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               Monday 27 noveMber 2017

             Honduran president likely to be re-elected in disputed vote

            By FREDDY CUEVAS                                                                                                    Honduras  toward  a  Ven-
            Associated Press                                                                                                    ezuelan-style  crisis  —  al-
            TEGUCIGALPA,     Honduras                                                                                           luding  to  the  fact  Zelaya
            (AP) — Honduran President                                                                                           had  been  backed  by  the
            Juan  Orlando  Hernandez,                                                                                           late  Venezuelan  President
            a  conservative  U.S.  ally,                                                                                        Hugo Chavez.
            appeared  likely  to  win  a                                                                                        “God  our  Lord  is  with  us,
            second  term  on  Sunday                                                                                            and we would not do any-
            despite  opposition  claims                                                                                         thing without his divine pro-
            that his re-election is an un-                                                                                      tection,”  Hernandez  said
            constitutional power grab.                                                                                          in a final campaign video
            Hernandez’s  popularity  is                                                                                         posted  on  his  Facebook
            based  largely  on  a  drop                                                                                         page.
            in  violence  in  the  impov-                                                                                       “We  will  take  a  step  for-
            erished  Central  American                                                                                          ward  to  confront  those
            country,  whose  homicide                                                                                           who seek chaos and those
            rate was once among the                                                                                             who,  allied  with  foreign
            world’s  worst.  Honduras’                                                                                          forces,  try  to  drag  us  to  a
            National  Autonomous  Uni-                                                                                          system  that  has  brought
            versity  says  the  rate  has                                                                                       only  pain  and  suffering  to
            dropped  to  59  homicides                                                                                          other societies,” he added.
            per 100,000 from a dizzying                                                                                         Turnout  appeared  to  be
            high of 91.6 in 2011.                                                                                               heavy  across  the  country
            But  corruption  and  drug                                                                                          on  Sunday,  with  relatively
            trafficking     allegations                                                                                         minor  irregularities  report-
            have  cast  a  shadow  over   Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez poses for photographers after casting his vote dur-  ed. Troops had used mules
            his  government,  and  his   ing the general elections in Lempira, Honduras, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017.                 to  carry  ballot  boxes  to
            re-election  bid  has  fueled                                                          (Honduras’ Presidency via AP)  some remote communities.
            charges  that  his  conser-                                                                                         The  15th  of  17  children,
            vative  National  Party  has   ban on re-election.        no  democracy;  there  is  a  on  crime  since  taking  of-  Hernandez  was  born  in
            trampled  the  country’s     The country’s highest court  dictatorship,”  Zelaya  told  fice four years ago, and his   a  small,  mountain  city  in
            institutions  in  a  bid  to  en-  backed  the  2009  ouster  The  Associated  Press  late  campaign  website  boasts   western  Honduras.  He  at-
            trench itself in power.      of  President  Manuel  Ze-   Saturday.  “The  hypocrisy  of  praise  from  U.S.  Vice   tended  a  military  school,
            Fears of just that sort of con-  laya. But the current court  of  the  Honduran  elite  is  President Mike Pence, who   studied law at the national
            solidation — but by a leftist   is packed with Hernandez’  evident  ...  the  people  will  has lauded Hernandez “for   university  and  says  he  ob-
            rival  allied  with  Venezuela   supporters  and  it  ruled  in  have to decide at the bal-  his leadership in addressing   tained  a  master’s  degree
            —  led  Hernandez’s  party   2015 that the constitutional  lot  box.”  Now  a  leader  of  security  and  governance   in  public  administration
            to back a military coup in   ban  was  inferior  to  a  citi-  the  main  opposition  alli-  challenges.”           from  the  State  University
            2009 against a president it   zen’s right to seek re-elec-  ance, he warned of possi-  The  president  also  has    of  New  York.  He  was  the
            accused of plotting to vio-  tion,  a  decision  that  infuri-  ble irregularities in the vote.  reached  out  to  evangeli-  head  of  Congress  before
            late  Honduras’  seemingly   ated opposition leaders.     Hernandez  has  used  the  cal  Christians  and  warned   winning  the  presidency  in
            iron-clad    constitutional   “Here  in  Honduras  there  is  military to help crack down  that  his  rivals  would  carry   2013 elections. q

            Maduro taps general as head of state oil firm

            CARACAS, Venezuela (AP)  National Guard Major Gen-        handed  more  power  over  dered of the state-run firm  ing many senior managers
            —  President  Nicolas  Mad-  eral  Manuel  Quevedo  will  to  military  officials,  which  as  crude  production  has  of  the  state  oil  company.
            uro  has  tapped  a  high-   be president of PDVSA, re-   includes key cabinet posts.  fallen,  helping  send    the  Officials  in  recent  days
            ranking  member  of  Ven-    placing  Stanford-educat-    Sunday’s        leadership  oil-rich country into a finan-  jailed  six  top  executives  of
            ezuela’s military to lead the  ed  engineer  Eulogio  Del  change  comes  amid  a  cial crisis.This year, Venezu-   the  U.S.-based  subsidiary
            country’s  struggling  state  Pino.Since  taking  office  in  sweeping   anti-corruption  elan officials have arrested  Citgo, five of them holding
            oil company.                 2013,  Maduro  has  steadily  probe  that  Maduro  or-    roughly  60  people,  includ-  dual U.S. citizenship.q
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