Venezuela lures Honduras into trade

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya

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Stacey Vanek-Smith: Commodities are at the heart of another global deal: a trade alliance backed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. And let's just say the U.S. is not part of it. From the America's Desk at WLRN, Dan Grech has more.


Dan Grech: The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas got its start in 2004 with five left-leaning countries: Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Dominica, and of course, Venezuela. Yesterday, Honduras, a long time ally of the U.S., joined the trade pact as its sixth member.

Michael Shifter is with the Inter-American Dialogue:

Michael Shifter: Honduras, like other countries in Central America, are getting hit hard by rising fuel and food costs, and they're increasingly desperate. It makes sense from their point of view to turn to Venezuela.

Venezuela offers energy-starved Honduras a sweetheart deal on oil. Shifter says the risk is that other U.S. allies in Central America will follow Honduras.

Shifter: Those democracies are under a lot of strain. This is a situation that I think United States cannot afford to ignore.

Shifter says to compete, the U.S. needs to come to the table with something as tempting as cheap oil. That's no small task.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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