Opponents said Sarkozy backing his son for the job made France look like a “banana republic.”
Tropico is the excellent nation-builder game that simulates a Caribbean banana republic during the Cold War.
If those consumers get their hands on some money, they'll move upmarket to Crate and Barrel and banana republic.
"small Central American state with an economy dependent on banana production," 1901, American English.
A small country, esp Central American, dominated by foreign companies
[1930s+; fr the fact that such places were typically under the control of the United Fruit Company and grew bananas]