The Jewish families that run Honduras

17 Nov

The Jewish families that run Honduras

In its original form this article published 28/11/2009 in El Mundo – a leading Spanish newspaper, has been condemned as anti-Semitic by the American Jewish Committee. You just can’t mention somebody’s ethnicity in certain circumnstances – the journalist only wrote that those five families are of Jewish heritage. Here is rough translation from spanish:


Honduras, a country owned by five families
•  40% of the GNP is in the hands of a fistful of names of Jewish and Palestinian origin
•  Almost all of them contribute financially to the two major political parties.
•  A small number of families united before and after the coup
By Jacobo G. Garcia – Tegucigalpa
The only thing in common between the walls of the labyrinthine alleys of Tegucigalpa is that they are all covered in graffiti.
There are concrete walls, old colonial walls, electrified fences and walls with broken glass on top to deter assaults. Yet they are always painted with writings like ‘down with Gorilletti’, ‘cardinal coup leader’ or ‘Turks out of Honduras’.
Almost all signal the same thing. In a contest for the most hated, Micheletti, the Church and the ‘Turks’ would win over the people expelled from power on June 28th, getting more insult and paint than anybody else. Including the army.
Micheletti has stabbed , ‘Mel’, his old crony in the Liberal Party, in the back. The Church has accused Zelaya to be responsible for the current situation.
The ‘Turks’ are the oligarchy. A term uncommon in the first world, but appropriate for the third poorest country in the Americas, where it refers to a fistful of families tied together before and after the coup that ousted the president flirting with Hugo Chavez-like policies.
Even if everybody calls them ‘Turks’ they are actually families of Jewish origin coming from Arab countries in the 40s and 50s, away from the desert and the wars. They are the Rosenthals, the Facussé, the Larachs, the Nassers, the Kafies and the Goldsteins. Five surnames controlling the manufacturing industries, energy utilities, telecommunications, tourism, banks, finance, concrete makers and commerce, airports or the congress. Practically everything.
They are the kernel of that 3% of Hondurans controlling 40% of the GNP. They are the aristocrats in a country where 70% of the population are poor.
People like Jaime Rosenthal, presidential candidate in 4 elections and owner of banks, airports, breweries, soccer teams and communications media. He has invested in real estate, phone companies, and the meat exporting business, insurances and telecommunications. Or the Facussés, related with the Nassers, who, in the course of several decades, have divided their energies between business and politics. They are the tycoons of the textile industry in a country where most of brand name garments sold in the USA are made. They control also chemical and precious metals industries. These two families have produced many government officials and there is no decision in the country which is made without them.
Most of them couldn’t read, write or even speak Spanish when they arrived, but they grew out of the limelight, founding newspapers, exploiting mines, bringing electricity and telephones to the country. They intermarried, they sent their children to American colleges, and they ousted the traditional upper middle class of German and Spanish origin. After three generations they are still controlling the country not letting anybody join their powerful elite.
Powerful among the powerful
They are families like the Atalas, owner of Banco Fichosa or the Kafies, “powerful among the powerful”, according to the book ‘Honduras: poderes facticos and poder politico coordinado’ written by Victor Meza. It is the most influential family in the country and one of the biggest in Central America thanks to its investments in banks, the food industry, the construction business and its many government contracts. “Contracts rarely lost” – it is written in that book. Or the Canahuati, a most influential family not only because it controls two newspapers, but also because it owns bottling industries, pharma industries and fast food restaurants like KFC and Pizza Hut.
Almost all of them contribute financially to the two parties; the US ambassador, Hugo Llorens conferred with them only a few hours after Zelaya appeared in pajamas in Costa Rica. He was so angered and cried so much that more than one of them got offended, according to what was explained toérica by a person who was there. For the first time the US was not informed of a coup in Honduras beforehand.
It’s because of this that the first repression measures of the Obama administration were to leave them without visas. They are behind the decision to use the elections as a band aid to cover the wound of chavism. The pessimists continue to believe that the hemorrhage is still bleeding.


 ( Fonte: )

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