Honduras inaugurates first female president, Harris vows closer U.S. ties By Reuters

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© Reuters. New Honduran President Xiomara Castro gets the presidential sash from her granddaughter, Irene Melara, and the President of the Congress Luis Redondo, throughout a swearing-in event in Tegucigalpa, Honduras January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

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By Trevor Hunnicutt and Gustavo Palencia TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) -Xiomara Castro was sworn in as Honduras first female president on Thursday in front of a cheering crowd consisting of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who promised U.S. government assistance to stem migration and battle corruption. Castros inauguration ends the eight-year rule of Juan Orlando Hernandez, a one-time U.S. ally who has actually been accused in U.S. courts https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-honduras/honduran-president-target-of-u-s-investigation-court-filings-show-idUSKBN2A8291 of corruption and links to drug traffickers. Even as Hernandez left office a U.S. congresswoman required him to be arraigned, and for demands to be made for his extradition. Castro, flanked by her hubby, former President Manuel Zelaya, was sworn in at a packed soccer stadium where fans praised her swears to fix the countrys enormous financial obligation concern. “The economic catastrophe that Im inheriting is unparalleled in the history of our nation,” a somber Castro stated in her inaugural address. Her federal government also faces tests over a greatly divided Congress, and relations with China due to Honduras maintaining diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Harris, who was loudly praised when presented throughout the inauguration, congratulated Castro over her “democratic election.” In a meeting quickly after the ceremony, Harris assured to work together on migration issues, economic development and fighting impunity, and stated she invited Castros strategies to request United Nations assist to develop an anti-corruption commission. Harris has actually been charged with addressing the “root causes” of migration in Central Americas impoverished Northern Triangle of nations, however her trip comes as U.S. President Joe Bidens popularity at home has subsided and his migration method https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-children-insight-idCAKBN2C21FH has stalled https://www.reuters.com/world/us/bidens-immigration-goals-fade-after-setbacks-us-mexico-border-2022-01-20. “We do extremely much mean and want to do what we can to support this new president,” said one administration official. Castro tweeted that she valued Harris go to and the Biden administrations determination to support the Honduran federal government. Harris likewise promised to send Honduras a number of hundred thousand more COVID-19 vaccine dosages in addition to 500,000 syringes and $1.3 million for health and academic facilities. The two did not talk about China, she told reporters. U.S. officials want to work with Castro both to suppress unlawful migration from Central America and support worldwide support for Taiwan as part of its efforts to stem Chinas influence. Honduras is one of the few nations maintaining diplomatic ties with Taipei rather of Beijing, and Castro throughout her project backtracked on comments that she might switch allegiance to China as president. Taiwanese Vice President William Lai participated in the inauguration in a quote https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/taiwan-vice-president-leaves-shore-up-shaky-alliance-with-honduras-2022-01-25 to bolster ties with Castros federal government. Harris stated the 2 spoke https://www.reuters.com/world/us-taiwanese-vice-presidents-speak-rare-encounter-honduras-2022-01-28 over their typical interest in Central America. Luis Leon, director of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy in Central America, said Harris arrival was a boost for Castro in the dispute over control of Congress and in dealing with Honduras weak economy. “MAELSTROM OF LOOTING” Castro said it was “virtually impossible” to make current debt payments without a restructuring, after financial obligation jumped sevenfold under her 2 conservative predecessors. The nations total financial obligation stands at about $15.5 billion, or nearly 60% of gross domestic item, a financial issue Castro frequently highlighted ahead of her landslide win in November. “My government will not continue the maelstrom of looting that has actually condemned generations of youths to pay the debt they sustained behind their back,” she added. She promised to immediately provide more than 1 million poor Hondurans complimentary electricity, with larger customers supporting the expense. Castro, who explains herself as a democratic socialist, has actually sworn to tackle corruption, poverty and violence, persistent issues that have actually fueled U.S.-bound migrants. However her legislative program has been jeopardized https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/honduras-next-president-blasts-party-betrayal-congress-2022-01-21 by renegade politicians from her leftist Libre celebration who allied with the opposition National Party to vote for one of its members to head Congress, breaking a pact with an essential electoral ally. Castro also takes office at a time of debate for her predecessor Hernandez, who had served an optimal 2 successive terms as president and had been a longstanding U.S. ally in migration and anti-narcotics operations. U.S. Congresswoman Norma Torres has called for Hernandezs indictment on drug charges, and for U.S. officials to request his extradition. Hernandez may be protected from extradition for up to four years, as he was sworn in https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/hours-out-office-honduras-ex-president-gains-immunity-through-regional-post-2022-01-28 as a member of the Central American parliament shortly after Castros inauguration.
He has actually consistently rejected accusations of corruption and links to drug traffickers. Hernandezs sibling in 2015 was sentenced by a U.S. judge to life in jail plus 30 years for drug trafficking.

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New Honduran President Xiomara Castro gets the presidential sash from her granddaughter, Irene Melara, and the President of the Congress Luis Redondo, during a swearing-in event in Tegucigalpa, Honduras January 27, 2022. By Trevor Hunnicutt and Gustavo Palencia TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) -Xiomara Castro was sworn in as Honduras first lady president on Thursday in front of a cheering crowd consisting of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who pledged U.S. federal government support to stem migration and fight corruption. Castros inauguration ends the eight-year guideline of Juan Orlando Hernandez, a one-time U.S. ally who has been accused in U.S. courts https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-honduras/honduran-president-target-of-u-s-investigation-court-filings-show-idUSKBN2A8291 of corruption and links to drug traffickers. U.S. authorities want to work with Castro both to curb prohibited migration from Central America and coast up worldwide support for Taiwan as part of its efforts to stem Chinas influence. Castro also takes workplace at a time of controversy for her predecessor Hernandez, who had served an optimal two consecutive terms as president and had been a longstanding U.S. ally in migration and anti-narcotics operations.

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