Vice President Kamala Harris is making headlines for throwing her support behind a controversial politician who has been accused of having ties to antisemitism.
According to Fox News, the VP traveled to Honduras this week to celebrate the inauguration of the country’s new president, Xiomara Castro, who openly campaign on a socialist platform and who is said to have close ties to individuals who have made antisemitic statements.
Socialism and antisemitism
Castro, an avowed leftist, happens to be married to former Honduran President Mel Zelaya, who was removed from office in a 2009 military coup and is known for being an incredibly wealthy landowner in the otherwise poverty-stricken Central American nation.
Zelaya, who had declared himself an ally of late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and was deposed for attempting to emulate the failed socialist policies of late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, served as the campaign manager for his wife’s bid for the presidency — and socialist policies were a key part of his wife’s platform, Fox notes.
He has also been accused of making antisemitic statements. According to Fox, Zelaya previously asserted that he was subjected to torture via high-frequency radiation by Israeli mercenaries.
Castro’s running mate, new Vice President Salvador Nasralla, has reportedly made similarly offensive remarks, including accusing now-former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández of being bossed around by Israel’s government and asserting that Jews control the global supply of money.
In addition, Nasralla’s wife was previously forced to issue a public apology after proclaiming that “Hitler was a great leader,” as Fox reports.
Of course, none of that will get much play in the mainstream media or from VP Harris, who wasted no time in reaching out to Castro as soon as she was elected last year.
On Dec. 11, the White House issued a “readout” of Harris’ congratulatory phone call to Castro “on her historic victory as Honduras’ first female president.” The pair were said to have discussed several issues of “shared interest” and were “committed to working together and deepening the partnership between the United States and Honduras.”
Fast-forward a month and a half, and according to NBC News, the vice president led a delegation of U.S. officials to the capital of Honduras to attend Castro’s inauguration ceremony Thursday. Once the ceremony concluded, Harris and Castro were set to conduct a bilateral meeting to “discuss economic opportunity, the fight against corruption, and ways to manage migration,” among other things, according to NBC.
(In)action on the border crisis
According to TIME magazine, Harris’ trip to Honduras ties directly to her assignment, given by President Biden last spring, of tackling the “root causes” of northward migration to the U.S.–Mexico border, a longstanding problem that has become markedly worse amid the Biden administration.
The White House is reportedly hopeful that it can now make progress — whatever that might look like — with an ideological leftist holding power in Honduras. It’s a change from recent history, when leaders in the region tended to lean more to the right and were even largely cooperative with former President Donald Trump.