- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Vice President Kamala Harris will lead a U.S. delegation to Honduras on Thursday to attend the inauguration and hold migration talks with newly elected President Xiomara Castro, a socialist who has become weakened politically even before she takes office.

Ms. Harris will discuss the “root causes” of migration to the southern U.S. border with Ms. Castro, the nation’s first female president, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

She doesn’t want the people of Honduras to feel compelled to leave her country,” the official said of Ms. Castro. “We do want to do what we can to support this new president.”

A similar trip by Ms. Harris to the region last summer was heavily criticized for coming before she had bothered to visit the U.S. border.

This time, Ms. Harris is meeting with a Central American leader whose ability to govern is already in question before she is sworn into office. Last week, Honduran lawmakers in Ms. Castro’s Libre Party broke into a brawl and rebelled against her choice of Luis Redondo for president of the Congress, electing Jorge Calix instead. The move left Ms. Castro without an ally to control the chamber.

“We are aware of and are closely following the situation in Parliament,” the senior Biden administration official said. “We believe that it is up to the Hondurans to find a resolution for the differences that they are encountering there, and for them to do that in a way that is consistent with their constitution.”

U.S. officials are expressing the hope that Ms. Castro will follow through on commitments to reduce corruption in the country, as a way to discourage emigration to the U.S.

Ms. Harris has focused on encouraging major corporations to boost private investments in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, to improve conditions in those countries and curtail migration.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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