The current situation in Paraguay, the scene in recent weeks of a coup against the constitutional president Fernando Lugo, is reminiscent of the Paraguayan dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner.
The government of the coup leaders, headed by the rightist Federico Franco, who previously served as vice president, comes at a good pace following in the footsteps of the former dictator.
The repression against leftists and democracy advocates has just begun. Hundreds of workers have been fired for being members of Guasú Front, for being progressive and supporters of President Lugo.
In the Itaipu hydroelectric plant alone, 300 workers were fired, a practice that brings to mind the repressive measures of the Stroessner dictatorship, in power in 1954 through a coup, supported by the United States.
These layoffs for political reasons are repeated in other ministries and government agencies, where former members accumulate the power of the Stroessner dictatorship, together with the Authentic Liberal Party leaders.
Many remember that while the Stroessner dictatorship tried in vain to portray an image of democracy to the world by holding “elections,” which was a farce, violent repression was developed.
He declared a state of permanent siege, which was only suspended a few days before the elections, tortures and massive police persecutions were multiplied and a spy network was organized, which watched and denounced any individual suspect of anti-government activities.
Economically, he never bothered to help the huge number of peasant families in poverty, and the equitable distribution of land was only a dream of many. In Paraguay, 85% of arable land was owned by only 1,500 landowners.
No measures to promote industrial development in the country were carried out during the Stroessner dictatorship. The Paraguayan dictator passed a law establishing more privileged treatment to foreign capital. U.S.companies were the main beneficiaries of the measure and, before long; they began to exert a strong influence on the policies of the dictatorship.
The undemocratic Franco government seems to be repeating history, as the negotiations being carried out by coup leaders with the Canadian firm Rio Tinto Alcan to exploit aluminum in the South American country.
The reality is that stealing from the people of Paraguay began with the delivery of national sovereignty to foreign interests, something that had ended with the arrival to the presidency of Fernando Lugo, who had been given the task of building a new Paraguay. Comments (0)