Santa Cruz, Bolivia — At the inauguration on January 27, socialist President Shiomaracastro announced plans to supply one million Honduras families with free power.
Mr. Castro said he intends to raise electricity prices for economically disadvantaged residents in order to fund this measure.
In her speech, the country’s first female president said:
“From this day on, they will no longer pay invoices for energy consumption. House lights will be free … high consumers will subsidize that energy.”
A key factor behind Castro’s claim that “high consumers” will bear the cost of her electricity plans is that the National Power Company will pay more than $ 3 million as a direct result of renewable energy contracts. Because it is in the midst of a financial crisis.
This happened after Castro’s husband, former President Manuel Zelaya, passed a law promoting power generation from renewable resources.
Zeraya Military coupBacked by the National Assembly, in 2009 he proposed a constitutional change that would allow him to run for his next term.
In addition to electricity bills, Castro has promised to work on strict national abortion laws, fuel cost reductions, education, drug trafficking and employment.
In the president’s own words, in a country where 74% of the population lives below the poverty line, they may be responsible for who the “high consumers” are and the proposed electricity subsidies. There is a question as to whether it can be done.
High unemployment and low wages are the main causes of poverty in Honduras.
The country’s population is just over 9 million and the unemployment rate is over 9 million. 10 percent 2020. Nearly 15% of the population lives on less than $ 2 a day.
“This kind of remark about freedom can cause problems,” Paola Martinez, a resident of Tegucigalpa, told the Epoch Times.
Martinez and her family are one of the lucky few in the small middle class of Honduras. She is also not obsessed with the idea of Castro’s free electricity plan.
“People here [in Honduras] Wealthy people are already born into wealthy families and can only do so by owning a lot of land and drugs. Everyone else is working very hard, “she explained.
According to Martinez, the middle class fought hard to get out of the shadow of miserable poverty.
Honduras is the second smallest middle class in Latin America, accounting for only 10.9 percent of the population.
Aside from Castro’s announcement, the concept of subsidies in Honduras is not new.
In October 2020, the administration of former President Hernandez supported the UN initiative “Bono Unico” (unique bonus), pandemics and tropical cyclone etas and hurricanes Iota.
In January last year, Hernandez, in collaboration with local businesses and banks, also launched a program to allow moderately resident residents to buy “social housing” at a low interest rate of 5%.
The main difference between these programs and Castro’s power grants was that civilians were not expected to pay for them.
Despite her ambitious plans, the new president is already facing problems that may hinder her ability to advance her agenda.
A few days before taking office, Castro faced a rebellion of 20 members within the left-wing Libre party and was deprived of majority control in parliament.
The new president said in a speech to the public on January 27 that Honduras had “sunk” for the past 12 years and “bankrupted” to accept the country.
Residents like Martinez, on the other hand, are skeptical of Castro’s energy subsidies program.
“Even if her plan costs $ 1 per family, it’s a million dollars asking the people of Honduras to pay,” she said.