Saturday, July 18, 2009

Remittances and the Honduran crisis

With the Honduran crisis I have not been posting on immigration, but the two intersect in an interesting way. As an article in the Miami Herald points out, the coup government is looking to two major factors to prop it up until the November elections (unless, of course, Zelaya returns on his own). One is $2.5 billion in reserves. The second is a continued flow of remittances from Hondurans abroad, primarily in the United States.

This is a very good point. In Honduras remittances total about 25 percent of GNP, or about $2.7 billion. That flow has slowed as a result of the global economic crisis, but it nonetheless remains a very important source of revenue for the country. And it won't stop. If anything, Hondurans abroad would send as much as they could (if they weren't already) to help their families in a very difficult time.


Gabriel 10:13 AM  

Completely right. Even in a region (Central America) with large remittance inflows, Honduras stands out in terms of their importance to its economy.

leftside 2:54 PM  

Remittances are, of course, also a potential stick that should be considered by the US. There needs to be some serious threats to support negotiations. Lets recall that remittances to Nicaragua were threatened by House Republicans just for electing the wrong candidate just last year... The difference is that this would be in support of achieving a regional goal.

Justin Delacour 3:19 PM  

Remittances are, of course, also a potential stick that should be considered by the US.

But the fact that the Administration is not even considering this proves that it's not really serious about turning back the coup. If Zelaya were to somehow regain his office, it would be because of hundreds of thousands of protesting Hondurans, not because of a waffling U.S. Administration.

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