U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
BACKGROUND NOTES: HONDURAS
RELEASED BY THE BUREAU OF INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS
OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Honduras
Area: 112,100 sq. km. (43,270 sq. mi.); about the size of Louisiana.
Cities: Capital--Tegucigalpa (800,000); San Pedro Sula metropolitan area
Climate: Tropical to subtropical, depending on elevation.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Honduran(s).
Population (1996): 5 million (est.).
Growth rate: 3%.
Ethnic groups: 90% mestizo (mixed Indian and European); others of
European, Arab, African, or Asian ancestry; and indigenous Indians.
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant minority.
Education: Years compulsory--6. Attendance--70% overall, but less than
16% at junior high level. Literacy--68%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--42/1,000. Life expectancy--68 yrs.
Work force: Services--32%. Natural resources/agriculture--38%.
Type: Democratic constitutional republic.
Independence: September 15, 1821.
Branches: Executive--president, directly elected to four-year term.
Legislative--unicameral National Congress, elected for four-year term.
Judicial--Supreme Court of Justice (appointed by Congress and confirmed
by the president); several lower courts.
Political parties: Liberal Party, National Party, Innovation and Unity
Party, and Christian Democratic Party.
Suffrage: Universal adult.
Administrative subdivisions: 18 departments.
GDP: $3.96 billion.
Growth rate: 3.6%.
Per capita GDP: $722.
Natural resources: Arable land, forests, minerals, fisheries.
Agriculture (24% of GDP): Products--bananas, coffee, shrimp, sugar,
fruits, basic grains, livestock.
Industry (15% of GDP): Types--textiles and apparel, cement, wood
products, cigars, foodstuffs.
Trade: Exports--$1.2 billion: coffee, bananas, shrimp, citrus fruits,
lead/zinc concentrates, beef, lumber, sugar. Major market--U.S. (50%).
Imports--$1.7 billion: petroleum, manufactured goods, machinery,
chemicals. Major supplier--U.S. (41%).
Exchange rate (Dec. 1996): 13 lempiras=U.S.$1.
U.S. POLICY TOWARD HONDURAS
U.S. policy toward Honduras is aimed at consolidating stable democracy,
promoting a healthy and more open economy capable of sustainable growth,
improving the climate for business and investment while protecting U.S.
citizen and corporate rights, and assisting in the creation of more
effective institutions to protect the environment. The goals of
strengthening democracy and promoting viable economic growth are
especially important given the geographical proximity of Honduras to the
United States. To the extent U.S. policy is successful in helping
democracy and economic opportunity to flourish in Honduras, the
pressures that compel many Hondurans to attempt to migrate illegally to
the U.S. will be reduced while creating export markets for U.S. goods
and services. U.S.-Honduran ties are further strengthened by numerous
private sector contacts, with an average of 110,000 U.S. citizens
visiting Honduras annually, and approximately 13,000 Americans residing
there. More than 100 American companies operate in Honduras.
U.S. Economic and Development Assistance
In order to help strengthen Honduras' democratic institutions and
improve living conditions, the U.S. has provided substantial economic
assistance. The U.S. has historically been the largest bilateral donor
to Honduras. Total aid from the U.S. to Honduras for the period 1991 to
1995 was $322 million. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
obligations to Honduras totaled $16.6 million for development assistance
and $9.9 million for foodstuffs in 1996. Over the years such
appropriations have been used to achieve such objectives as fostering
democratic institutions, increasing private sector employment, and
income, helping Honduras fund its arrears with international financial
institutions, providing humanitarian aid, increasing agricultural
production and providing loans to micro-businesses. Of the $25 million
of aid, about $20 million is spent directly on goods and services from
the United States. In addition, since about half of Honduras' imports
come from the U.S., development assistance that stimulates growth of the
Honduran economy indirectly stimulates U.S. exports and thus supports
additional employment and growth in the U.S. economy.
Other forms of U.S. economic assistance to Honduras include the
Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, Overseas Private Investment
Corporation financing and insurance against risks of war and
expropriation, U.S. Trade Development Agency grant loans for pre-
feasibility studies of projects with U.S. product and services export
potential, and U.S. Export-Import Bank short- and medium-term financing
for U.S. exports to Honduran importers. All of these provide greater
economic opportunity for U.S. and Honduran businessmen and women.
The Peace Corps has been active in Honduras since 1962, and at one time
the program there was the largest in the world. During that time some
5,000 American women and men, ranging in age from 22 to 65, have helped
the people of Honduras. In 1996, there were 170 Peace Corps volunteers
working in the poorest parts of Honduras.
