Honduran President Xiomara Castro warns of destabilization attempts against her government

President Xiomara Castro alerted the Honduran people that the conservative sectors that perpetrated the coup d’état against former president Manuel Zelaya in 2009 are now trying to destabilize her government

April 26, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Honduran President Xiomara Castro. Photo: Olivia Zúniga Cáceres/Twitter

Honduran President Xiomara Castro, on April 21, warned of a conspiracy against her government by the same conservative sectors that staged a coup d’état against former President Manuel Zelaya in 2009. President Castro alerted the Honduran people that these sectors are now trying to destabilize the current democratically elected government.

“There is a conspiracy that is being formed and this has to be made clear to the Honduran people. Just look at who are the figures that are coming out, the same ones that contributed to a coup d’état in 2009. These same figures, who enjoy impunity, today are once again trying to destabilize a government elected by the people,” President Castro told local media following the event celebrating the 92nd anniversary of the Honduran Air Force (FAH).

“If this were a state governed by the rule of law, you can be sure that those who try or pretend to say certain phrases or try to generate destabilization, would be accused of treason,” added the president.

She also regretted that those who in the past “plundered our country and indebted our people, today dress up as democrats and people with transparency, when they are to blame for what we are now assuming [responsibility for] and solving, the problems of Honduras.”

President Castro’s husband and former progressive president, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted in a US-backed military coup in June 2009. He was forcibly removed from office just 7 months before the end of his 4-year term, after he promoted a referendum on a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution. The country’s military leadership alleged that Zelaya’s real motive behind the referendum was to increase his time in office.

The coup ushered in the conservative and neoliberal government of the National Party. Following the coup, trends of decreasing poverty and extreme poverty were reversed. The country also saw a serious increase in drug-trafficking, organized crime, migration, and unemployment.

President Castro’s resounding victory in the November 2021 elections, which put an end to years of neoliberal rule in the country, brought back hope for a better future for the people of Honduras.

Castro calls for structural reforms for Honduras

During the event honoring the FAH, the head of state emphasized that “the injustice, the deep inequality and the dependence we are subjected to oblige us to reverse it,” and called on “the conservative forces of the country to rectify [their ways], since during one year and three months of my government they have opposed by all means, structural changes and transformations that I have proposed and that I am executing.”

“It is not possible that they continue in an insidious manner, sustaining a failed State with laws that cover up corruption. We must give way to structural reforms that Honduras requires to overcome the social arrears that the great majority of the population suffers today,” she said.

In this regard, she added that “we will not submit our sovereignty to trade or business codes, the integrity of our territory is not for sale and it is not merchandise.”

Zelaya warns conservatives attack Castro due to establishment of relations with China

On April 22, during a government event at the Presidential House, former President and current presidential adviser Zelaya stated that the country’s “conservative forces want to remove President Xiomara Castro from power because she established diplomatic relations with China.”

“They took me out because I strengthened relations with Venezuela and brought oil from Venezuela. They said that Venezuela was a socialist [country] of the 21st century, that they had to take me out because I had gone too far to bring oil that was communist,” said Zelaya.

In this regard, the former president called on the supporters of the ruling left-wing Liberty and Refoundation (Libre) Party to defend the Castro government.