Tegucigalpa, Honduras, December 1, 2021 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela celebrated the victory of Xiomara Castro in Honduras’ general election Sunday that saw the leftist Libre Party secure an overwhelming victory and bring an end to 12 years of National Party rule.
“It is a historic triumph that honors the life and sacrifice of the heroes and martyrs who raised their voices, especially since the disastrous 2009 coup against former President Manuel Zelaya, in the face of an exclusive and neoliberal system that never responded to the most basic need of its population, and that permanently attacked their human and political rights,” read the statement issued in the name of President Nicolás Maduro.
In contrast to other leaders in the region, Castro never made any effort to hide her admiration for Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution and thanked Maduro for his words. Castro is married to former President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in a military coup in 2009 in part due to the ties he developed between Honduras and Venezuela as well as progressive government policies.
Gerardo Torres, international relations secretary for the Libre party, told the BBC that Castro’s government would no longer recognize Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela as outgoing conservative President Juan Orlando Hernández had done.
The triumph of the Libre Party marks yet another victory for the left in the hemisphere after wins by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela in the country’s regional elections and the re-election of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.
Castro, who will be the Central American country’s first woman president, defeated her nearest rival, the National Party’s Nasry Asfura by nearly 20 points, delivering what Venezuela called a “historic mandate.”
According to official figures, Castro had secured 53.4% support, and Asfura 34.1%, with 52% of the votes tallied.
Asfura publicly accepted his defeat on Tuesday night after meeting with her leftist rival, calming fears that the National Party would not accept the results and prompt a social crisis in the country. The country’s previous election ended in widespread protests and brutal repression by the Hernández regime after Hondurans took to the streets to reject a result that was widely viewed as fraudulent.
International observers said they had witnessed several irregularities on election day and undemocratic behavior by National Party candidates and activists. However, fraud efforts were insufficient to affect the result.
Castro’s huge margin likely also left the National Party with no choice but to accept the result. The conservative party had claimed victory on election day, hours before polls had closed in a violation of local electoral law, claiming that their internal figures showed Afura winning.
After first making a tepid statement, the United States eventually congratulated Castro on her win. The US’ recognition of the result was seen as crucial after Washington’s support for Hernandez in the aftermath of the 2017 fraudulent vote allowed him to maintain his grip on power. US officials likewise played a key role in the 2009 coup’s success.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel likewise welcomed Castro’s triumph, calling it a win for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Edited by Ricardo Vaz in Caracas.