WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement regarding the conclusion of Honduras’ recent presidential election:  

“I congratulate Xiomara Castro de Zelaya for being elected the next president of Honduras, the first woman ever to hold the nation’s highest office. I also commend the Honduran people for their historic level of participation in these elections. These elections promise a return to democracy and a revitalization of Honduran institutions, which have deteriorated since the 2009 military coup that resulted in the democratically elected president at the time — Manuel Zelaya, Mrs. Castro de Zelaya’s husband — being forced out of the country at gunpoint.

“Immediately following Zelaya’s unconstitutional ouster, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus mobilized to denounce the overthrow as a military coup and call for the reinstatement of the elected president. Over the 12 years since, Progressive Caucus leaders have organized and protested against the brutal repression, autocratic governance, violations of human rights, and murders of labor organizers, human rights activists, environmental defenders, journalists, and Afro-Indigenous leaders under Honduras’ post-coup regimes. The Progressive Caucus has also been at the forefront of demanding a change in U.S. policy, including an end to U.S. weapons and training for Honduras’ repressive security forces until real efforts have been made to end impunity and restore the rule of law. 

“Today, we encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d’état succeeded, legitimized the deeply flawed elections in 2009, 2013, and 2017, and pushed policies that have resulted in surges in Honduran insecurity, poverty, mass migration, and organized crime. In light of our shared interest in greater regional stability and prosperity, the election of Xiomara Castro presents an opportunity for a new chapter in U.S.-Honduras relations, one based on mutual respect, support for democracy, and equitable development.”