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Election Results In Honduras Show A Shift To The Left In Central America

The opponent Xiomara is emerging as the winner in the elections and the left returns to power after the results in the elections in Honduras.

Xiomara Castro de Zelaya

The former first lady becomes the first female president of the Central American nation. Photo: TW-XiomaraCastroZ

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Resultados en las elecciones en Honduras muestran un giro a la izquierda en Centroamérica

After 12 years since President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a coup, Honduras once again elected a left-wing government. It was precisely Xiomara Castro, Zelaya's wife, who seized the power from the right that had ruled since her husband was deposed. Likewise, the former first lady becomes the first woman president of the Central American nation.

According to the partial results, Castro, candidate for the Freedom and Refoundation Party, had a total of 53.60% of the votes, while Nasry Asfura, the official candidate of the National Party, only added 33.83%. Yani Rosenthal, far behind, had 9.25%.

A left turn in the region
The arrival of Xiomara Castro to the presidency of Honduras marks a notable shift to the left in a region marked by dictatorships and coups supported and financed by the United States.

Costa Rica

Currently, Carlos Andrés Alvarado Quesada, a member of the Citizen Action Party, serves as Costa Rican president. Alvarado Quesada, elected in 2018, follows the line of his predecessor, Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, also a PAC candidate.

Nicaragua

Very little can be said about the socialist dictatorship in the country located in southern Honduras. Recently reelected in a vote denounced by the international community, Daniel Ortega, of the Sandinista movement, stands as the most controversial leader on the Central American left. Accompanied by allegations of political persecution of opponents and of perpetuating himself in power along with his wife, Ortega seems to have established a regime similar to that of Cuba or Venezuela and that it could hardly be different in future elections.

Panama

Laurentino Cortizo Cohen is the current Panamanian president, belonging to the Democratic Revolutionary Party, a center-left movement. The PRD party defines itself as a social democrat and, in a country strongly marked by international trade that passes through its interoceanic canal every day, represents an important socialist influence.

This is the only way to explain how Cortizo, a Panamanian cattle businessman, coming from a privileged socioeconomic stratum, is the main figure of the left in the isthmus.

Belize

Even the figure of Belize, a small nation on the Central American Caribbean coast with a British past, is also today a country with a center-left government. Juan Antonio Briceño, from the United People's Party of Belize, ends up tipping the balance of a political map obviously tilted to the left or center-left. Additionally, accompanied by an important player on the northern border such as Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexican president who marks the evident tint of the area that divides South America from North America.

On the other side of the political spectrum, only Alejandro Giammattei and Nayib Bukele appear. Emphasizing that the Salvadoran president, who today does not have a defined political tint, but is usually a great ally of the United States and one of the main critics of the socialist dictatorships in the region.

Castro's challenges

The arrival of Xiomara Castro marks a clear turn in the claims and aspirations of Hondurans after 12 years of right-wing power, which ended with a poverty rate higher than 70% of the population after the crisis left by COVID- 19, according to data from the EFE agency.

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This vote was a clear vote of rejection of the current Government of Juan Orlando Hernández. The outgoing President Catracho has a fairly long and extensive record of indictments. Just a few months ago, in a New York federal court, Hernández was accused of receiving money from drug trafficking, holding meetings with traffickers in a rice factory, and having the intention of building a cocaine laboratory and being able to send it to the United States, all this, while he aspired to reach the presidency.

Despite the fact that the president repeatedly denies all the accusations, in the boredom that his government has caused, this is the cherry on the cake for his citizens' intentions to change. Additionally, it is possible that the formal charges against Hernández will not take long to be ordered and he must be presented in a North American court, something that Juan Antonio Hernández, JOH's brother, is already facing.

Precisely, the new president will have a panorama full of challenges in a Honduras absorbed in insecurity, the economic crisis, and the institutional crisis, problems that have as a main consequence, a massive wave of migrants who constantly travel to the United States.

Castro must quickly enter into dialogue with the Government of Joe Biden to seek joint strategies to improve the indices in the country, an objective shared by both leaders and thus reduce mass migration by one, and build a robust economy, by other.

And so the president-elect hinted at when she called for a government for dialogue. "a permanent dialogue" with all sectors of the country and the international community to "find the answers that this country needs," explained the former first lady. Likewise, it will have the opportunity to re-implement the Mission to Support Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, after its predecessor dissolved it in 2020, which caused numerous protests from citizens.