Alida Juliani |
Madrid (EFE) .- Spain and Honduras are working to strengthen their agreements on migration and bilateral trade, said in an interview with EFE the new ambassador of the Central American country in Madrid, Marlon Brevé Reyes, who highlighted the changes generated in foreign affairs by Honduran President Xiomara Castro.
Brevé Reyes presented his credentials before the King of Spain, Felipe VI. Last week, the Honduran ambassador accompanied the Minister of Tourism of his country, Yadira Gómez, and her team at the Madrid International Tourism Fair (Fitur).
“For Honduras it meant returning to the map of the countries that we want to attract more tourists, not only Spanish, but also Europeans and from all over the world,” he said.
Central American integration from Spain
Honduras is part of the Central American Integration System (SICA) in which the five Central American countries, plus Belize, Panama and the Dominican Republic work politically integrated “and we also try to do it economically.”
This region is organized in the tourism industry, said Brevé, and has won an award for the Mundo Maya Organization (WMO) -of which Honduras is a part- and another from the Central American Tourism Integration Secretariat.
In Spain, the ambassador explained that, at the level of diplomacy, he has met with the dean of the group of ambassadors of Latin America and the Caribbean, who is currently Ambassador Mauricio Peñate of El Salvador, in addition to courtesy visits “to other fellow ambassadors ».
“We all recognize that the Segib (Ibero-American General Secretariat) is in Spain and our countries are members of that body. Precisely now in March, there will be an Ibero-American summit and the presidents of Central America have confirmed it, “said Brevé, although he could not specify that Nicaragua was among them.
Work agreements in Spain and construction of hospitals
Spain is the second country where more Hondurans reside, 150,000 registered residents concentrated around 40,000 in Barcelona, 39,000 in Madrid, 17,000 in Girona, some 10,000 in Valencia and the rest in other Spanish communities, according to the ambassador.
For several years now, Hondurans who live, work and drive vehicles in Spain have been requesting that, just as other Central American countries reach an agreement with the Spanish traffic authorities (DGT) for the homologation of their licenses, Honduras does too.
Last week, a delegation of authorities from the National Delegation of Viability and Transit of Honduras traveled to Spain for a meeting in which they discussed the equivalences of the different categories of driver’s licenses and the communication system through a technological platform that has an interface with the DGT application.
The new Honduran government established two changes to serve citizens who come to the consulate from all over Spain and from other countries in Europe.
Since last year, said the ambassador, an average of 100 people a day have been served at the consulate in Madrid to print passports. “Similarly, in an alliance with another institution in Honduras, Hondurans are being registered in order to have the new identity card (DNI).”
“Our system changed just before the elections in November 2021 and that is why we have the obligation to obtain a new identity card for Hondurans residing throughout Europe, who go to the consulate in Madrid.”
The Castro government also “began to grant birth certificates to children who are children of Hondurans who want to have an identity in order to have access to some social services here in Spain,” added Brevé.
The ambassador also referred to the circular migration program, that is, temporary jobs for migrants in a planned manner, which last year in a pilot project brought 250 Hondurans to Spain in the Spanish province of Huelva (south) and which this year they hope to double , up to 500.
An experience that the Honduran government hopes to expand to other areas of Spain where skilled labor is needed in agricultural matters or in others where there is a deficit, such as in the health, construction, telephone or meat industry sectors.
Regarding Health, the ambassador highlighted that an agreement with Spain for 70 million euros is expected to be closed in February for the construction of three hospitals in three areas where there were none, as well as equipment for another two, for which five centers health workers would benefit.
Beyond what they call “nostalgic products,” that is, for Hondurans abroad, the new Honduran government wants to think beyond. And not only in coffee, a star export product, but also in others, and that there be a true exchange between Spain and Honduras.
Brevé explained that before it was difficult to take processed products to Europe, since only those that were in bulk could be transported, but since Honduras began operations with the two airlines that make 4 weekly flights to the country (two to San Pedro Sula and two to Tegucigalpa), there may also be other opportunities for export in both directions.