Westport Headlines In Honduras

I know little about diesel-generated electricity, and less about Honduran politics. But this news report from Bloomberg Businessweek caught my eye:

Roberto Martinez, general manager of the state-owned Honduran National Energy Company, yesterday became the third member of President Porfirio Lobo’s Cabinet to resign in the past two weeks.

Martinez submitted his resignation to the Ministry of the Presidency about 5 p.m…. His replacement has not yet been named.

Eight days earlier, Martinez was questioned by members of the National Congress over a contract signed in November with Connecticut-based Westport Financing LLC to provide diesel-generated electricity. The project has yet to begin, Tome said. A representative of Westport, who confirmed the contract in a phone call from Connecticut, declined to give further details.

A quick Google search for “Westport Financing LLC” brought up nothing by that name. There is, however, a business listing for Westport Finance LLC. Its address is listed as 11 Dover Road, Westport; it was established in 2009, and offers “support services.”

Several articles in the Honduran press referred to Westport Finance’s owners, Ira and Carla Ginsburg. A quick check revealed their address: 11 Dover Road.

A few minutes ago, I called Ira Ginsburg. “It seems there’s something going on with Westport Finance in Honduras,” I said.

“That’s me!” he laughed.

I asked about the charges that he had not provided the equipment he’d been contracted for.

This -- not diesel energy -- is what most people associate with Honduras. (Photo/National Geographic)

“Politics in Honduras are unique,” he said.

In the middle of every presidential term, all the ministers resign. The president shuffles his cabinet.

My contract is in full force and effect. The minister of energy’s problems pre-date the negotiation of my deal, in 2009. They go back several yeas.

Honduras is ruled by an oligarchy of 3 families. They own 100% of the power generation, and all the newspapers. The fact that a power company from outside the company came in — they don’t like that.

I’ve been pounded daily in the newspapers, which are just PR vehicles for those families. I’ll continue to be in the press on a daily basis, and I will be until I prevail.

I told Ira I appreciated getting his side “from the horse’s mouth.”

“Yes,” he said. “Instead of another part of the anatomy.”

2 responses to “Westport Headlines In Honduras

  1. your blog – with these sorts of ‘scoops’ in terms of the quality of your reporting and being ‘first’ – you really have set the foundation of a primary news source. it’s fantastic to see it forming-building over the last couple of years.

  2. Hardly a scoop, except for talking to Ira, whose answer misdirects.

    Honduran ministers offer their resignation every year, yes, but that’s not what happened here. Lobo Sosa didn’t replace him at the beginning of the year as he did with the corrupt Culture minister. Martinez Lozano was forced out by political pressure, because Westport was not in compliance with the terms of the contract, which required them to be generating power by last January 24, and to have paid a completion bond of 1.2 million dollars last November, neither of which occurred.

    Porfirio Lobo Sosa, head of the Honduran government, has said that if Westport is not in compliance with the contract terms, and its not, the contract is dead.

    Here’s three posts about Westport Finance LLC and its contract with ENEE in english, the earliest from November, 2011.