First female president of Honduras

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Xiomara Castro was sworn in as Honduras’ first woman president in front of an encouraging crowd including U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who promised U.S. government backing to stem immigration and fight corruption. Castro’s appointment ends the eight-year rule of Juan Orlando Hernandez, a one-time U.S. partner who has been accused in U.S. courts of corruption and links to drug traffickers. Even as Hernandez left office a U.S. congresswoman called for him to be impeached, and for desires to be made for his deportation. In her address Castro stated, the economic catastrophe that I’m inheriting is unmatched in the history of our country.  Her government also faces tests over a suddenly divided Congress, and relations with China due to Honduras upholding diplomatic ties with Taiwan. In a meeting shortly after the ceremony, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris assured cooperation on immigration issues, financial development, and fighting impunity and said she welcomed Castro’s plans to appeal United Nations assistance to create an anti-corruption commission. Castro tweeted that she respected Harris’ visit and the Biden administration’s inclination to support the Honduran government. Harris also promised to send Honduras several hundred thousand more COVID-19 vaccine doses along with 500,000 syringes and $1.3 million for health and educational facilities. U.S. officials want to work with Castro both to limit illegal immigration from Central America and shore up international sustenance for Taiwan. Taiwanese Vice President William Lai also joined the ceremony in a bid to boost ties with Castro’s government. Many analysts are of the view that Kamala Harris’ arrival was a boost for Castro in the dispute over control of Congress and in addressing Honduras’ fragile economy.

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