Written by by Jean Negley, CNN
After just two days in office, President Hernan Soto Perez embarked on a 3,000-km road trip around Honduras, making his point: He was the only one “respecting the working class.”
One of the newly inaugurated head of state’s first acts was to cancel an unpopular plan for a free education system.
Another came to an abrupt halt, with overnight street protests that the Supreme Court said were “a coup.”
It’s just the latest chapter in what has come to be known as the “Caribbean Crisis,” a conflict that has devastated the poor, democratic country for nearly a decade.
According to the United Nations, nearly 100,000 people were displaced during the last administration and 200,000 subsequently became refugees. There have been multiple coup attempts, and protesters and journalists have been routinely kidnapped and killed. It was less than 18 months ago that a string of gruesome murders horrified the world.
Despite the bloody history, people from across the country came out to celebrate the new government. Castro Vows New Era for Honduras: “We don’t want new things or new administrations, we don’t want a new country,” said an elderly man.
What’s remarkable about Soto Perez is that even among all the dissenting voices of the country, he’s been welcomed by many, with attendance this weekend running at 35,000 people.
This overwhelmingly positive reception was made possible by the significance of Castro Vows New Era for Honduras: he is the first female president in the country’s history, having tapped very few of the usual political, business and corporate elites to place her in power.
Castro Vows New Era for Honduras: “God knows I’ve been under attack and the people have continued to be content with me, and God is a great agent of peace,” said Castro Vows New Era for Honduras.