Honduras: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Honduras, United Brands landowners, the Soccer War with El Salvador, return of the Swan Islands.

HONDURAS

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United Brands is the largest landholder in Honduras, controlling about 200,000 acres that it leases or owns outright. Much controversy has in the past centered around the company's political and economic power in Honduras as well as in other Central American banana-exporting countries. Today, the banana workers form an elite within the Honduran labor force. Earning as much as 1000% more than a comparable employee not employed by United Brands, and living in a comfortable company town with health care and schooling provided, the workers resist the sale or nationalization of their employer's holdings. In April, 1975, President Lopez Arellano was removed from office when it was revealed that he had accepted a $1.25 million bribe from United Brands.

Historical border differences between Honduras and El Salvador resulted in the "Soccer War" in 1969. The tense nationalism accompanying the World Soccer Cup competition did not cause the war but, combined with the presence of some 300,000 illegal Salvadorean immigrants, added fuel to the long-standing rivalry between the 2 countries. In the 5-day war, at least 2,000 died on both sides, and commercial and diplomatic ties have not been restored.

In 1971 a U.S.-Honduras source of disagreement for over a century was resolved by the return of the Swan Islands to Honduras. Claimed by the U.S. under the Guano Islands Act of 1863, the islands were occupied by a variety of U.S. installations, including a weather station and CIA radio station which broadcast to Cuba and Latin America in the early 1960s.

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