Steven Gaal Posted November 8, 2012 Author Share Posted November 8, 2012 (edited) LEFTY OBAMA ? Paraguay: CIA behind the CoupJuly 4, 2012 by AnonAF THERE is such confidence between Federico Franco, the coup President now installed in Paraguay, and the United States embassy in the country, that Franco was there discussing the overthrow of President Fernando Lugo as early as 2009. This was revealed in a Wikileaks document in which an intelligence official refers to a conversation with Franco, then the Vice Presi . The text, dated May 6, 2009, was composed by a member of the diplomatic mission (read CIA) and was brought to light later by Australian Julian Assange’s group. It notes the disagreement observed between the President and his Vice President and makes the latter’s intentions clear. The secret report indicated that differences between Lugo and Franco were escalating, but that Franco had told the ambassador, on April 28, that he was not involved in any plan to overthrow Lugo. Franco further stated that his position was one of patience, supporting democratic institutions in Paraguay. Federico Franco belongs to the right-wing Liberal Radical Authentic Party, the soft opposition permitted by the dictator Alfredo Stroessner, who subjected Paraguay to a bloody regime for 35 years. The coming to power of this liberal right-wing doctor, alongside the former bishop Fernando Lugo was the result of political machinations which are best understood by the traditional ruling class in this South American country. The friendly relationship which Franco enjoyed with the U.S. embassy in Asunción demonstrates the close ties between imperialist diplomats and the Vice President, who did not hide his contempt for the “priest” whose administration he was part of. Evidently to the yankees’ delight, he discussed and regularly shared his numerous arguments with Lugo, which emerged on almost a daily basis. When Franco assumed the Vice Presidency, the U.S. State Department had already assigned to the embassy a figure with the necessary experience to confront an undesirable situation. The ambassador was James Cason, who had gained notoriety as the head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, the CIA station that passes for a diplomatic mission in the Cuban capital. In Asunción, Cason thought of himself as entertaining, singing folk songs in Guaraní, but did not limit himself to such pastimes. The associate of the Cuban- American mafia took pains to provoke a record number of confrontational incidents with authorities. The current ambassador in Asunción, Liliana Ayalde, arrived to take Franco under her wing and assure his integration into plans being made by Stroessner’s followers who control the nation’s parliamentary system, and have been conspiring against President Lugo. AN ILLUSTRATIVE INCIDENT In March of 2010, Paraguay’s Minister of Defense, retired General Luis Bareiro Spaini was called to appear before the Chamber of Deputies as a result of his “affronts to the U.S. ambassador.” With 41 votes in favor and four against, deputies approved a reprimand of the high ranking official for a letter he had sent to Ayalde, accusing her of intervening in Paraguay’s internal affairs. This happened during a luncheon organized at the embassy with Vice President Federico Franco and a group of visiting U.S. army generals in attendance, when Ayalde proposed a debate at the table about the political situation in Paraguay and the possibility of impeaching President Lugo! The Congressional opposition did not reprimand Franco, but rather General Bareiro Spaini, for “involving himself inappropriately in affairs handled by the Ministry of Foreign Relations,” while Franco’s treasonous position was not even mentioned. The plot was already in the works. LUGO SURROUNDED BY SHARKS The 2010 document revealed that speculation was already underway concerning plans to remove Lugo and the degree to which the Vice President might participate. The text refers to political actors, informants who kept an eye on Franco and reported how an agreement had been reached with the coup plotter General Lino Oviedo to accelerate plans for an impeachment, so that the Vice President could take power, with Oveido eventually elected as Vice President. The report from the U.S. embassy in Asunción, revealed by Wikileaks, makes reference to the interest many politicians had in cutting short Lugo’s administration. The document indicated that rumors persisted that Lino Oviedo, former President Nicanor Duarte Frutos, and/or Vice President Federico Franco, were continuing to seek ways to limit Lugo’s term The message, sent by the embassy to the State Department in Washington, referred to “political sharks” surrounding the President and indicated that U.S. personnel in Paraguay believed that he was under a lot of pressure to resign or face impeachment, a possibility which the composers of the letter considered increasingly likely. Informed daily of all events at the highest levels of government, taking advantage of the complicity of every “shark,” those who longed for the days of Stroessner’s iron fist only needed the U.S. embassy’s espionage services to guide their steps. from Granma ++++++++++++++++++++++++ SEE >> PARAGUAY’S EX-PRESIDENT FERNANDO LUGO: “I QUIT TO PREVENT A BLOODBATH” Paraguay: US makes gains from coup against Lugo Federico Fuentes Whether