Saturday, April 15

Honduras News Round Up

A site I like to check once in a while is Honduras This Week. While it tends to be a bit left-leaning, I have noticed a great improvement in their stories over the last year. Here are a couple that are of interest, considering what has been happening in the news, and give you a good inside-look at whats happening in Honduras.
"A historic occasion." That is how CAFTA negotiators Regina Vargo and Melvin Redondo chose to describe the coming into force of the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement on April 1st.They were two of the speakers at a CAFTA forum organized last Monday by the newspaper El Heraldo and the US Embassy. By Anette Emanuelsson
Since I have worked a lot with short term missions, I thought this was interesting.
The culture of running short-term missions to under-privileged countries is fast becoming a phenomenon. Estimates suggest that between one and four million people per year - mostly from North America - travel abroad to lend their support to needy communities. It is widely thought to be greatly beneficial to those who receive the help, but a recent study by Kurt Ver Beek, Professor of Sociology at Calvin College, has challenged the simplicity of that view. Ver Beek's intention is not to dissuade people from embarking upon such projects, rather that changes need to be made in order to improve the long-term impact of them. By Hannah Green
Reading through it, it strikes me as a bit of liberal thinking. I know for a fact that the organizations I work with work very hard at teaching personal responsibility. The last thing Honduras needs is hundreds of communities developing a dependency on Americans' charity. Charity is good, and in moments of crisis, the right and Christian thing to do. But the researcher seems more interested in developing a continuous pipeline of financial support. This sort of thinking is crippling to third world countries!
Ver Beek is adamant that ''the week they spend here is not as important as what they do when they return home''. He believes that their commitment to educating friends and family back in North America or Europe about what is needed in countries such as Honduras is of utmost importance.
Talking about liberal policy decisions, IADB is announcing it is going to cancel the debt to Honduras and other third world countries. HTW reports (top right corner):
At a meeting in Brazil on Tuesday fifteen Hispanic legislators of the US House of Representatives claimed that the move will aid development in the countries involved and help to halt illegal migration into the USA.

They added that this must be done 'without imposing economic conditions and with urgency since the delay costs lives'.
What these US representatives SHOULD be doing is putting pressure on third world country governments, and providing assistance, in getting rid of corruption! Debt forgiveness without reform conditions is only an incentive for further debt and corruption. These sort of policies continue to enslave the regular folks who desperately want to be able to work and provide for their families, but can't be competitive because of the corruption in the system.

Meanwhile, the Zelaya government is making the mistake of promising fuel price freeze for the next two weeks. Union bosses continue to incite strikes, putting pressure on the government to reverse common sense free market policies.

Don't tell me capitalism doesn't work when you are not really practicing free market economic policies. Don't tell me capitalism hurts the underclass, if you are going to let bully union bosses dictate economic policy, further crippling the national economy.