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Honduras - Glossary Index
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook

      Glossary -- Honduras

      Law that gives protection to a legal claim while the claim is under litigation. Under Spanish common law, a person could obtain a temporary title to a tract of lands, protecting his or her claim until a survey could be made and full title granted. This concept of protection of a land claim while under litigation, the amparo, has since been codified and extended to any type of legal claim.
      Literally audience or court; a subdivision of a viceroyalty under Spanish colonial administration. As well as being the name of the administrative unit, the audiencia, composed of five men, was the highest governmental authority in the territory. During most of the colonial period, the president of the audiencia held the additional titles of governor and captain general; hence the alternative name for the audiencia was captaincy general. Although technically subordinate to the viceroyalty, the governor, or captain general, was appointed by the Spanish monarch and was responsible only to him or her. In practice, the governor frequently ignored orders from Spain and acted independently. For this reason, the Audiencia of Guatemala was frequently referred to in colonial times as the Kingdom of Guatemala.
      Central America
      Here used in a geographic sense. Central America is considered to be the entire isthmus between Mexico and Colombia, including present-day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. A more traditional political view of the term, most often used in the region itself, is that Central America encompasses only the five successor states to the United Provinces of Central America (1821-38): Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
      Literally, "copaternity." A system of ritual "coparenthood" that links parents, children, and godparents in a close social or economic relationship.
      Constituent Assembly
      A deliberative body made up of elected delegates who are charged with the responsibility of drafting a new constitution and, in some instances, electing a new president. Traditionally, after it completed its work, a Constituent Assembly reverted to a National Congress, which then served as the country's legislative body until the next scheduled elections.
      A diplomatic initiative launched by a January 1983 meeting on Contadora Island off the Pacific coast of Panama, by which the "Core Four" mediator countries of Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama sought to prevent through negotiations a regional conflagration among the Central American states of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. In September 1984, the negotiating process produced a draft treaty, the Contadora Acta, which was judged acceptable by the government of Nicaragua but rejected by the other four Central American states concerned. The governments of Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil formed the Contadora Support Group in 1985 in an effort to revitalize the faltering talks. The process was suspended unofficially in June 1986 when the Central American governments refused to sign a revised Acta. The Contadora process was effectively superseded by direct negotiations among the Central American states.
      Short form of contrarevolucionario (counterrevolutionary). Member of the Nicaraguan Resistance, an armed resistance movement in the 1980s supported by the United States and fighting against the national Sandinista government.
      In Honduras a term used for an English-speaking person of African or mixed African and indigenous ancestry.
      Enterprise for the Americas Initiative (EAI)
      A plan announced by President George H.W. Bush on June 27, 1990, calling for the United States to negotiate agreements with selected Latin American countries to reduce their official debt to the United States and make funds available through this restructuring for environmental programs; to stimulate private investment; and to take steps to promote extensive trade liberalization with the goal of establishing free trade throughout the Western Hemisphere.
      European Currency Unit (ECU)
      Instituted in 1979, the ECU is the unit of account of the European Union. The value of the ECU is determined by the value of a basket that includes the currencies of all European Union member states. To establish the value of the basket, each member's currency receives a share that reflects the relative strength and importance of the member's economy. One ECU was equivalent to about US$1.22 in July 1994.
      fiscal year (FY)
      Honduras's fiscal year is the calendar year. Where reference is made to United States aid appropriations or disbursements, the United States government's fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30, is used, with the date of reference drawn from the year in which the period ends. For example, FY 1992 began on October 1, 1991, and ended on September 30, 1992.
      An ethnic group descended from the Carib of the Eastern Caribbean and from Africans who had escaped from slavery. The Garifuna resisted the British and the French in the Windward Islands until they were defeated by the British in 1796. After putting down a violent Garifuna rebellion on Saint Vincent, the British moved the Garifuna across the Caribbean to the Bay Islands (present-day Islas de la Bahía) in the Gulf of Honduras. From there the Garifuna migrated to the Caribbean coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and southern British Honduras. The term Garifuna also refers to the group's language.
      gross domestic product (GDP)
      A measure of the total value of goods and services produced by the domestic economy during a given period, usually one year. Obtained by adding the value contributed by each sector of the economy in the form of profits, compensation to employees, and depreciation (consumption of capital). Only domestic production is included, not income arising from investments and possessions owned abroad; hence the use of the word domestic to distinguish GDP from gross national product (q.v.).
      gross national product (GNP)
      The total market value of all final goods and services produced by an economy during a year. Obtained by adding the gross domestic product (q.v.) and the income received from abroad by residents and subtracting payments remitted abroad to nonresidents.
      import-substitution industrialization (ISI)
      An economic development strategy that emphasizes the growth of domestic industries, often by import protection using tariff and nontariff measures. Proponents favor the export of industrial goods over primary products.
      International Monetary Fund (IMF)
      Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations (UN) that takes responsibility for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to its members when they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans often carry conditions that require substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients.
      lempira (L)
      Honduras monetary unit from 1926 to present. For most of that period, the lempira's value was pegged at US$1=L2. Devalued in 1990, in December 1993, the official rate was US$1=L5.9.
      Paris Club
      The informal name for a consortium of Western creditor countries (Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States) that have made loans or have guaranteed export credits to developing nations and that meet in Paris to discuss borrowers' ability to repay debts. Paris Club deliberations often result in the tendering of emergency loans to countries in economic difficulty or in the rescheduling of debts. Formed in October 1962, the organization has no formal or institutional existence. Its secretariat is run by the French treasury. It has a close relationship with the International Monetary Fund (q.v.), to which all of its members except Switzerland belong, as well as with the World Bank (q.v.) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Paris Club is also known as the Group of Ten (G-10).
      San José Accord
      An agreement between Mexico and Venezuela, signed in 1980 in San José, Costa Rica, whereby the two oil producers committed themselves to supply crude oil on concessionary terms to ten Central American and Caribbean nations.
      Originally a member of the Marxist group attempting to overthrow the Somozas or their hand-picked president in the 1960s and 1970s. The group took its name from Augusto César Sandino, who led a guerrilla struggle against the United States occupation of Nicaragua in the 1930s. The political arm of the group, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional--FSLN), was the national government of Nicaragua from July 1979 to April 1990. After the late 1970s, the term Sandinista came to be used to designate a member or supporter of the FSLN or as the adjectival form of the FSLN (the "Sandinista" government).
      World Bank
      The informal name used to designate a group of four affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary purpose of providing loans at market-related rates of interest to developing countries at more advanced stages of development. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance designed specifically to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises in less developed countries. The MIGA, founded in 1988, insures private foreign investment in developing countries against various noncommercial risks. The president and certain officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The four institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to the International Monetary Fund (q.v.).

    NOTE: The information regarding Honduras on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Honduras Glossary information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Honduras Glossary should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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