From The Miami Herald's op-ed page, by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida:
Not long ago, Honduras was a country in crisis and had the dubious distinction of having the highest murder rate per capita in the world. At over 86 homicides per 100,000 citizens, this lawless violence was unsustainable and tearing the country apart.
Adding to Honduras’ instability over the past decade have been a constitutional crisis that led to its president’s ouster, the drumbeat of illicit trafficking, gang extortion of innocent civilians and senseless violence continued.
However, after spending time last week in Honduras, I am encouraged by promising signs that the country's trajectory is on the right path, with violence still too high but down significantly, and the United States having a real partner in the Honduran government and people.
For the United States, our interests in Honduras are clear: to see a safe and prosperous Honduras with a thriving economy based on manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. Ensuring that the U.S. government's Alliance for Prosperity is well funded, and that those funds are properly apportioned to enhance security, incentivize programs that help reduce the levels of corruption, and provide economic opportunities that combat poverty must be a priority for Congress and the administration this year. A special focus on Central America is warranted considering our national interests in this hemisphere.