Monday, October 19, 2009

Crying 'Wolf''

I've been out of the country for the past three weeks, so I've neglected this blog during my absence.

As I was travelling, one thing that kept bugging me was the State Department's 'travel advisory' issued on Honduras after the events of June 28. Honduras is just as safe a place to travel to now as it was prior to June 28 (probably safer), yet the USA government is discouraging Americans from travelling to Honduras. This seems particularly odd given that most Americans travel to Roatan in the Bay Islands or the Mayan Ruins in Copan. These two destinations are particularly safe and relatively secluded from the problems in the urban area (Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula).

Why would the US government issue a travel advisory when they know it is safe? The only possible reason is to discourage travel to Honduras for political reasons in order to pressure the tourist industry and to place economic hardship on the people employed in this sector. The problem with this is that Americans depend on these travel advisories when planning international trips, and if the travel advisories become political, they lose their credibility. Just like in the story about the shepard boy crying wolf, people will begin to ignore them. Then in some future 'very unsafe situation', the warnings may not be heeded and innocent lives may be lost.

It's a shame that our State Dept. is playing politics with a service that is supposed to be apolitical, and thereby threatening the lives of the very people these advisories were developed to protect.


Melissa said...

I'll be traveling to Honduras regardless. It helps though that I lived there, know my way around, the culture and language, etc. Funny thing, the US said the same thing about Mexico during their 2006 elections - and yet even with all of the commotion of having 'two presidents' it was still safe to visit.

La Misionera said...

I went to Honduras on July 11 this year and stayed 17 days without a problem. I didn't ever feel like I was in danger. In fact, Tegucigalpa was unusually quiet the day I arrived there so it is very possible that things are even safer.

La Gringa said...

I agree with you that the travel advisory is politically motivated. Haven't there always been protests in Honduras? I know there have for the 8 years that I've lived here. And now they have put some reasonable rules in place, the chance of roads being blocked is probably less than it was in the past.