Sunday, June 24, 2012

Parliamentary Coup in Paraguay

ASUNCION, PARAGUAY - Ousted Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo branded the country's new government illegitimate on Sunday and called for a return to democratic rule following his sudden impeachment two days ago, reported Reuters. 

Lugo, a leftist former Roman Catholic bishop, said his removal from office was "a parliamentary coup against the will of the people" and said he would back any peaceful effort to restore democracy in the soy-exporting South American nation.

Congress voted overwhelmingly on Friday to remove Lugo from office on Friday, saying he had failed in his duty to maintain social order following a bloody land eviction.

Paraguayans around the world condemned the parliamentary coup demanding the return to the institutional democracy, stop sending money to the country and asking the US Department of State to freeze any aid to the current fake government.

Under the Paraguayan constitution, the impeached president was replaced by Vice President Federico Franco, a vocal critic of Lugo for much of his presidency.

As South American neighbors stepped up criticism of Lugo's rapid impeachment by an opposition-dominated Congress, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez halted oil shipments to Paraguay on Sunday and withdrew his ambassador from the country.

On Friday, Argentina withdrew its ambassador in protest at what it said was a "coup" against Lugo and Brazil recalled its top diplomat for consultations.

One-day-old president Franco said he would ask his impeached predecessor to help quell the regional tensions, but Lugo refused to help him.

"We support any kind of peaceful effort aimed at restoring institutional order that was interrupted by Parliament," Lugo told reporters, adding that he would not collaborate with a "fake" administration.

"This is a fake government. You can't collaborate with a government that doesn't have legitimacy," he said, adding that he would attend a summit of the regional trade bloc Mercosur later this week.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said on Saturday that Mercosur could take measures against Paraguay. In theory, that could include suspension from the group, which also brings together Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

Lugo's impeachment was sparked by clashes that killed six police and 11 peasant farmers during a recent land eviction. He was one year away from completing his five-year term.

Latin America's more radical left-wing governments have led the protests with Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Nicaragua and Argentina saying they would not recognize the new government and vowing to lobby for sanctions against it.

From Honduras to Paraguay

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, writes Bill Van Auken in the World Socialist Web Site.

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 Alfredo 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.

El origen
Luis Alberto Wagner: Para que sepan, cómo se inició la masacre en Curuguaty. El diputado Oscar Tuma solicitó a la comisión permanente del congreso el desalojo de los campesinos de la propiedad del estado Paraguayo en Curuguaty. En la siguiente página pide que la propiedad PRIVADA Campo Morombí debe ser desalojada. La comisión permanente saca una resolución en ese sentido, instándole al ministro Carlos Filizola a proceder al desalojo. Y al final la consecuencia ustedes ya saben, campesinos y policías muertos, Filizzola destituído y juicio político a Lugo...

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