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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Banana Republic .. !! - new President of Honduras

 Indians take tremendous pride in being a Republic – the biggest constitutional democratic republic – a rule of people, for the people, by the people.  The Constitution of India embodies certain basic principles, one of the most important one of which is popular sovereignty – the commitment  to hold regular free and fair elections.

Banana republic is a pejorative term which describes a politically unstable country dependent upon limited agriculture – which could be banana plantation itself, to go with the name.    The land would be ruled by a small, self-elected, wealthy, corrupt politico-economic plutocracy.  The term would connote a servile dictatorship that abets kickbacks, exploiting the large scale plantation and its cultivators.    In 1904, the American author O. Henry coined the term to describe Honduras and neighbouring countries under economic exploitation by U.S. corporations, such as the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands International).Writer O Henry used Banana republic in his book  ‘Cabbages and Kings’, about a fictional country, Anchuria, inspired by his experiences in Honduras, where he had lived for six months.

The Mosquito Coast, also known as the Miskitu Coast, historically included the kingdom's fluctuating area along the eastern coast of present-day Nicaragua and Honduras. It formed part of the Western Caribbean Zone. It was named after the local Miskitu Nation and was long dominated by British interests. The Mosquito Coast was militarily incorporated into Nicaragua in November 1894; however, in 1960, the northern part was granted to Honduras by the International Court of Justice. During the 19th century, the question of the kingdom's borders was a serious issue of international diplomacy between Britain, the United States, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Conflicting claims regarding both the kingdom's extent and arguable nonexistence were pursued in diplomatic exchanges.

Elsewhere Taiwanese diplomats are on a rollercoaster. While they revel in avowals of support from Japan and the west, they worry over Honduras’s allegiance — one of the few countries to maintain diplomatic ties with Taipei in defiance of China. Xiomara Castro, the leftist politician elected president of the central American country last week, pledged during her campaign to establish diplomatic relations with China, which would reduce Taipei’s diplomatic allies to just 14. A coalition partner and an aide to Castro have subsequently walked back on that commitment but many observers believe Honduras will eventually side with China. A tug of war between the US and China for influence in Central America — a region Washington has long dominated politically and economically, and views as its strategic backyard — hangs over the shifting relationship. “The end of a diplomatic truce between Beijing and Taipei, financial needs of Central American governments, the increasing economic importance of China, and vaccine diplomacy are all pushing these countries away from the US and towards China as a partner,” said  a professor at the US Army War College who researches Latin America’s relationships with China.

The country – ‘Honduras’ is a country in Central America, bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua,  Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and more. Its capital and largest city is Tegucigalpa.Honduras was home to several important Mesoamerican cultures, most notably the Maya, before the Spanish Colonization in the sixteenth century.  Honduras became independent in 1821 and has since been a republic, although it has consistently endured much social strife and political instability, and remains one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.

The nation's economy is primarily agricultural, making it especially vulnerable to natural disasters such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998.The lower class is primarily agriculturally based while wealth is concentrated in the country's urban centers. Honduras is known for its rich natural resources, including minerals, coffee, tropical fruit, and sugar cane, as well as for its growing textiles industry, which serves the international market.

Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento is the new president-elect of Honduras, and would assume office on 27 January 2022.She will be the country's first female president, as well as the first president not to be a member of either the Liberal Party or the National Party since democracy was restored in 1982. As the country's former first lady, she was a leader of the movement resisting the 2009 coup d'état against her husband Manuel Zelaya, who was the president between 2006 and 2009.

British Honduras was a British Crown colony on the east coast of Central America, south of Mexico, from 1783 to 1964, then a self-governing colony, renamed Belize in June 1973,until September 1981, when it gained full independence as Belize. British Honduras was the last continental possession of the United Kingdom in the Americas.The colony grew out of the Treaty of Versailles (1783) between Britain and Spain, which gave the British rights to cut logwood between the Hondo and Belize rivers.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
7th Dec 2021.

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