'I quit to prevent bloodbath' - ousted Paraguay president

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Fri Jul 13 00:20:29 BST 2012

'I quit to prevent bloodbath' - ousted Paraguay 
president in RT exclusive (11m:27s)
In an exclusive interview with RT Paraguayan 
ex-President Fernando Lugo says he was forced not 
to resist his impeachment by a threat of massive 
violence which may otherwise have been rocked the 
country. Lugo was ousted from power in what 
neighbors called an institutionalized coup.

READ SCRIPT: http://on.rt.com/e13ooo
Subscribe to RT! 
Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com

Covert US Op: The Paraguayan Coup
by Bill Van Auken - Global Research, July 3, 2012 - World Socialist Web Site
The so-called constitutional coup that ousted 
Paraguay’s elected President Fernando Lugo on 
June 22 is another indication of the mounting 
class tensions that are gripping Latin America 
and the world as a whole, making democratic forms 
of rule under capitalism ever more unsustainable.
There is every reason to believe that the hurried 
impeachment of Lugo—forced through both houses of 
the Paraguayan parliament in barely 30 hours 
after he was charged by the two traditional 
parties of the country’s ruling oligarchy—was 
carried out with the indispensable complicity of US imperialism.
A former Catholic cleric and proponent of 
Liberation Theology, Lugo was elected in 2008, 
promising to combat corruption and promote “socially responsible capitalism.”
Without any party of his own, he came into office 
on the back of a coalition that joined a 
combination of left-nationalist groups, peasant 
and indigenous associations with the Liberal 
Party, a right-wing instrument of the Paraguayan 
oligarchy, which had been tolerated as a tame 
opposition under the 35-year dictatorship of 
Alfredo Stroessner. It was Lugo’s vice president, 
Liberal Party leader Fernando Franco, who donned 
the presidential sash after supporting the 
impeachment of his former running mate.
Committed to the defense of private property and 
with all the real levers of power remaining in 
the hands of the Liberals and Stroessner’s 
Colorados, who ruled the country for six decades 
before the 2008 election, Lugo was able to carry 
out little in the way of reforms, while he 
adapted himself continuously to Paraguayan reaction.
Nonetheless, the ruling oligarchy as well as the 
transnational agricultural interests found his 
presidency intolerable, fearing that it was 
generating false expectations among the masses of 
Paraguayan workers and oppressed. In particular 
there was concern that masses of landless 
peasants, receiving nothing in the way of genuine 
agrarian reform from the government, would take 
matters into their own hands. In a country where 
2 percent of the population controls more than 75 
percent of the land, and where much of this land 
was expropriated from its owners and handed out 
to favored Colorado politicians under the 
Stroessner dictatorship, there is ample reason for such fear.
The principal pretext for the impeachment was a 
massacre unleashed by Paraguayan security forces 
as they attempted to evict some 100 peasant 
farmers occupying the land of a wealthy former 
Stroessner-era Colorado politician. Eleven 
peasants and six policemen were killed, while 
scores more were wounded and arrested. The 
right-wing parties in the Paraguayan Congress 
blamed Lugo not for gunning down peasants, but 
for failing to carry out more thorough repression.
The parallels between the June 2012 coup in 
Paraguay and the June 2009 coup that toppled the 
elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, 
should be obvious. In both cases, the political 
representatives of oligarchical ruling classes 
threw out presidents who had postured as “lefts,” 
bitterly opposing even the paltriest reforms as 
intolerable infringements upon their wealth and 
power. And in both cases legal and constitutional 
statutes were twisted to serve wholly antidemocratic ends.
While in Zelaya’s case, troops stormed the 
presidential palace and hustled the pajama-clad 
president onto an aircraft that flew him into 
exile, such methods proved unnecessary in the 
case of Lugo, who meekly and publicly accepted 
his impeachment, only joining protests after the 
fact. In Paraguay as in Honduras, however, the 
real violence will undoubtedly unfold in the 
aftermath of the coup, directed against the 
country’s workers, peasants and students.
The social structures of the two countries also 
share much in common, with Paraguay the second 
poorest country in South America and Honduras the 
second poorest country in Central America and 
with social inequality driven to unprecedented 
levels, in large measure due to the penetration of transnational capital.
And both countries have been the focus of 
attention of the US military and intelligence 
apparatus, which shares intimate connections with 
its local counterparts. Security forces in both 
countries have been trained and advised by the 
Pentagon and would not support the overthrow of 
an existing government without its approval.
In Honduras, Washington has installed its largest 
military base in Latin America. And, in the 
period leading up to Lugo’s removal from office, 
US generals were reportedly involved in 
negotiations for securing a strategic base with 
the same right-wing politicians who organized Lugo’s impeachment.
In August of last year, ABC Color, Paraguay’s 
main right-wing daily, reported that Deputy Jose 
Lopez Chavez, the head of the Commission on 
Defense of the lower house of the Paraguayan 
Congress, reported meeting with a group of US 
generals visiting the country to discuss the 
installation of an American base in Paraguay’s 
thinly populated Chaco region. Lopez Chavez is a 
leader of a dissident faction of the Colorado 
Party headed by former coup leader and retired 
general Lino Oviedo and one of the organizers of the parliamentary coup.
While Lugo had sought to placate Washington and 
allowed US special forces troops into the country 
to train Paraguayan troops in “counter-terrorism” 
tactics and “advanced military operations in 
urban terrain,” he balked at a large-scale 
exercise proposed by the Pentagon for 2010. A 
secret US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks 
reports that embassy officials had sought to 
“vigorously engage” government ministers and 
Paraguayan military commanders to force 
acceptance of the operation, known as “New 
Horizon.” The cable accused Lugo of getting “cold 
feet” and of seeking to curry favor with 
Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez in order to get a better deal on oil imports.
Other secret cables dating back to 2009 released 
by WikiLeaks carry titles such as “Paraguayan 
pols plot parliamentary putsch” and “Lugo 
impeachment rumors are back.” They indicate that 
the US embassy was intimately familiar with—and 
undoubtedly secretly involved in—the conspiracies 
being hatched by the Paraguayan right.
The Paraguayan coup, following the coup in 
Honduras and the expanding US involvement in the 
“drug war” in Mexico and Central America, is 
another indication that with American capitalism 
confronting powerful economic rivals in China and 
Europe, the Obama administration is turning ever 
more openly to counterrevolutionary conspiracies 
and military force in the drive to reassert US hegemony in Latin America.
The events in both Paraguay and Honduras have 
proven once again that working people in Latin 
America cannot defeat imperialist intervention 
and the oppression by native ruling classes 
outside of the independent political mobilization 
of the working class in struggle for socialism. 
In both countries, counterrevolutionary 
operations were facilitated by the political 
subordination of the workers, peasants and 
oppressed to capitalist politicians—Lugo and 
Zelaya—who were in turn under the thumb of right-wing bourgeois parties.
Bill Van Auken is a frequent contributor to 
Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Bill Van Auken
+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic 
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung

Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered 
that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that 
shall not be made known. What I tell you in 
darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye 
hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27

Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
Thy Sons will live in peace, and each will be a friend.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://mailman.gn.apc.org/mailman/private/diggers350/attachments/20120713/e67e4c10/attachment.html>

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list