The government of President Reina is committed to the successful
transition of the national police from military to civilian control, and
the congress has taken essential constitutional steps to effect that.
The U.S. Government strongly supports this action. The American Embassy
in Tegucigalpa provides specialized training to police officers through
the International Criminal Training Assistance Program (ICITAP).
The Honduran armed forces have become less influential in national
political life and is far less operationally capable. The defense and
police budgets have hovered at around $30 million (USD) during the past
few years, and the abolition of conscription has resulted in a decrease
in the size of the armed forces. The volunteer system that was to have
replaced conscription has not yet been fully implemented and many
military units are now significantly below authorized strength levels.
Major reorganization will take place as the police are transferred to a
civilian ministry, and the position of the Commander in Chief of the
armed forces is abolished in favor of a presidentially appointed
Minister of Defense. Meanwhile, formal security assistance has declined
from over $500 million provided between 1982 and 1993 to $400,000
annually in International Military Education and Training (IMET)
courses. Some residual credits are still available from previous
military aid, but will be exhausted within the next few years.
In the absence of a large security assistance program, defense
cooperation has taken the form of increased participation by the
Honduran armed forces in military-to-military contact programs and
bilateral and multilateral combined exercises oriented toward
peacekeeping, disaster relief, humanitarian/civic assistance, and
counternarcotics. The U.S. Joint Task Force stationed at the Honduran
Soto Cano Air Base plays a vital role in supporting combined exercises
in Honduras and in neighboring Central American countries. In FY 1996,
four major multilateral exercises and over 40 smaller humanitarian
deployments were conducted, providing medical services and construction
of much-needed school and clinical facilities in remote areas of
U.S. Business Opportunities
The United States has historically been, and remains today, Honduras'
largest trading partner. Bilateral trade between the two nations totaled
$1.27 billion in 1995. American business exported $680 million worth of
goods and services to Honduras in 1995.
U.S. investors account for nearly three-quarters of the estimated $850
million in foreign direct investment in Honduras, and more than 100
American companies operate there. The largest U.S. investment in
Honduras is in the agribusiness sector. Other important sectors include
petroleum products marketing, maquilas (in bond assembly plants),
electric power generation, banking, insurance, and tobacco. U.S.
franchises have taken off in recent years, mostly in the fast food
Opportunities for U.S. business include agricultural machinery and
equipment, automotive parts and service equipment, tourism, medical
equipment, electrical power systems, and construction equipment and
products. Best prospects for agricultural products are corn, milled
rice, wheat, soybean meal, and consumer-ready products.
U.S. citizens contemplating investment in real estate in Honduras should
proceed with caution, especially in coastal areas or on the Bay Islands,
because of frequently conflicting legislation and problems with land
titles. Such investors, or their attorneys, should check property titles
not only with the property registry office having jurisdiction in the
area in which the property is located (being especially observant of
marginal annotations on the deed and that the property is located within
the area covered by the original title), but also with the National
Agrarian Institute (INA) and the National Forestry Administration
Honduras is a firm ally of the United States and generally supports U.S.
policy in the UN and other forums. In 1995, Honduras' overall voting
coincidence with the United States in the United Nations increased to
45.7%, from 45.1% in 1994. Figures for 1996 are not yet available. As a
non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Honduras played a very
helpful role in 1996, most notably in advancing the process of selecting
a new UN Secretary General during its October presidency of the Council.
Meanwhile, the U.S. continued to be able to count on Honduras' strong
support against Iraq.
The U.S. favors stable, peaceful relations between Honduras and its
Central American neighbors. During the 1980s, Honduras supported U.S.
policy in Central America opposing a revolutionary Marxist government in
Nicaragua and an active leftist insurgency in El Salvador. The Honduran
Government also played a key role in negotiations that culminated in the
1990 Nicaraguan elections. Honduras contributed troops for the UN
peacekeeping mission in Haiti, and continues to participate in the UN
observers mission in the Western Sahara.
The U.S. works with Honduras for sustained economic, political, and
social development and to combat drug trafficking in the region. Because
of economic needs and security concerns, U.S. material assistance and
political support are important to Honduras. USAID is active in
Honduras, although official U.S. assistance to the country has been
reduced--from $51 million in 1993 to $26 million in 1996 -- due to
worldwide reductions in U.S. bilateral assistance.
