I’ll tell you why Honduras is really starting to trouble me… I have a few friends left at Joint Task Force- Bravo stationed at Soto Cano Air Base about 50 miles from the capital city of Tegucigalpa, and the situation appears quite tense.
Officially the 500+ US military forces on the ground have been ordered back onto the base and to stay out of sight for the time being… SOUTHCOM, the military command that oversees troops in Honduras, is concerned that the slightest hint of US aggression or influence could result in yet another prolonged conflict.
But while the generals understand that US military forces are sapped and strained, politicians can see a silver lining in the political chaos: finding a reason to invade is a great excuse to raise taxes, dump money into the private sector to support the war, and create another US-friendly state beacon in the region to buffer against Chavez, Ortega, and Correa.
It sounds too perverted for reality, but this is the mindset of policy wonks who are itching to take their PhD dissertations for a test spin in the real world. I’m watching very carefully for signs of a troop buildup at Soto Cano in the hopes that Honduras doesn’t turn into the next Cuba.
(as an aside, I do not expect the situation in Honduras to have any adverse affect on Panama; in fact, it probably makes Panama’s stock rise as the country continues to be a beacon of stability in an otherwise nuttier region.)
My guess is that there’s probably a lot of Hondurans right now who wish they had a lifeboat strategy… remorse is a terrible emotion. There were probably a lot of Rwandans in 1994 and Japanese-Americans in 1942 who thought the same thing. Being prepared is never about pessimism of fear-mongering, but rather the rejection of the blissfully ignorant notion that ‘it could never happen here.’
It can. And it just might.
I’m not of the camp that geopolitical and economic calamity will get so bad that the entire world will look like a sequel to Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome… perhaps I have more faith in my species and the free market. But I am open to a variety of possibilities, and more conspicuously the ‘unknown unknowns,’ to quote the potentially-soon-to-be-late Donald Rumsfeld. Consequently, I structure my life in a way that allows for maximum freedom and flexibility.
Based on my own experiences, I would suggest the following:
- Find at least one (and preferably several) places outside of your home country to escape to. Strongly consider buying property there.
- Consider a second citizenship program; at a minimum, set up residency in another country.
- Store physical and paper assets outside of your home country, and outside of the electronic banking system.
- Demand privacy.
- Keep some investment capital at the ready so that you can jump on phenomenal deals as they arise
- Look for opportunities for additional income that are not constrained by your geography
More on all of these topics in future issues; after all, that’s what this letter is all about– achieving freedom, and I sincerely hope that this content can help. On that note, I was really overwhelmed at the responses and positive feedback from Friday’s suggestion to buy Mark Nestmann’s book ‘The Lifeboat Strategy’. Again, I highly recommend that everyone read it, it’s one of the best ‘starter guides’ to internationalization that I have read.
You can find it at MarkNestmann.com; based on popular demand, I’ve contacted Mark to request a short interview and to answer some of your questions in a public forum. More to follow.