Real News on Honduras: No blood for (palm) oil

I have tried to follow events in Honduras over the past couple years but honestly, despite being a news junkie, I can’t always keep the names and places and major issues straight. There are just too many details to sort through. That’s why it’s great that the Real News put out this video on the rural land conflicts in Honduras. The video may be one-sided, but it is also very informative and is narrated in plain English — important for someone like me.

Truly, take 10 minutes and check it out.

ALSO: If you do want to keep up with the daily news out of Honduras, from a clear anti-coup perspective, the incredibly prolific and energetic Adrienne Pine has a blog full of all the Honduras news you can handle. Almost entirely in English. It’s on my RSS, and if you care about Central America, resource conflicts or geopolitics generally, it should be on yours.

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One thought on “Real News on Honduras: No blood for (palm) oil

  1. westslope

    Sad really. Very sad. As these romantic struggles continue, Honduras will remain poor and backwards and poor people will suffer–that is a guarantee. Rich, foreign tourists looking for traditional people living in squalor will continue to rejoice.

    If I am not mistaken, this righteous popular taking from the rich landowners has been an on and off process for a long time. I seem to vaguely recall Eduardo Galeano writing about similar incidents in Honduras.

    Stylized fact: It is impossible for poor developing countries to pull themselves out of poverty based on agricultural development alone. Given the demographics of most poor, developing countries, agriculture is probably one of the least helpful industries to develop.

    Stylized fact: Insecure property rights help maintain the poor, underdeveloped status quo. Secure economic property rights are perhaps insufficient but clearly a necessary condition for sustainable development. Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto is an excellent source of accessible analysis on these property rights issues.

    From the CIA Worlds Fact book:

    Honduras stylized facts: The population is 8 million (twice that of Norway). The population growth rate is just under 2%. Net migration is -0.125%.

    Urbanization — 52%. Literacy — 80%. Education/GDP ranking — 119/126.

    GDP per capita — US$4,200. Ranked 158/229

    Income is highly skewed — 12/136

    In the IFC/World Bank rankings of Ease of Doing business among Caribbean and Latin American countries, Honduras ranks no. 28, sitting right between Ecuador and Bolivia.

    Direct foreign investment can help by importing foreign technology that ultimately raises productivity levels. Per capita income is function of productivity. It is hard to imagine Honduras being a favoured destination for foreign investment.

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