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Paraguay: Obama's Second Latin American Coup

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | other press author Tuesday June 26, 2012 12:49author by pat c Report this post to the editors

Yes, brought to you courtesy of Obama. Paraguays democratically elected President was deposed in a parliamentary coup. Shamus Cooke explains how the Obama Administration are responsible. Full text at link.

It's obvious that the President's real crimes are that he chose to ally himself more closely with Paraguay's left, which in reality means the working and poor masses of the country, who, like other Latin American countries, choose socialism as their form of political expression.
 President Lugo at the World Economic Forum back in 2010 -src Wikimedia
President Lugo at the World Economic Forum back in 2010 -src Wikimedia

“We understand that Paraguay’s Senate has voted to impeach President Lugo,” said Darla Jordan, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs...“We urge all Paraguayans to act peacefully, with calm and responsibility, in the spirit of Paraguay’s democratic principles.”

Obama might as well have said: "We support the right-wing coup against the elected president of Paraguay.” Watching a crime against democracy happen - even if it is "watched closely" - and failing to denounce it makes one complicit in the act. The State Department's carefully crafted words are meant to give implicit support to the new illegal regime in Paraguay.

Obama acted as he did because Lugo turned left, away from corporate interests, towards Paraguay's poor. Lugo had also more closely aligned himself with regional governments which had worked towards economic independence from the United States. Most importantly perhaps is that, in 2009, President Lugo forbid the building of a planned U.S. military base in Paraguay.

Related Link: http://www.countercurrents.org/cooke240612.htm
author by Tpublication date Wed Jun 27, 2012 00:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is more coverage of the coup over on the wsws.org website and they give a good background to the coup and its political context and to the man himself. For example it says:

Latin American governments have denounced the lighting-fast impeachment of Paraguay’s president Fernando Lugo as a parliamentary coup and attack on constitutional government on the continent. .... Lugo was indicted by the lower house of the Paraguayan parliament and tried by the upper house, the Senate, in a farcical set of proceedings that lasted barely 30 hours. The lower house voted unanimously in favor of the charges, while late on Friday, June 22, the Senate found the president guilty by a vote of 39 to four, significantly exceeding the two-thirds majority needed under the Paraguayan constitution to oust a sitting president. Lugo joined a small demonstration in the early hours of Sunday morning outside a public television station to denounce his impeachment as a “coup against the citizenry and democracy.” In the immediate aftermath of the impeachment vote, thousands of peasants blockaded highways and demonstrators confronted riot police using rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon in Asuncion’s Plaza de Armas. The president, himself, however, offered no resistance to his removal from office, nor did he appeal for any popular resistance. ....
And a bit further on Lugo's real crime is identfied -as usual it is helping the poor. That people should recognize is one of the most serious crimes possible.
The principal charge brought against Lugo was a “weak performance” in relation to a forced eviction on June 15 of landless peasants who had occupied land owned by Blas Riquelme, a wealthy businessman and landowner, who was also a leading figure in the country’s right-wing Colorado Party, which before Lugo’s election had ruled the country for six decades.
and in the report they also point out the worrying trend as the US continues to reassert itself over Central and South America.
There are many similarities between the ouster of Lugo in Paraguay and the coup carried out just three years ago in Honduras against President Manuel Zelaya, with Washington’s backing. In both countries, the overthrow was accomplished through parliamentary maneuvers directed by right-wing politicians who the two presidents had previously embraced as allies. Moreover, in both countries, the removal of the sitting president was accomplished with the backing of military commands with deep ties to the Pentagon. In Paraguay, these date back to the Stroessner dictatorship, which through decades of murders, torture and repression, kept the backing of five US administrations on the strength of the dictator’s vigorously avowed anti-communism. More recently, the Obama administration more than doubled US aid to the country’s security forces last year, from $3.9 million to $8.2 million, under the banner of the “war on drugs”. The leading figure in the impeachment drive against Lugo was the Colorado Party senator and declared presidential candidate Horacio Cartes. A confidential State Department cable published by WikiLeaks identified Cartes and his Banco Amambay as being responsible for “80 percent of money laundering in Paraguay” on behalf of the drug traffickers.

Related Link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jun2012/lugo-j25.shtml
 
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