: Tough conditions for ash boarding down a live volcano, and halfway up Nicaragua's Cerro Negro, it didn't seem like such a good idea. But then there was the view: A cascade of grey-black ash and rock stretching to the horizon, giving the hilly landscape an alien quality. We walked in single file carrying our boards and a bag full of gear for nearly an hour until we reached the summit. Approaching the edge of the volcano, the 1,600 foot slope was pretty steep and uninviting. Our guide consoled us with the knowledge that we were lucky to have our plywood and metal boards as someone else had gone down the volcano on a bicycle. And nearly died. Still, I donned my prison-style boiler suit and goggles, sat on the board and let myself slide. It was a thrill as I quickly gathered speed, scraping over pebbles and eating flying grit until I finally wiped out at the bottom.

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Not much new in this article, but when a CNN is paying attention I suppose that means something!

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Very Fair Article

Nicaragua DOES have great potential. The Nicaraguan people are great. The recent history is fascinating. What is surprising is, the small amount of current investment. The global economy certainly contributes. But, like it or not, Nicaragua gets a lot of negative press.

I'm making a substantial investment, but with my eyes wide open. I know others who see the potential of Nicaragua and are likewise rolling the dice. I remember being counseled in Mexico many years ago: "Invest only what you can afford to lose". Things are quiet now, but what if we have Marco Rubio as vice-president and he decides to make an issue of the legitimacy of the current government? There is going to be a lot of incentive to divert attention from the economy after November, regardless of who is elected or re-elected.

I DO believe that Nicaragua wants to build their tourist business. The backpackers will always come. The upscale crowd that is currently going to CR and Panama -especially bringing family- need more.

Investors look at DO's courtship of Syria and Iran and see the possibility of another US embargo -which would destroy the value of any investment.. I understand that these countries give DO and other small countries money to say the things that he says, but it still raises eyebrows. The political landscape could change instantly, and if it does, rationality and logic will not necessarily rule. I see this as more of a threat than anything else. If Nicaragua is on the wrong side of the fence on this one it won't be pretty.

Usanos can't legally travel to Cuba (although many do. I did, and soaked up all that socialist solidarity). Let's hope that we can still travel legally to Nicaragua next year. Let's hope that Nicaraguans living in the US can still transfer funds to their families in Nicaragua next year.

US Passport

Has been the equivalent of all access pass.. Brazil requires Americans to get Visa now in retaliation because USA demands visas from Brazilian citizens. I talked to a Brazilian recently and he told me he had 2 interviews with Embassy officials to come to USA. First one he met one on one with gringo who spoke fluent Portuguese-all his party then followed one by one. When he got notice he was approved he purchased the air tickets. He then had another meeting 3 weeks before (this time there was an interpreter) with whole group and had to show the return tickets of all in his group, where he was staying etc. He says after first meeting they checked his employment and his credit. He also says place was crowded and he had to get a number and wait to be called. He had to pay something like $80 per person to Uncle Sam.

Sure hope this does not happen with Nicaragua.

given the political situation

Nicaragua is best for wolf investors and personal capital. Corporations that have to answer to a board of directors would be hard put to justify investing here when there are countries like CR and Panama so near. Even Colombia seems to be over the worse with its perennial civil war and could be an economic powerhouse for the region.

Politics does not dictate everything, but the outcome of the US elections will have a major effect. An Obama victory will be the moral equivalent of the Cuban Revolution. Tough times for Latin America as Chavez is given the go ahead to take all he can grab and the center and conservative folks circle the wagons to protect themselves like they did in the 80s.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand