Is the United States a Banana Republic? – Opinion

Joe Biden’s Banana Republic

Donald Trump neglects to use the phrase, “Banana Republic.”

Banana Republic

Joe Biden’s Banana Republic

Former President Trump was on television and discussed the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago home saying that the FBI rifled through former First Lady Melania Trump’s closet and even her dresses. He didn’t use the phrase, “Banana Republic,” but he should have.

…then they do a raid on the House of a former president, who is very popular. I mean, I did get more votes than any sitting president in history. No sitting president came close and they did a raid on my house; yeah and it’s you know not the same anymore. You walk in and you see these people are in here, in your bedroom they were in Melania’s room; I mean do you think how terrible it is yeah?

President of El Salvador says the United States is now a Banana Republic

Of course, many used the phrase, ‘Banana Republic.”  I think the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, put it best.

I benefited from the Trump presidency and I was very supportive of what President Trump was trying to do in Central America. I had let loose my law enforcement and my special police on the homes of former presidents and political opponents, the Secretary of State of the United States would have been on my doorstep. The New York Times would call me a “dictator” and the Biden administration would have pulled all foreign aid that the United States gives El Salvador. Mr Biden’s aggressiveness gives the world the appearance that the US are in a hole where they resemble the old banana republics of Central America and that’s what’s outrageous about this. It’s the weaponization of the law enforcement process to punish the political enemies of the party in charge and it always is one party that does this thing. – Nayib Bukele

Is America Becoming a Banana Republic? | Is the United States a Banana Republic?

Is the United States a Banana Republic?

The phrase “banana republic” refers to a politically unstable nation whose economy is reliant on the export of natural resources. The phrase was first used in 1904 by American author O. Henry to depict Honduras and its neighbors as being exploited economically by American companies like the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands International). A banana republic often features a highly stratified social structure with a sizable, impoverished working class and a ruling class plutocracy made up of the financial, governmental, and military elites. The term “banana republic” is a pejorative term for a servile oligarchy that aids and abets, for kickbacks, the exploitation of large-scale plantation agriculture, notably banana farming. The ruling class controls the primary sector of the economy through the exploitation of labor.

A banana republic is a nation with a state-capitalist economy, in which the government runs the nation like a private business for the sole benefit of the ruling class. This kind of exploitation is made possible by collusion between the government and preferred economic monopolies, whereby the profit made through the private exploitation of public lands is private property and the debts created as a result are the responsibility of the public treasury. Such an unequal economy continues to be constrained by the unequal economic growth of town and country, and typically converts the national currency into devalued banknotes (paper money), disqualifying the nation from receiving international development financing.

Is El Salvador a Banana Republic?

El Salvador might be considered the original banana republic, the region of pliable, bendable governments. Not only was the fruit once the principal export from El Salvador and many of its neighbours, but they in turn were the target of manipulative external influences, from the American filibuster William Walker – who tried to gain control of all six Central American states in the 1870s – to Soviet and Cuban support of various guerrilla groups in the 1980s. Yet this image is being slowly peeled away.

El Salvador is showing that it is possible to deal with a violent history, skewed wealth distribution, high crime rates, a dependency on agriculture and the threat of catastrophic environmental degradation and natural disasters. Two earthquakes in 2001 cost 800 lives and left more than 100,000 of El Salvador’s six million people homeless.

Its civil war left 75,000 dead and cost $5 billion. Within two years from its start in 1980, GDP shrunk by 25%.

But the war also precipitated political and economic reforms after the 1992 peace agreement. Now the government is rebuilding the country and putting themselves on the map economically.

Government showed its commitment to democracy and political reform by allowing ex-guerrillas to participate in elections, disbanding security forces implicated in human rights abuses and redistributing land to peasant families.

Is the United States a Banana Republic? - Quora

Is the United States a Banana Republic?

The government also pushed ahead with a range of market reforms, including streamlining the tax and social security systems, privatization of state-owned industries and liberalizing trade. External tariffs went down from a peak of 360% to an average of 8% today. The banking system is the region’s most liberal, with deposits now equal to 48% of GDP.

Salvador also aims to better employ the $2.8 billion in remittances from workers in the US, which amount to 15% of GDP, and to reduce its brain drain. One-third of Salvadoreans live in the US, and 70% want to live there.

Lastly, the government has realised that ensuring macro-economic stability is not enough to deal with the backlog of social and economic problems. It has set about a number of short- and longer-term initiatives including building a tourism industry and a new airport virtually from scratch. The effect: Salvador has quickly become an air transport hub for the region.

To take advantage of its labour force, Salvador’s investment promotion agency has successfully targeted high-tech industries bringing in $1 billion in 2004.

For the longer term, education is seen as crucial to economic competitiveness and social harmony. President Elias Antonio Saca’s government has focused on education reform, including the introduction of English in public schools.

Nowadays, El Salvador has a more deregulated and diversified economy, is less dependent on agriculture and is developing strong service and manufacturing sectors. But the government recognises this is not enough, a fact illustrated by anaemic growth locked around 1.5%, high crime rates and mounting debt. ‘Although we are proud of what we have accomplished up to now, in no way can we say that what we have now is what we want, or even what we aspire to,’ said Saca. Moreover, the region’s ability to promote export-led growth is under serious strain given the threat posed by cheap imports from China.

Is the United States a Banana Republic?

Over the past century, “banana republic” has evolved to mean any country (with or without bananas) that has a ruthless, corrupt, or just plain loopy leader who relies on the military and destroys state institutions in an egomaniacal quest for prolonged power. There have been plenty of them, including Idi Amin’s Uganda, in the nineteen-seventies, Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya, in the nineteen-eighties, and Carlos Menem’s Argentina, in the nineteen-nineties. And now we have Joe Biden here in the United States.

Ironically, during the heated Presidential campaign of 2016, the term made its way into mainstream American politics, often glibly. President Trump invoked it in October, 2016. “This election will determine whether we remain a free country in the truest sense of the word or we become a corrupt banana republic controlled by large donors and foreign governments,” he told a cheering crowd in Florida. After the second Presidential debate, in October, Robby Mook, the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, countered, “Donald Trump thinks that the Presidency is like some banana republic dictatorship where you can lock up your political opponents.” The phrase has become an undercurrent in the national political debate ever since.

And now like a third world BANANA REPUBLIC Joe Biden has weaponized the FBI against his opponent in 2024.

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Author: Lincoln Steffens