Honduras: Broke.

Money all gone. (ht germeister)

Honduras is, for all intents and purposes, broke. That is, incoming Finance Minister William Chong told the AP that Micheletti left the government with only about $50 million in its coffers (note to self: Do governments really still use coffers? Because if so, no wonder they can’t keep track of their money).

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This is not at all surprising. It’s what six months of international isolation do to a government’s finances, especially when the country is a poor one like Honduras and partly dependent on international aid. According to an article in El Heraldo, President Lobo is calling for swift reinstatement of Honduras into the international community so that international funds and aid can begin flowing again.

However, there is one problem: International aid is about publicity as much as it is about actually aiding people, and the popular place to give money right now is Haiti. More than $1 billion $2 billion has been pledged there by governments at last count. Also, I think it’s safe to assume that international aid is something of a zero-sum game, which would mean that at least some of the aid flowing into Haiti is flowing out of a different program (at least those are the rumblings I hear from friends working with NGOs).

Anyway, at least one Honduran is doing pretty well: Mel Zelaya. He’s camped out at an exclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. No word yet on any “international aid” he might be receiving.

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