Monday, September 21, 2009

Banana republic is a pejorative term for a country that is politically unstable, dependent on limited agriculture (e.g. bananas), and ruled by a small, self-elected, wealthy, and corrupt clique. It is most commonly used for countries in Central America such as El Salvador, Belize, Grenada, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala. In some cases, these nations have kept the government structures that were modeled after the colonial Spanishruling clique, with a small, largely leisure class on the top, and a large, poorly educated and poorly paid working class of peons, though it might have the (fake) trappings of modernity (such as styling itself a republic with a president etc.)

Frequently the subject of mockery and humor, and usually presided over by a dictatorial military junta that exaggerates its own power and importance—"the epaulettes of a banana republic generalissimo" are proverbially of considerable size, usually portrayed in satire with a pair of mops—a banana republic also typically has large wealth inequities, poor infrastructure, poor schools, a "backward" economy, low capital spending, a reliance on foreign capital and money printing, budget deficits, and a weakening currency. Banana republics are typically also highly prone to revolutions and coups
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