Paraguay’s infamously right-wing local oligarchy and its parties that seized an opportunity to bring left-leaning President Fernando Lugo down by itself, or whether the push came from the United States government, is yet to be confirmed. The US was involved in the overthrow of many governments in Latin America in 20th century in a bid to sure up its domination of the region. The US also supported a 2009 coup that overthrew elected Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, who had raised the minimum wage paid by US corporations in the textile industry and blocked privatisations. In the past decade, it has also been implicated in failed coup attempts against elected governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. However, whether the key movers were the Paraguayan oligarchs or US forces is a secondary consideration. The US state and US corporations operate through local intermediaries — the Paraguayan oligarchy — and have made no effort to conceal their intentions to use the recent coup to advance their agenda. The coup has provided the US with a golden opportunity to work to reverse its declining influence in the region — and send a clear message to those willing to challenge its interests. Paraguay is nestled between South America’s two largest economies — Argentina and Brazil — and its membership of regional integration bodies such as the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) gives it strategic importance for US interests. By removing Lugo via an illegitimate coup only nine months out from elections, the US and its allies sent a message that, having lost the ability to keep control through formal democratic means, they are willing to use others. The coup also gave the US an opportunity to escalate its military presence in the region. The same day Lugo was impeached by Congress, a delegation of Paraguayan politicians, led by the head of the parliamentary defence committee and opposition member Jose Lopez Chavez, met with US military chiefs to negotiate the establishment of a US military base in the Chaco region. Lopez Chavez said another topic of discussions was restarting US military “humanitarian assistance” programs in Paraguay, which had been halted by Lugo in 2009. The Paraguayan oligarchy has made clear its intentions of allowing the US to turn the country into a base for military operations, with its sights set on Latin America’s radical governments. As Lopez Chavez explained after a meeting in August last year with 21 US generals, the hope was that a US base would help Paraguay “liberate itself from the pressures, the threats from Bolivia, and even more so the threats that are constantly emerging from the Bolivarianism of Hugo Chavez.” In June, US General Douglas M Fraser, head of the US Southern Command, also singled out Venezuela and Bolivia as potential hotspots for “geopolitical turbulence” that could affect US interests in the region. Those that have been campaigning in support of Latin America’s turbulent process of transition face the urgent task of exposing the role of US imperialism, its corporations and its allies in Paraguay’s, and their bid to stop the process of regional integration across Latin America. There is also a need to support the Paraguayan resistance to the coup and redoubling our solidarity with the anti-imperialist Bolivarian Alliance of the People’s of Our America (ALBA) led by Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. Velvet Coup John Cherian Ousted President Fernando Lugo in the capital, Asuncion, on June 12. The recent violence over land disputes triggered his impeachment. The ouster of the Paraguayan President, Fernando Lugo, in a legislative coup in the third week of June came as a surprise. Neither the citizens of the country nor the governments of the region were prepared for such a scenario. President Lugo was all set to demit office next year after the completion of a constitutionally mandated five-year term. During a visit to New Delhi in May this year, he had told this correspondent that he had absolutely no plans of changing the country’s Constitution in order to seek a second term. The event that triggered the present crisis in the landlocked Latin American country was a clash between landless peasants and the police in mid-June. Seventeen people – six police officers and 11 farmers – died in the incident. The country’s legislature, comprising the Lower House and the Senate, was quick to pass resolutions impeaching the President on charges of “malfeasance”, including complicity in the killings over the land dispute. The other charges levelled against him included earlier instances of encouragement of squatters to take over big farms and his alleged failure to act decisively against the Paraguayan People’s Army, a small left-wing guerilla group. The impeachment charges against Lugo presented in the legislature included the statement: “The constant confrontation and struggle of social classes, which as a final result brought about the massacre between compatriots, is an unprecedented development in the annals of history from independence till today.” The impeachment proceedings went ahead despite Lugo describing the loss of lives as “unfortunate”. He had promptly sacked the chief of the police force and the Interior Minister, both of whom were personally close to him. The country’s Supreme Court and