Monday, July 16, 2007

Overthrow #6: Honduras

Beware of Sam The Banana Man...

All right, today's post and this week's in general will be pretty weak. That's b/c I'll actually be being pretty useful. The wife's uncle is in town, and he is like a hyperactive saint who retired early from being an ER doc and now is in a constant state of productivity. For the last 2 years, he will just come to town and work on our house, and I'm kind of his assistant. So... while we're finishing the upstairs, I might just not find time to pointlessly blog. Perhaps while he's on his morning bike rides or deconstructing his daily Sudoku puzzles I can sneak in an entry, but prospects seem doubtful.

But I did want to stay on top of the Overthrows. This week's will be a little different. Since I think my book is upstairs w/ grandma (she's here too) and I want to write it fast, I'm just gonna try to do it from memory. So it won't be the most... accurate, but it will at least be to the point. Maybe later this week I'll go back and polish it up.

Anyways, Honduras... Honduras is going to be very similar to Nicaragua. It's the year after Zelaya's take down (1910) and his friend Davila is in charge and faced w/ a difficult decision. Davila has taken taken loans from European banks and the US is pressuring him to pay it off with their loan and give up their customs receipts.

And then Sam the Banana Man gets involved. Sam, a US businessman, is slowly but surely taking over much of Honduras's land for its bananas. He doesn't like Davila, b/c Davila wants him to pay taxes and build the railroads he promised to build (other than the ones that go directly from his banana plantation to the ports). Also, Davila is considering restricting foreign ownership of land.

After Zelaya goes down, Sam decides this would be perfect time to rid Honduras of its democratically elected leader and picks a mercenaary to lead his war and an ex-general (it's always a general), Bonnila, to be the next president. And here is where I should be referencing the book b/c it gets complicated. Basically though, Sam's men will take over Honduras and the US will sort of help him. They never act directly, but once it gets going they'll bring their boats around and declare areas "neutral zones" so Honduras can't defend itself. It appears that although the US did not initiate this overthrow, they saw its benefits and wanted to make sure it succeeded. So, soon enough, Davila is out, and Sam the Banana Man's Man Bonilla is in. Bonilla will, unsurprisingly, be very pro-US-banana and make decisions accordingly. Including, insultingly, giving Sam like $500,000 (this is from memory, beware) to refund him for the costs of raising the revolution.

The aftermath will have Honduras being more or less a US protectorate with occasional suppressed rebellions (If it got really bad the US Marines would help out). And then in 1958 (I think) parliament will start pushing for some reform (they'll be able to start b/c the banana men have moved on) only to have a military coup replace them for 15 years. Oh, and Sam the Banana Man? He will go on to found United Fruit, which will cause even more trouble in Latin America.

Ranking (Worst to Least Worst)
1. Nicaragua
2. Honduras
3. The Philippines
4. Cuba
5. Hawaii
6. Puerto Rico

Tough call. I'd say Honduras is definitely not as bad as Nicaragua, considering the lack of civil wars and that it was initiated by a businessman and not the government. And the takeover was much less brutal than the Philippines... Still, that they actually had an established democratic government and that we reduced it to, more-or-less, protectorate status against their will makes me place it #2.

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Blogger michael5000 said...

Doing the Overthrow of the Week from memory is a nice touch. Nice freestyling. You should be a social studies teacher!

8:35 pm  
Blogger Jenny! said...

Sam the Banana Man sounds hot!

8:50 am  

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