Around a dozen Americans residing in the Bay Islands and a few Hondurans met with US ambassador Hugo Llorens at Infinity Bay on May 27. The issue of ex Honduran president Mel Zelaya was a topic of concern. “When OAS, EU walked away, we [US] stayed. I was the only ambassador [from countries in these organizations] left here,” said ambassador Llorens. “He will always be a victim. There will always be as shadow of Mel Zelaya,” said about the possible return of Zelaya to the country Llorens.
Ambassador announced that a Honduran Navy base for Guanaja is scheduled to open in August. “It would help in patrolling Guanaja and eastern Roatan where there are particular problems [with drug trafficking],” said ambassador Hugo Llorens.
When a few months ago Honduras fell in corruption ranking conducted annually by World Bank that triggered a postponement, till December, for considering Honduras for another, around $300 million in funds from Millennium Challenge Fund. Few if, any of these funds are likely to reach Bay Islands according to US embassy official. Ambassador Llorens said that USAID programs are just not interested in Bay Islands as a place to conduct projects as the department is perceived as being better off than most other areas of Honduras.
Issue of construction of a new Roatan public hospital was also raised. “I have mixed feelings about the public hospital,” said nurse Peggy Strangers. “The hospital would be funded from the central government’s budget. In the future we [Clinica Esperanza] will have an operating room,” said Nurse Peggy Strangers. [/private]