Xiomara Castro promises during her inauguration a “democratic socialism” for Honduras
Xiomara Castro, from the Libre party, became this Thursday the first female president of Honduras, a country that she herself assured that it is “sunken” and in “bankruptcy”. During his first address to the nation, he promised to “refound” the nation and fight poverty and corruption, two of the most acute problems facing Hondurans.
“The economic catastrophe I receive is unparalleled. Poverty increased to 74% to make us the poorest country in Latin America. This figure by itself explains the caravan of thousands of people of all ages who flee to the north, Mexico and we are united looking for a way to survive“, he assured in his inaugural speech.
Accompanied by her husband, the former president Manuel Zeleya, who was removed from power through a coup 12 years ago, Castro was greeted by a mass of supporters who shouted “yes it could” as she entered the facilities of the National Stadium of Honduras.
The event was also attended by 57 diplomatic delegations, among them, King Felipe VI and the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris. In this way, it is evident the legitimacy that surrounds Castro in a region that in recent years has turned towards authoritarianism, the case of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua being the most representative.
The new president promised in her inaugural speech to defend the rights of women, indigenous people and people of African descent. He declared an energy subsidy so that the most impoverished sectors of the country do not pay electricity, and with the wealthiest they have higher tariffs. He promised a “democratic socialist” mandate.
For Hondurans, Castro means a turning point after 12 years of a coup that plunged the country into a serious crisis for its democracy. The ruler prevailed in the midst of polarized elections, in which her opponents branded her an “abortionist” for being on the left. However, its management will not be easy. Before coming to power, he faced his first crisis, dealing with a divided Congress that, until now, has two Boards of Directors. On one side is Jorge Cálix, a dissident from the Libre party, and on the other Luis Redonda, the man appointed by the president and the electoral alliance she represents. Only Redondo attended the investiture, which revealed the support for this wing of Congress.
Despite the fact that the Presidency is in negotiations with Cálix, there is still no white smoke. Castro offered him the coordination of his cabinet, in a fact that was considered as another attempt to reconcile the situation that could affect his mandate. Castro would have no chance of governing with a divided Congress. The situation, according to Honduran specialists, must be resolved in the short term so that the government plan proposed by the president begins to run. The one that has generated the most expectations is the installation of a National and International Commission for the frontal fight against corruption and impunity in Honduras (CICIH), which could count on the support of the United Nations.