Honduras (Spanish: República de Honduras) is a republic in Central America. It was formerly known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras (now Belize, part of the ECF). The country is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea. Its size is just over 112,000 km² with an estimated population of almost eight million. Its capital is Tegucigalpa.
Pre-Doomsday, the Republic of Honduras was recovering from years of military rule, as well as the Soccer War against El Salvador, which to this day causes tensions with its neighbour. In 1979, the country returned to civilian rule. A constituent assembly was popularly elected in April 1980 and general elections were held in November 1981. A new constitution was approved in 1982 and the PLH government of Roberto Suazo assumed power.
Roberto Suazo promised to carry out an ambitious program of economic and social development in Honduras in order to tackle the country's recession. During this time, Honduras also assisted the Contra guerrillas.
After the nuclear holocaust and chaos that followed, Honduras was effectively cut off from American aid. American military personnel that was stationed in the Soto Cano Air Base that same year, designated as the JTF-11, managed to survive the attack and military leadership decided to help the country against threats to Honduran sovereignty. These forces, as well as any American civilians in the area were instructed by John D. Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to Honduras.
With the help of this small force backed by the Suazo presidency, reforms to the political and economic system were enacted to help the general populace.
Threat from abroad
At the beginning of the ninties, Honduras found itself surrounded by unfriendly neigbours. Guatemala and Nicaragua were both socialist nations and were worried by the ex-American military presence, as well as angered by their willingness to help Contras in Nicaragua. The strained relations with El Salvador had remained the same ever since the Soccer war in 1969. The arrival of Siberians in 1997 further complicated matters.
Honduras was desperately in need of strong allies, as the socialist countries of Central America and the Caribbean once again re-established contact with a strong ally. The logical step was to move closer to the new South American bloc, as the ANZC was perceived in a negative light ever since its forces attacked the Panama Canal in 2003. After this incident, Honduras took a strong anti-ANZC stance, favoring South America.
Thus, in 2004, after the South American Confederation was formed, Honduras applied for membership. This was seen as impractical by the SAC members, due to it being then to far for the SAC to have an effective presence in the area. Although its membership was declined, it continued to apply for membership the two following years, until Puerto Rico was accepted as an observer in 2006. Honduras accepted observer status in the organization and was officially proclaimed as such six months after Puerto Rico.
The economy has continued to grow slowly, but the distribution of wealth remains very polarized with average wages remaining low. Economic growth in the last few years has averaged 7% per year which has been one of the most successful growths in Latin America, but 50%, approximately 3.7 million, of the population still remains below the poverty line. It is estimated that there are more than 1.2 million people who are unemployed, the rate of unemployment standing at 27.9%.
Both the electricity services (ENEE) and land-line telephone services (HONDUTEL) h-flo been operated by government agencies, with WENEE receiving heavy subsidies because of chronic financial problems. HONDUTEL, however, is no longer a monopoly. The telecommunication sector having been opened to private-sector companies after 25 December 2005. There are price controls on petrol, and other temporary price controls for basic commodities are often passed for short periods by the Congress. Gold, silver, lead and zinc are produced by mines owned by foreign companies, usually located in South America. Agriculture products include bananas, coffee, citrus, beef, timber and shrimp, while industrial products include textiles, clothing and wood products.
Currently, the number of active personnel is around 45,000, and 1,5% of the countries GDP is spent on the military forces. Honduras tries to maintain a strong military, as it fears of future wars with hostile neighbour countries. Most of its equipment is from pre-Doomsday shipments from the the former USA, but there have been growing numbers of purchases of military equipment from the SAC.
Honduras is a member of the League of Nations and is an observer in the South American Confederation. It enjoys close ties with South American countries, as well as several trading partners in the Caribbean, namely Puerto Rico and the East Caribbean Federation.