Once I heard a witty joke of a showman about Honduras, contrasting it to Kolyma (where there were working camps in Stalin’s time), and thought that I did not know anything about this country in Central America. And I decided to fill the gab in my knowledge. Honduras was discovered by Christopher Collumbus in 1521, and in 1525 the territory was subordinated to Spanish crown. In 1823-1838 Honduras belonged to United Provinces of Central America. In 1824 slavery was abrogated there. Since 19th century, the country’s economy was subordinated to North-American companies. US military many times invaded to the country’s territory. Since the beginning of 20th century up to 1980s, dictatorships ruled in Honduras. US military bases are situated in Honduras. Before Hurricane Mitch, in autumn of 1998, Honduras followed the policy of moderate economical reforms and had high enough rate of growth. The hurricane seriously changed the situation in Honduras. The poorest country of Central America was seriously damaged by it. The damage made about 3 billion dollars. It was especially serious in agriculture, whose production was the base of Honduras’ export. As a result, in 1999 trade deficit made about 445 million dollars. Though considerable financial aid helped to stabilize the situation in the country. Moreover, Paris Club and other creditors proposed to write off Honduras’ debts. In last November, in Honduras the power was changed. Ricardo Maduro, leader of National Party of Honduras replaced Rafael Pineda, Liberal Party’s representative, on the president’s post, who was occupying it for 8 years. While appearing at the solemn ceremony in central stadium in Tegusigalpe, the new head of the state said that his main tasks were fight on poverty, annihilation of criminality and corruption. The new president promised to assist aid to agriculture, industry and tourism, to increase economical growth. The only thing that saddened the ceremony was the murder of one of his brothers-in-arms on Sunday, November 24. The late planned to take part in election to legislative body of the country. This event strengthened Maduro’s resoluteness to take measures against criminality. 70 percent of 6-million population of Honduras live in poverty, what is a good soil for criminality not sparing anybody. In 1997, Ricardo Maduro lost his son: gangsters killed him while trying to kidnap. Now, the criminals decided to settle scores with the father. According to Western information agencies, in Honduras a band was annihilated that had planned to kill Ricardo Maduro. This was reported by one of the police’s leaders, Juan Carlos Bonilia. While detaining the band, consisting not only of Honduranians, but of citizens of Salvador and Guatemala as well, several criminals were killed and wounded. The bandits had sub machine guns, grenade cup discharges, ammunition and police uniform. Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/02/14/37046.html
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