What was the original banana republic and Where did the term come from?

Now the name of a fashionable chain of clothing stores, “banana republic” used to be a disparaging term for any small, poor Latin American nation with a history of civil turmoil and dictatorial rule.

The first country to be saddled with the insulting name may have been Honduras early this century, when American fruit companies were buying up Honduran land and using it to grow bananas. To this day, bananas are Honduras’s principal crop.

U.S. Marines occupied Nicaragua during a period of civil turmoil from 1912 to 1933, until a stable political situation arose that served U.S. interests.