To make up for lower levels of bilateral economic aid, Honduras is
exploring opportunities to increase its exports to the U.S. and
elsewhere. The United States is Honduras' chief trading partner,
supplying 41% of its imports and purchasing about half of its exports.
Leading Honduran exports to the United States include coffee, bananas,
other fruits and vegetables, seafood, and beef.
The United States encourages U.S. investment that contributes to
Honduran development and bilateral trade. The United States accounts for
about 73% of total direct foreign investment in Honduras; this is worth
about $620 million. The largest U.S. investments in Honduras are in
fruit production -- particularly banana and citrus, petroleum refining
and marketing, and mining. In addition, U.S. corporations have invested
in tobacco, maquila, shrimp culture, beef, poultry and animal-feed
production, insurance, leasing, food processing, brewing, and furniture
The U.S. maintains a small presence at a Honduran military base; the two
countries conduct joint counternarcotics, humanitarian, and civic action
exercises. The U.S. Information Service has an active program in
Honduras. About 170 Peace Corps volunteers work in health, education,
agriculture, small business development, and forestry.
U.S. troops--in collaboration with counterparts from Brazil and
Colombia--since 1994 have assisted Honduran soldiers in clearing
landmines from the country's border with Nicaragua.
Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--James F. Creagan
Deputy Chief of Mission--Deborah R. Schwartz
Consul General--Gregory Frost
USAID Director--Elena L. Brineman
Public Affairs Officer (USIS)--Stedman D. Howard
Defense Attache--Col. G. Keith Fennell
Military Group Commander--Col. Glenn Weidner
Economic Counselor--Donald McNally
The U.S. embassy in Honduras is located on Avenida La Paz, Tegucigalpa
(tel.: 011-504-36-9320; faxes: general--011-504-36-9037, USAID--011-504-
36-7776, USIS--011-504-36-9309, Military Group--011-504-33-6171,
Commercial Section--011-504-38-2888, Consulate--011-504-37-1792).
Other Contact Information:
Honduran-American Chamber of Commerce
Hotel Honduras Maya
Apartado Postal 1838
Tel: (504) 32-7043/32-6035
Fax: (504) 32-9959
(Branch office in San Pedro Sula)
Caribbean/Latin American Action
1818 N Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Latin America and the Caribbean
14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
PEOPLE AND HISTORY
About 90% of the population is mestizo. There also are small minorities
of European, African, Asian, Arab, and indigenous Indian descent. Most
Hondurans are Roman Catholic, but Protestant proselytization has
resulted in significant numbers of converts. Spanish is the predominant
language, although some English is spoken along the northern coast and
on the Caribbean Bay Islands. Indigenous Indian dialects and the
Garifuna dialect also are spoken.
The restored Mayan ruins near the Guatemalan border in Copan reflect the
great Mayan culture that arose in the fourth century. Mayan artifacts
also can be found at the National Museum in Tegucigalpa. This culture
had declined by the time Columbus sighted the region in 1502, naming it
"Honduras" (meaning "depths") for the deep water off the coast. Spaniard
Hernan Cortes arrived in 1524. The Spanish began founding settlements
along the coast, and Honduras came under the control of the Captaincy
General of Guatemala. The cities of Comayagua and Tegucigalpa developed
as early mining centers.
Honduras, along with the other Central American provinces, gained
independence from Spain in 1821; it then briefly was annexed to the
Mexican Empire. In 1823, Honduras joined the newly formed United
Provinces of Central America. Before long, social and economic
differences between Honduras and its regional neighbors exacerbated
harsh partisan strife among Central American leaders and brought on the
federation's collapse in 1838. Gen. Francisco Morazan--a Honduran
national hero--led unsuccessful efforts to maintain the federation, and
restoring Central American unity remained the chief aim of Honduran
foreign policy until after World War I.
Since independence, Honduras has been plagued with nearly 300 internal
rebellions, civil wars, and changes of government, more than half
occurring during this century. The country traditionally lacked both an
economic infrastructure and social and political integration. Its
agriculturally based economy came to be dominated by U.S. companies that
established vast banana plantations along the north coast. Foreign
capital, plantation life, and conservative politics held sway in
Honduras from the late 19th until the mid-20th century.
