Paraguay: In the Threshold of a Coup

Paraguay: In the Threshold of a CoupHavana, July 22.- While the leaders of South countries, gathered at  the Rio+20 UN Conference in Brazil, were calling for a better world of peace and sustainable development, a group of right-wingers in Paraguay put in practice a plan hatched to oust constitutional President Fernando Lugo. The news of a judicial trial against Lugo, promoted by some Paraguayan lawmakers triggered immediate reactions.

The “judicial trial” to overthrow President Fernando Lugo for alleged
“inappropriate management” in his functions was met by the people with a huge demonstration in front of the Paraguayan Congress.

The action also found international rejection, while Lugo in a confidence-sparkling TV appearance firmly stated that he would not resign his position and that he would face the trial with all its consequences.

Those who accuse Lugo hurried to implement their plan in just two days, so the parliament could come up with its verdict Friday afternoon.

The people, packed in front of the parliament, voiced their determination to remain in the place until the accusation against their President is withdrawn as they shouted Lugo is not leaving! The people united will
never be submitted!

Meanwhile, inside the building four senators read the accusations against the President, which included the presence of Paraguay in the South Common Market and the signing with this bloc of integration accords; the
insecurity in the country; the authorization of a political rally in 2009 in a military facility, and actions against landowners, who have been accused of illegal appropriation of lands.

The President is also accused of being responsible for recent events in the region of Curuguaty, where 11 farmers and 6 police officers resulted killed in a clash during eviction operations, according to Prensa Latina
news agency.

Meanwhile, online publication revealed that the senators and deputies accusing Lugo have been involved in inappropriate actions like electoral fraud in the 1992 elections, mismanagement of resources, links
to drug traffickers, abuse and aggression and other wrongdoings that stain their service records.

Surprisingly for many in Paraguay, the Catholic Church in the person of Monsignor Claudio Gimenez asked Fernando Lugo to resign as President of the Republic. Cited by the prelate said “We have thought of asking you to resign so that we can be relieved of this huge tension we are experiencing now.”

And the position of Washington came in very soon in a message sent to AFP news agency. US State Department spokesperson for Latin America, William Ostick said that in tune with the commitment to democracy in the
continent, it is important that democracy—he repeats the word—and the government institutions serve the interest of the Paraguayan people.

He repeats the word democracy indicating between lines that with Lugo apparently there is no democracy in Paraguay; and insists by noting that that  Washington will keep in contact with its “partners” in the region,
with respect to the keeping of democracy and democratic institutions in Paraguay—he repeats the word again.

In an timely response to the unfolding events in the South American nation, the countries with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas condemned the action and said that by removing Lugo from office the actors
are trying to impose an illegitimate regime in Paraguay. The regional bloc called on all democratic countries of the world to back the sovereignty of the South American nation.

Meanwhile, in Venezuela, the Indigenous Parliament strongly rejected the maneuvers of the Paraguayan parliamentarians to remove the constitutionally elected President. “We express our disagreement with this
coup attempt now unfolding in Paraguay,” the president of that group in Venezuela told Prensa Latina news agency.

But, it was Bolivian President Evo Morales one of the first to alert that a coup was taking place  in Paraguay, when the news was learned by the heads of state and government gathered at the Rio+20 Conference.

Morales said the action against Lugo is a strategy designed to overthrow him and thwart the  political process he implemented in favor of the poor and excluded majorities, particularly the landless indigenous people. He
added that the coup is an attempt against other governments of the regions, which are undertaking deep political, economic and social transformations.

In a rapid move, the countries with the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which are attending the UN Conference, sent their foreign ministers to Paraguay, in an effort to find a peaceful solution and avoid
any effects on the country’s democratic system.

The sudden action by the Paraguayan parliamentarians took by surprise many in the continent, though its aims and means are part of the same old story that tells about the overthrow of democratically elected presidents when they dare take steps beyond the limits of the political, social and economic  circle drawn up by the those who consider themselves the rulers of the world. (Radio Cadena Agramonte)