Xiomara Castro becomes first woman president of Honduras

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Leftist Xiomara Castro was sworn in Thursday as the first woman president of Honduras, vowing to reform the crime- and poverty-stricken nation into a “socialist and democratic state.”

Castro, 62, took the oath at a massive ceremony attended by international dignitaries after an embarrassing week of fighting within her party that challenged her authority.

In her first official address at the Tegucigalpa National Stadium, Castro denounced “the social and economic tragedy confronting Honduras” and promised to make work of improving education, healthcare, security and employment.

She said she was inheriting a “bankrupt” country which she intended to reshape into a “socialist and democratic state.”

Honduras’s public debt is about $17 billion.

The oath was sworn before Judge Karla Romero, flanked by Castro’s choice of Congress president, Luis Redondo, who draped the presidential sash over his new boss before a crowd of about 29,000.

The guests included US Vice President Kamala Harris, King Felipe VI of Spain and Taiwan Vice President William Lai.

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