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Will economic pressure push Honduras?

Marketplace Staff Jun 29, 2009
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Will economic pressure push Honduras?

Marketplace Staff Jun 29, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

BOB MOON: Honduran leaders who ousted their leftist president in a military coup over the weekend are vowing to resist diplomatic pressure to restore him to office. The more pertinent question may be — Can they deal with economic pressure the U.S. or other nations might bring to bear? We spoke this morning to professor Terry McCoy at the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies. He says the country is already in dire economic straits, and much of that stems from a lack of money sent home by Hondurans who’ve come here to the U.S. seeking work.

TERRY MCCOY: Those Hondurans who are in the United States now are in service industries, construction, and heavy layoffs in those areas meant that these people are losing their jobs, which means that they have less income to send home.

Moon: I’m looking at an AP photo of a supporter of the ousted president in front of a street bond fire. And I was struck by the fact that in he background is a familiar American corporate logo — the golden arches of a McDonalds. So the U.S. really does wield a lot of influence down there.

Mccoy: Yeah, I mean Honduras like most, all Central American countries, is closely linked to the United States and has been historically. Hondurans are quite familiar with U.S. consumer goods. Many of them either have relatives or friends in the United States or have visited themselves. And so, Hondurans and their economy are closely linked to the United States.

Moon: So given that, the fact that the U.S. has looked very unfavorably so far on this coup, is going to be pivotal, yes?

Mccoy: Yeah, It’s going to be interesting to see what happens now because there’s been universal condemnation of the coup throughout the Western hemisphere. Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama have both spoken out against it. So I think there’s going to be a very solid block criticizing and demanding that Zelaya be restored to the presidency.

Moon: Terry McCoy is a professor at the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies. Thank you for joining us.

Mccoy: My pleasure.

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