During the relatively stable years of the Great Depression, Honduras was
controlled by authoritarian Gen. Tiburcio Carias Andino. His ties to
dictators in neighboring countries and to U.S. banana companies helped
him maintain power until 1948. By then, provincial military leaders had
begun to gain control of the two major parties, the Nationalists and the
From Military to Civilian Rule
In October 1955--after two authoritarian administrations and a general
strike by banana workers on the north coast in 1954--young military
reformists staged a palace coup that installed a provisional junta and
paved the way for constituent assembly elections in 1957. This assembly
appointed Dr. Ramon Villeda Morales as president and transformed itself
into a national legislature with a six-year term. The Liberal Party
ruled during 1957-63. At the same time, the military took its first
steps to become a professional institution independent of leadership
from any one political party, and the newly created military academy
graduated its first class in 1960.
But in October 1963, conservative military officers preempted
constitutional elections and deposed Villeda in a bloody coup. These
officers exiled Liberal Party members and took control of the national
police. The armed forces, led by Gen. Lopez Arellano, governed until
A civilian president--Ramon Cruz of the National Party--took power
briefly in 1970, but proved unable to manage the government. Popular
discontent had continued to rise after a 1969 border war with El
Salvador; in December 1972, General Lopez staged another coup. Lopez
adopted more progressive policies, including land reform, but his regime
was brought down in the mid-1970s by scandals.
General Lopez' successors continued armed forces modernization programs,
building army and security forces, and concentrating on Honduran air
force superiority over its neighbors. The regimes of General Melgar
Castro (1975-78) and General Paz Garcia (1978-83) largely built the
current physical infrastructure and telecommunications system of
Honduras. The country also enjoyed its most rapid economic growth during
this period, due to greater international demand for its products and
the availability of foreign commercial lending.
Following the overthrow of Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua in 1979 and
general instability in El Salvador at the time, the Honduran military
accelerated plans to return the country to civilian rule. A constituent
assembly was popularly elected in April 1980, and general elections were
held in November 1981. A new constitution was approved in 1982, and the
Liberal Party government of President Roberto Suazo Cordoba assumed
Suazo relied on U.S. support to help with a severe economic recession
and with the threat posed by the revolutionary Sandinista Government in
Nicaragua and a brutal civil war in El Salvador. Close cooperation on
political and military issues with the United States was complemented by
ambitious social and economic development projects sponsored by USAID.
Honduras became host to the largest Peace Corps mission in the world,
and non-governmental and international voluntary agencies proliferated.
As the November 1985 election approached, the Liberal Party had
difficulty settling on a candidate and interpreted election law as
permitting multiple presidential candidates from one party. The Liberal
Party claimed victory when its presidential candidates collectively
outpolled the National Party candidate, Rafael Leonardo Callejas, who
received 42% of the vote. Jose Azcona Hoyo, the candidate receiving the
most votes (27%) among the Liberals, assumed the presidency in January
1986. With strong endorsement and support from the Honduran military,
the Suazo Administration had ushered in the first peaceful transfer of
power between civilian presidents in more than 30 years.
Four years later, Rafael Callejas won the presidential election, taking
office in January 1990. Callejas concentrated on economic reform,
reducing the deficit, and taking steps to deal with an overvalued
exchange rate and major structural barriers to investment. He began the
movement to place the military under civilian control and laid the
groundwork for the creation of the public ministry (Attorney General's
Despite the Callejas Administration's economic reforms, growing public
dissatisfaction with the rising cost of living and with seemingly
widespread government corruption led voters in 1993 to elect Liberal
Party candidate Carlos Roberto Reina over National Party contender
Oswaldo Ramos Soto, with Reina winning 56% of the vote.
President Reina, elected on a platform calling for a "Moral Revolution,"
has actively prosecuted corruption and pursued those responsible for
human rights abuses in the 1980s. The public ministry has filed charges
against Reina's first foreign minister--whom Reina fired--and against
former members of the Callejas cabinet for corruption. In 1995-96, more
than two dozen arrest warrants were issued against present and former
armed forces personnel (military and civilian) accused in those abuses.