also the Superior Court of Electoral Justice ruled that the impeachment did not violate the Constitution. The judgments have ruled out the possibility of the presidency being restored to Lugo. The bloody violence erupted when the police moved in to force 150 peasants out of a 2,000-hectare farm in a remote reserved forest area called Curuguaty near the border with Brazil. The farm was owned by a prominent politician belonging to the right-wing Colorado Party, which had monopolised power for most of the last century. The peasant organisations in the area claimed that the forest land was illegally acquired during the days the country was under a dictatorship. They had demanded that the land be redistributed among needy peasant families who tilled the land. Alfredo Stroessner, who ruled with an iron hand for 35 years, routinely parcelled out land to senior military officials, civilian supporters and foreign corporations. Peasants were forcibly evicted from the land they had occupied for generations. The agrarian situation got further complicated with the introduction of soya farming in the eastern part of the country. The soya farming sector is dominated by big Brazilian companies. This correspondent had asked President Lugo about the criticisms regarding the slow pace of land reforms. He had explained that comprehensive land reforms were impossible as there were too many claimants to the land. Decades of corrupt authoritarian rule had left every single piece of available land with duplicate or triplicate titles of ownership. But from recent events, it is obvious that the landless are getting restive and, in many areas, were taking the law into their own hands and seizing land belonging to the elite. Among Latin American countries, inequality in land distribution is the highest in Paraguay. Two per cent of the population controls over 77 per cent of the land, while small farmers, who constitute 44 per cent of the population, own just 5 per cent of the arable land. Many left-wing groups felt that President Lugo had given in to pressure from the elite, sacrificing his reforms policy and, instead, focussing on attracting transnational investment in the farming sector. The country has been enjoying spectacular growth rates owing to the worldwide demand for soya. Paraguay is the world’s fifth largest soya producer. Lugo, who was known as the “Bishop of the Poor” during his days in the Catholic Church, had come to power with the support of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, representing the wealthy landed elite. The party’s aim in supporting Lugo was to defeat its traditional rivals, the Colorado Party. But on assuming the presidency, Lugo gave many of the top jobs to his left-wing supporters. The honeymoon with the Liberals was short-lived, and Lugo was left without a legislative majority from the outset of his presidency. At the fag end of his term, the legislature has chosen to impeach him. New President Vice-President Frederico Franco, a right-wing politician belonging to the Liberal Party, was promptly elevated to the presidency. Franco constituted a new Cabinet comprising mainly representatives from the two traditional parties – the Colorado and the Liberals. Paraguay was under the authoritarian rule of the Colorado Party for 62 years. The one-party rule ended only in 1989. In one of his first pronouncements after becoming President, Franco said that the removal of Lugo had saved the country from becoming a “pro-Chavez satellite”. The right-wing parties in Paraguay were not happy with Lugo’s decision to support Venezuela’s full membership of the regional grouping Mercosur (Common Southern Market). Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, who was in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, as part of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) delegation, described Lugo’s removal as a “new type of coup”. Venezuela has recalled its Ambassador and suspended oil shipments to Paraguay. “For us, the President of Paraguay is still Fernando Lugo. We do not recognise this new government,” said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Argentina and Ecuador have all pulled out their envoys after the “coup”. Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico are among the countries that have recalled their Ambassadors from Asuncion for consultations. Brazil, which is Paraguay’s most important neighbour, condemned the “summary impeachment”. It has indicated that sanctions could be implemented, but, so far, it has not broken diplomatic relations, unlike most of Paraguay’s other neighbours. Brazil has a big stake in the Paraguayan economy, including the joint ownership of the Itaipu dam located on the border with the two countries. It is one of the biggest hydroelectric projects in the world. President Rafael Correa of Ecuador said that the region “cannot gloss over this legalistic nonsense”. UNASUR has a “democracy clause” in its Constitution. Paraguay could be expelled from the 12-member grouping if it is found guilty of violating this clause. Many leaders of the region are comparing the events in Paraguay to the coup that overthrew Manuel Zelaya in Honduras three years ago. The Barack Obama administration in the United States had supported the military coup in Honduras. Washington has not yet made its position clear on Paraguay, but it has