Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Jan. 26 — A delegation of activists representing organizations from various countries arrived in Tegucigalpa yesterday, at the invitation of the Libre Party, to celebrate with them the inauguration of President-elect Xiomara Castro, who is also a member of the Libre Party.
President Castro’s overwhelming victory follows the rapid deterioration of life for the people of Honduras after the 2009 coup that kidnapped and overthrew the elected government of self-described pro-socialist President Manuel Zelaya. That coup — with technical, logistical and monetary support from the U.S. — was led by two Honduran military officers who had trained at the Pentagon’s notorious “School of the Americas.” The school made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution.
After the coup, fraudulent elections were imposed on the country, seeking to give legitimacy to the coup regime. But the economy and social well-being of Honduras was destroyed by rapid privatizations, environmental destruction and brutal repression and torture targeting any supporters of Zelaya, especially those in the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) which formed after the coup to bring back the legitimate presidency of Zelaya. Women and LGBTQ2S members were also severely targeted and tortured.
In spite of the repression, the courageous people of Honduras continued to grow their resistance. In the presidential election held in November 2021, the popular resistance overwhelmed the vote, with a 53% vs. 34% victory for President Xiomara Castro. And, as our delegation witnessed in arriving at the airport, her win and the movement’s growth go far beyond the elections or electoral battles only.
Some in the international delegation had previously witnessed the brutal repression in 2009 by the military after the coup and had faced dangerous situations, forcing them to flee because of the repression. Now the delegates were met at the airport by escorts from the presidency who whisked us through customs and had us on our way to do interviews, meet with local Libre Party cultural activists and more.
The inauguration on Jan. 27 is sure to also be a qualitative change from the ceremony after the November 2013 election of coup supporter Juan Orlando Hernandez whose government continued the policies of privatization, militarization and added drug corruption. On Jan. 27, 2014, the city saw protests and boycotts, not celebrations.
The mood today can be seen on some walls in Tegucigalpa with graffiti cheering the end of Hernandez as president.
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