By Ben Anson
HAVANA TIMES – Ladies and gentlemen, Honduras is in such a state that I am for the first time – rather worried about my situation here. The nation – on account of the COVID pandemic, has entered a terrible and indefinite limbo.
Nothing is doing.
The Nationalist Party of president Juan Orlando Hernandez, shamelessly and without any remote hindrance robbed the millions of aid money sent by foreign allies – in one fell swoop. It is truly quite unbelievable. Not a cent has been spent on anything needed and it could not be anymore obvious.
No new medical facilities were built. Well, unless we count the tents…
Yes, tents have been erected here and there with cases of elderly sufferers of Coronavirus being photographed under trees with blankets thrown upon them – dying out in the open. The hospitals of San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa (the two largest cities in Honduras) became so full up – months ago – that new patients are not even permitted entry.
We have seen rain water pouring through roofs in the hospital of Tegucigalpa – the capital city.
We have seen sheets of tarpaulin haphazardly slung around the sick as they lie in agony upon all manner of beds, tables, boards etc. with all manner of ventilators poorly connected to their person.
We have seen – locally, a state of the art bridge built across a river… from out of nowhere.
Why a bridge and not a hospital?
Why tents – instead of proper facilities?
A total 4.589 billion Lempiras (183 million USD) was the budget that the Honduran government had to fight the pandemic.
Invest-H is a ‘management unit’ (planning, administration and implementation) of projects and strategic programs for the nation’s development, overseen by the government.
Marco Bogran, the ex-director of Invest-H was the one to purchase ‘mobile hospitals’ (tents – basically) for one billion Lempiras (40 million USD) from what has been named as a ‘ghost company’.
This was back in March. March in fact, was also when pretty much everyone in Honduras was let off work – including myself. The vast majority (again, including myself) literally have not worked or received any income from their jobs in over four months! It is nothing short of a miracle and complete and utter mystery that people are still alive. Many have been kicked out of rented accommodation – including myself.
There is no money and no work.
Back to those tents, they have supposedly arrived in the port of Puerto Cortes. Intriguingly, not a single media crew is allowed to approach the ship containing these phantom ‘mobile hospitals’. Only two of the seven ordered hospitals have arrived and it is not known if they come ‘complete’ nor when the remaining five will arrive. With the national health system in collapse and ruin, these mobile hospitals, despite being utterly unacceptable – are in tremendous and dire need.
Marco Bogran has been sacked from his position since the purchase – curiously indeed.
Meanwhile in El Salvador, the popular president Nayib Bukele spent his nation’s budget on a state of the art, modern hospital dedicated entirely to COVID patients with a capacity of over two thousand beds.
Across the border in Honduras, however, nobody has worked in over four months, people are under trees on mattresses, there is zero mention of borders being reopened nor of any return to normalcy – whilst tents are apparently lying in some ship – yet nobody is allowed anywhere near them.
The other day, I asked my ex-boss of a European languages academy (he was finally let go a few weeks ago) how he was getting on, to which he responded – crudely: “I am as f***** as everyone is.”
He then parted with: “aquí es salvarse quien pueda.”
“It’s every man for himself here.”
It most certainly is.
Nobody is hiring, there is no work, everything remains closed – all on an indefinite basis. People are afraid of going anywhere near a hospital due to the dreadful situation medical staff are facing. Borders remain closed. I contacted the British embassy, asking for information. I received the following, totally useless response.
Dear Mr. Anson
Thank you for your email. We are sorry to hear about your situation. We will add you to our database of British Nationals wishing to leave Honduras. We don’t have information about when the border will reopen however I can suggest that you subscribe to travel advice updates as we publish there all relevant information about the current circumstances in Honduras. You can find the travel advice on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/honduras
We understand that United airlines has flights to the USA regularly so I suggest you monitor their website too.
Flights to the USA? What would I do there? I’m not a citizen – I wouldn’t be granted entry. It was what could be expected of the British government anyway – imbeciles, all.
As stated, right now in Honduras – it is clearly every man for himself…