no love lost for the left-wing leaders of the region. The U.S. had more than doubled the military aid to the Paraguayan military last year ostensibly to combat drug trafficking. Horacio Cartes, a leading Senator belonging to the Colorado Party and a frontrunner in the presidential election scheduled to be held next year, led the move to impeach Lugo. WikiLeaks published a confidential U.S. State Department memo which described Cartes as the man responsible for “80 per cent of the money laundering in Paraguay” on behalf of the drug traffickers. The U.S. has strong ties with the Colorado Party. Five successive U.S. administrations had supported Stroessner despite his brutal ways because he was an avowed anti-communist. President Evo Morales of Bolivia said the coup in Paraguay “was gestated by neoliberals in collaboration with local landowners and the empire”, a reference to the U.S. Canada, Germany and Spain have already recognised the new government in Paraguay. UNASUR and the Organisation of American States (OAS) also had special meetings to discuss the situation in Paraguay. The OAS general secretary, Jose Miguel Insulza, has “voiced” the doubts of the international community over whether the events leading to the dismissal of the Paraguayan President had not violated “universal principles of due process and legitimate law”. The ousted President is also not taking things lying down. In the last week of June, Lugo announced that he was rallying his supporters domestically and lobbying for support internationally. He has announced the creation of a parallel Cabinet in order to resist what he termed “a parliamentary coup”. His supporters have formed a “national front for the defence of democracy”. Marches are being held regularly in Asuncion and elsewhere to protest against the impeachment of the President. Paraguay has already been suspended from Mercosur. The regional grouping had expressed the “most energetic condemnation of the rupture of the democratic order – and for not having respected due process”. A Progressive President of Paraguay Was Never in the CIA’s Cards Wayne Madsen The recent «institutional coup» against President Fernando Lugo of Paraguay reflects a long-standing desire by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to prevent any candidate not reflecting the policies of Paraguay’s entrenched oligarchy from ever attaining the presidency of that nation. According to a formerly SECRET CIA Directorate of Intelligence’s Office of African and Latin American Analysis research paper, uncovered from the U.S. National Archives and dated August 1985, the CIA never planned for a non-member of the conservative Colorado Party from ever succeeding long-time Paraguayan dictator General Alfredo Stroessner. The Paraguayan dictator, who ruled Paraguay from 1954 to 1989 with the backing of the CIA and the Pentagon, was one of America’s staunchest Latin American allies. Stroessner, a Colorado Party stalwart, supported the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 and sent Paraguayan military officer to the infamous School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia for training. Stroessner also participated in Operation CONDOR, Henry Kissinger’s brainchild that saw Paraguay, along with six other Latin American nations – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay — coordinate cross-border state terror and assassination operations against leftist officials and labor and student leaders, and even offered to send Paraguayan troops to fight with the United States in South Vietnam. After Stroessner was ousted in a bloody military coup in 1989 over fears he was grooming one of his two sons as his successor. Stroessner was ousted by Colorado Party member General Andres Rodriqguez, who ruled until 1993. Rodriguez was succeeded by a series of Colorado Party politicians – Juan Carlos Wasmosy, Raul Cubas, Luis Gonzalez, and Nicanor Duarte, until Lugo, the Marxist «liberation theology» former Roman Catholic bishop, was elected president in 2008. The leader of the Patriotic Alliance for Change, Lugo was the first non-Colorado Party member to serve as president since 1948. Lugo was ousted in a politicized impeachment process engineered by the Colorado Party and supported by Vice President Federico Franco of the very much misnamed Authentic Radical Liberal Party, which is neither «radical» nor «liberal» but represents Paraguay’s business elite and is a member of Liberal International, which includes other pro-business «liberals» such as British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats, in coalition with Tory Prime Minister David Cameron, and German Free Democratic Party of Guido Westerwelle, who serves in right-wing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet as foreign minister The CIA research paper, titled «Paraguay: Potential Successors to Stoessner,»states that in 1985, «the 72-year-old President Alfred [sic] Stroessner is not expected to leave office anytime soon». In fact, Stroessner was ousted in a coup some three and a half years after the CIA’s faulty prognostication. However, the CIA did anticipate that Stroessner’s eventual successors would only come from the ranks of the corrupt Colorado Party. The CIA document states «leading contenders, in our judgment, include Supreme Court Chief Justice and traditionalist Colorado politician Luis