By the end of 1996, one high-ranking, active-duty officer had turned
himself in, and a retired lieutenant was arrested; both subsequently
were released for lack of evidence. Like many Latin American nations,
Honduras passed amnesty laws in the 1980s. To the disappointment of the
military, the Supreme Court ruled in 1996 that military officers, unlike
leftists, were not automatically covered by the amnesty laws but might
be covered on a case-by-case-basis. As of the end of 1996 these cases
A hallmark of the Reina Administration has been his successful efforts
to increase civilian control over the armed forces, making his time in
office a period of fundamental change in civil-military relations in
Honduras. Important achievements--including the abolition of the
military draft and passage of legislation transferring the national
police from military to civilian authority--have brought civil-military
relations closer to the kind of balance normal in a constitutional
democracy. Additionally, President Reina in 1996 named his own defense
minister, breaking the precedent of accepting the nominee of the armed
Honduras is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin
America. The economy is based mostly on agriculture, which accounted for
24% of GDP in 1995. Coffee and bananas accounted for 51% of total
Honduran export revenues in 1995. Honduras has extensive forest, marine
and mineral resources, although widespread slash-and-burn agricultural
methods continue to destroy Honduran forests. Hondurans, however, are
becoming more concerned about protecting their environmental patrimony.
Unemployment officially is estimated at 15%, and combined unemployment
and underemployment is about 45%.
In 1995, the Honduran economy rebounded from the severe recession
experienced in 1994. Real GDP growth in 1995 was 3.6%. It was led by a
solid expansion in agricultural production spurred by soaring world
coffee prices, excellent basic grains harvests, and a resurrected banana
industry as well as a growing maquila (Free Trade Zone) sector that
employed 65,000 people by year's end. Honduras also received abundant
rainfall which replenished the nation's dams and enabled the country to
generate adequate hydroelectric energy, thus avoiding the drought-
related power cuts which adversely affected economic performance in
1994. The nation's balance of payments picture brightened in 1995,
thanks to the 19.3% increase in export revenues. Nevertheless, Honduras
ran a balance of payments deficit of $270 million in 1995. The Honduran
economy had foreign debts totaling about $4.1 billion at the end of
1995, almost all owed by the government. That caused a debt service to
export earnings ratio of nearly 40%.
In 1996, Honduran GDP is expected to have grown about 4%. However,
inflation for 1996 is expected to have reached 23%, a disappointment to
GOH economic policymakers who hoped to bring that figure down to 16% for
the year. High inflation in 1996, combined with a depreciating Lempira,
has caused a sharp increase in the amount of U.S.-dollar denominated
savings done by Hondurans in 1996. Official figures published late in
1996 show that 30% of all Honduran savings were made in U.S. dollars
during the period from September 1995 to September 1996.
Despite criticism from the private sector, the government attempted to
maintain relatively tight monetary and fiscal policies throughout 1996
and, consequently, has been able to keep the non-financial public sector
deficit to 3.2% of GDP. The major challenge facing the Reina Government
in 1997, an election year, will be to continue economic stabilization
measures and thus provide the successor government with a stable economy
when it takes office.
The 1982 constitution provides for a strong executive, a unicameral
National Congress, and a judiciary appointed by the National Congress.
The president is directly elected to a four-year term by popular vote.
The congress also serves a four-year term; congressional seats are
assigned the parties' candidates in proportion to the number of votes
each party receives.
The judiciary includes a Supreme Court of Justice, courts of appeal, and
several courts of original jurisdiction, such as labor, tax, and
criminal courts. For administrative purposes, Honduras is divided into
18 departments, with departmental and municipal officials elected for
Events during the 1980s in El Salvador and Nicaragua led Honduras, with
U.S. assistance, to expand its armed forces considerably, laying
particular emphasis on its air force, which came to include a squadron
of U.S.-provided F-5s. The resolution of the civil wars in El Salvador
and Nicaragua, and across-the-board budget cuts made in all ministries
have brought reduced funding for the Honduran armed forces. The
abolition of the draft has created staffing gaps in the now all
volunteer armed forces. The military now is far below its authorized
12,000 strength (which does not include the 6,000 police), and further
reductions are expected.
Reinforced by the media and several political watchdog organizations,
human rights and civil liberties are reasonably well protected. There
are no known political prisoners in Honduras, and the privately owned
media frequently exercises its right to criticize without fear of
reprisals. Organized labor now represents less than 15% of the work
force, and its economic and political influence have declined.
The two major parties--the Liberal Party and the National Party--run
active campaigns throughout the country. Their ideologies are mostly
centrist, with diverse factions in each centered on personalities.
The two smaller registered parties, the Christian Democratic Party and
the Innovation and Unity Party, remain marginal, slightly left-of-center
groupings with few campaign resources and little organization. Despite
significant progress in training and installing more skillful advisers
at the top of each party ladder, electoral politics in Honduras remain
traditionalist and paternalistic.
Honduras will hold its next general elections--which will choose the
nation's next President, Congress, and mayors--in November 1997.
