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Honduras' new gov't finds nation 'bankrupt'

Honduras' new gov't finds nation 'bankrupt'

Honduras' new administration began its term Thursday saying the nation is bankrupt and will likely need international financial assistance to recover from months of diplomatic isolation over its June coup.
The first day of the new government also was marked by early morning police raids that resulted in 41 people being detained and several weapons seized in the capital.
Newly inaugurated President Porfirio Lobo swore in his Cabinet, including Finance Minister William Chong, who said the administration of interim president Roberto Micheletti left office with only about $50 million in government coffers.
Chong said the already impoverished country was bankrupt following months of isolation and cutoffs of international aid prompted by the coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya in a political fight over changing the constitution. Zelaya gave up his refuge in the Brazilian Embassy and left Honduras on Wednesday, the final day of the term he was elected to.
Chong said the Lobo administration will have to approach international lending agencies like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund for loans.
In Tegucigalpa, the capital, police carried out 23 searches that led to the detentions and the capture of weapons that included a grenade launcher. Police Commissioner Leonel Sauceda did not specify what other kinds of weapons were seized or what charges those detained might face. It was not clear if those detained were Zelaya's supporters.
Lobo, who won the November presidential election that had been scheduled before Zelaya was toppled, spent the early part of the day talking with foreign diplomats who attended his inauguration Wednesday.
Arturo Valenzuela, the assistant U.S. secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, said it was important for Honduras to create a truth commission to investigate the events that led to the coup.
Speaking in a teleconference from Washington, Valenzuela said Lobo "has put together a broad Cabinet, including even candidates who ran against him. What is pending is the last step, which is the truth commission."
Some measure of normality returned, at least in the several blocks around the Brazilian Embassy, where Zelaya holed up after sneaking back into the country in September.
Once cordoned off by soldiers, the upscale area was opened to traffic again Thursday, following Zelaya's departure to the Dominican Republic.


Updated : 2021-05-11 08:30 GMT+08:00