Argana; veteran traditionalist Colorado leaders Edgar Insfran and Juan Manuel Frutos; the Defense Minister, Maj. Gen. Gaspar Martinez; and a respected senior military officer, Gen. Gerardo Johannsen». The CIA gave all these Colorado politicians a clean bill of health by stating, «any of these men would be likely to maintain Paraguay’s pro-West foreign policy». In the CIA’s world, any leader, no matter how blood thirsty and dictatorial, was fine as long as they remained pro-Western. It is the same construct that was used by the Obama administration to drive from power Manuel Zelaya of Honduras and Lugo and be replaced by more pro-Western leaders. And the same «institutional coup» template is being used to stage a constitutional crisis in El Salvador between the ARENA right-wing opposition-dominated Supreme Court and the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) party of President Mauricio Funes. And the CIA’s document predicted to ascension to power post-Stroessner of General Rodriguez, who ousted Stroessner in 1989. The document states: «A likely key power broker during a transition would be Maj. Gen. Andres Rodriguez, an Army corps commander whose power is second only to Stroessner’s». That sentence is followed by a redaction, sometimes an indicator that a named individual has an intelligence asset relationship with the CIA. The paragraph continues, «Because of his notoriety, we believe he [Rodriguez] would operate behind the scenes in a transition, rather than seek the presidency». The document iterates that if Rodriguez were to assume power in a political vacuum situation it «might lead Rodriguez to seize power and impose a tough authoritarian government» and that «relations between such a regime and the United States would probably be subject to strains over human rights and drug trafficking». In fact, after Rodriguez seized power in 1989 from Stroessner in a textbook Latin American coup, bereft of a succession struggle, Washington maintained good relations with Paraguay. The CIA clearly favored Chief Justice Argana as an eventual successor to Stroessner based solely on «his ability to avoid antagonizing military leaders as he has risen in the [Colorado] party ranks». The CIA analysts pointed out that Argana, according to U.S. embassy officials in Asuncion, the Paraguayan capital, was not considered «honest,» pointing to his past links with General Rodriguez. The CIA also appeared to favor the chief of the powerful Rural Welfare Institute [the former Land Reform Agency], Senator Juan Manuel Frutos, the son of a former president. He was described as «tenaciously anti-Communist,» a pre-requisite for American support. It was the controversial issue of land reform and providing arable land to Paraguay’s poor campesinos that sparked the institutional coup against Lugo. Paraguay’s wealthy landowners, most Colorado Party supporters, are averse to any kind of land reform that would see the nation’s landless peasants provided with useful acreage for growing crops and thus competing with the monopolistic landowners. The CIA sounded a discordant note on Defense Minister Gaspar Martinez, reporting that the U.S. embassy had reported in 1983 that Martinez had «amassed large sums of money». The remainder of the paragraph on Martinez’s money is redacted. However, a clue to what was redacted may be found in a letter, dated March 5, 1985, from the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, Charles Rangel of New York, to CIA director William J. Casey. The letter states: «The Washington Post of February 27, 1985, reports that your agency has provided Senators Alphonse M. D’Amato and Arlen Specter with a report alleging the involvement of the notorious Nazi war criminal, Josef Mengele, in the narcotics traffic in Paraguay around 1970. Would you kindly provide this Committee with that report?» The CIA paid little heed to the Paraguayan opposition parties, including the Liberal Party and the Radical Liberal Party, authorized «opposition» parties with little organization, manpower, or finances. The illegal National Accord of four opposition parties – the Christian Democrats, Authentic Radical Liberals, the Popular Colorado Movement, and the Revolutionary Febrerista Party – were also seen as weak and suffering from years in exile, mainly in Argentina. In hindsight, weakness by the exiled opposition, including current President Franco’s Authentic Radical Liberals, made them ripe for co-option by agencies like the CIA. A 1983 Spanish-language broadcast by Radio Moscow, translated into English by the CIA’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service, appears to provide more realistic intelligence about the situation in Paraguay than can be found in the CIA’s own intelligence report on the country. The Radio Moscow report was on the following issue: Director of Paraguayan Communist Party’s bulletin Adelante, on torture carried out by Stroessner regime. Says that CIA agents are training Paraguayan police personnel on various methods of torture». Considering today’s penchant of the United States for torture, it can also be assumed that the clock will soon be set back in Paraguay to the CIA’s «good old days. Edited November 8, 2012 by Steven Gaal Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Please sign in to comment
You will be able to leave a comment after signing in
Sign In Now