Principal Government Officials
President--Carlos Roberto REINA Idiaquez
Minister of Foreign Relations--Delmer URBIZO Panting
Ambassador to the U.S.--Roberto FLORES Bermudez
Ambassador to the UN--Gerardo MARTINEZ Blanco
Ambassador to the OAS--Madeleine VILLELA DE TALBOT
Honduras maintains an embassy in the United States at 3007 Tilden Street
NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-966-7702).
Honduras is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization
(WTO), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Central American
Parliament (PARLACEN), the Central American Integration System (SICA),
and the Central American Security Commission (CASC). During 1995-96,
Honduras, a founding member of the United Nations, for the first time
served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
President Reina consults frequently with the other Central American
presidents on issues of mutual interest. He has continued his
predecessor's strong emphasis on Central American cooperation and
integration, which under President Callejas resulted in an agreement
easing border controls and tariffs among Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua,
and El Salvador. Honduras also joined its six Central American neighbors
at the 1994 Summit of the Americas in signing the Alliance for
Sustainable Development, known as the Conjunta Centroamerica-USA, or
CONCAUSA, to promote sustainable economic development in the region.
In 1969, El Salvador and Honduras fought the brief "Soccer War" over
disputed border areas and friction resulting from the 300,000
Salvadorans who had emigrated to Honduras in search of land and
employment. The catalyst was nationalistic feelings aroused by a series
of soccer matches between the two countries. The two countries formally
signed a peace treaty on October 30, 1980, which put the border dispute
before the International Court of Justice. In September 1992, the court
awarded most of the disputed territory to Honduras. A Honduran-
Salvadoran binational commission is addressing issues such as
citizenship and physical demarcation of the border resulting from the
ICJ decision. El Salvador and Honduras maintain normal diplomatic and
At the 17th Central American summit in 1995, hosted by Honduras in the
northern city of San Pedro Sula, the region's six countries (excluding
Belize) signed treaties creating confidence and security-building
measures and combating the smuggling of stolen automobiles in the
isthmus. In subsequent summits (held every six months), Honduras has
continued to work with the other Central American countries on issues of
TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION
The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides
Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Travel Warnings are
issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel
to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for all
countries and include information on immigration practices, currency
regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and
security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in
the country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate
information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-
term conditions overseas which pose significant risks to the security of
American travelers. Free copies of this information are available by
calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-
on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Travel Warnings and Consular Information
Sheets also are available on the Consular Affairs Internet home page:
http://travel.state.gov and the Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB).
To access CABB, dial the modem number: (301-946-4400 (it will
accommodate up to 33,600 bps), set terminal communications program to N-
8-1 (no parity, 8 bits, 1 stop bit); and terminal emulation to VT100.
The login is travel and the password is info (Note: Lower case is
required). The CABB also carries international security information from
the Overseas Security Advisory Council and Department's Bureau of
Diplomatic Security. Consular Affairs Trips for Travelers publication
series, which contain information on obtaining passports and planning a
safe trip abroad, can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents,
U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-
7954; telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.
Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be
obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-
5225. For after-hours emergencies, Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-
Passport Services information can be obtained by calling the 24-hour, 7-
day a week automated system ($.35 per minute) or live operators 8 a.m.
to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday ($1.05 per minute). The number is 1-900-
225-5674 (TDD: 1-900-225-7778). Major credit card users (for a flat rate
of $4.95) may call 1-888-362-8668 (TDD: 1-888-498-3648)
Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at
(404) 332-4559 gives the most recent health advisories, immunization
recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water
safety for regions and countries. A booklet entitled Health Information
for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280) is
available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.
Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and
customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to
travelers also may be obtained before your departure from a country's
embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see "Principal
Government Officials" listing in this publication).
U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous
areas, are encouraged to register at the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a
country (see "Principal U.S. Embassy Officials" listing in this
publication). This may help family members contact you in case of an
Further Electronic Information:
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DOSFAN's World Wide Web site is at http://www.state.gov; this site has a
link to the DOSFAN Gopher Research Collection, which also is accessible
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official foreign policy information from 1990 to the present. Priced at
$76 ($95 foreign), one-year subscriptions (MSDOS and Macintosh
compatible) are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S.
Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954.
To order, call (202) 512-1800 or fax (202) 512-2250.
National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of
Commerce, the NTDB contains a wealth of trade-related information,
including Country Commercial Guides. It is available on the Internet
(www.stat-usa.gov) and on CD-ROM. Call the NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-
1986 for more information.
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