The most important figure of the Honduran left will assume power amid an institutional crisis marked by the existence of two parliaments.
On Jan. 27, Xiomara Castro will become the first female president of Honduras, a Central American country that reestablished democracy in 1981 after decades of military governments which were in charge of implementing the U.S. anti-insurgency agenda.
Since the 2009 coup d'état against her husband, President Manuel Zelaya, she has become the most prominent figure on the Honduran left, which has triggered resistance from traditional political and economic elites. As an expression of this, Castro will assume power amid an institutional crisis marked by the existence of two parliaments: One of them is led by Luis Redondo and the other one by Jorge Calix, a right-wing politician.
This happens because a group of lawmakers, among whom were members of the Freedom and Refoundation Party (LIBRE) that sponsored Castro's presidential candidacy, decided on Jan. 23 to elect their own parliamentary leadership at a meeting held outside Congress headquarters in a small city 32 kilometers from Tegucigalpa.
"The implication was clear: despite the resounding victory for Xiomara Castro and her party LIBRE in the November general elections, the new faction was preparing to sabotage her presidency and derail her campaign to end narco-corruption in Honduras," outlet Progressive International commented.
Despite this political environment, Hondurans hope that the inauguration ceremony and other official acts will go smoothly today. Outgoing President John Orlando Hernandez will hand over command to Castro in a ceremony at Tegucigalpa's National Stadium that will start at 9:00 local time.
Representing the United States will be officials such as Vice President Kamala Harris, Samantha Power, director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Jose Fernandez, undersecretary of Economic Growth, Energy and Environment; Brian Nichols, assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs; Colleen Hoey, the US chargé d'affaires, and Raul Ruiz, a Democratic congressman from California.
Among the guests are also the Vice President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez, the King of Spain Felipe VI, Panama's President Laurentino Cortizo, Costa Rica's President Carlos Alvarado, Chile's President-elect Gabriel Boric, Belize Prime Minister Johnny Briceño, and Aruba Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes.
Former leftist presidents such as Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Fernando Lugo (Paraguay) confirmed their participation in the official acts. On the list of foreign ministers are Marcelo Ebrard (Mexico), Felix Plasencia (Venezuela), Denis Moncada (Nicaragua). As part of the Peruvian delegation, lawmaker Margot Palacios Huaman participates on behalf of Parliament and Anahi Duran on behalf of President Pedro Castillo.