View Full Version : Paraguayan president fires military chiefs amid coup rumors

Magda Hassan
11-07-2009, 08:34 AM

Agence France-Presse
November 6, 2009

Paraguayan president fires military chiefs amid coup rumors

-Analysts said Lugo appeared to fear an ouster similar to the one that befell Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was forcibly deported...in June by his country's military.

ASUNCION, Paraguay: Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has replaced his military chiefs after making accusations of a coup plot to overthrow his leftist government, officials said Thursday.

Lugo, a former Catholic bishop who assumed office in August 2008, fired his army, navy and air force commanders on Wednesday, a day after claiming there were "pockets of coup-plotters" in the armed forces.

He named other senior career officers to take their places.
Lugo made no public comment on the sackings, which were announced in a statement by the armed forces.

The military chiefs fired on Wednesday were Army General Oscar Velazquez, Navy Rear Admiral Claudelino Recalde and Air Force General Hugo Aranda.

They were replaced by, respectively, General Bartolome Pineda, Rear Admiral Egberto Orue, and General Dario Davalos.

Paraguay's congress, which is dominated by Lugo's opponents, warned the president was overstepping his authority, and threatened to go ahead with an impeachment process started before the sackings.

Analysts said Lugo appeared to fear an ouster similar to the one that befell Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was forcibly deported in his pajamas in June by his country's military.

"The idea of a plot has grown, and the response to those who wanted to push him into an impasse was this. Lugo really does not want to follow in the footsteps of Zelaya," said one analyst, Horacio Galeano, who was education minister in Lugo's government until four months ago.
Politically, Lugo has been accused of styling himself on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in his determination to improve the lot of Paraguay's poor.

Magda Hassan
11-12-2009, 12:29 AM
From a commentator on Narco News Ryan Vaquero:

At the same time, it should be noted that strange developments in Paraguay should have us on coup-watch there. President Fernando Lugo, the last few days, has fired the top commanders and other high-ranking military officers amid rumors of a coup in that country. In addition, I've picked up on a leaked e-mail that has made the rounds in Brazilian media which seems to be an organizational e-mail for participants in the Comando Anticomunista Paraguaio (CAP). Here is a translation of part of the e-mail, which articulates their immediate goals:
"1. To gather money to liberate our friend, Fidel Zabala, 2. To gather money to organize ourselves, like them, but in opposition (like Chile, in the 1970s), 3. To gather money so that we have AR-15s, AK-47s, etc., 4. To follow, capture and physically liquidate all the communists that make attempts against our lives and possessions, 5. To publicly communicate to the government of Mr. Lugo that the party is over, that the days are numbered for his dream with Chavez, Morales, Correa, Castro and others."
The government of Paraguay has recently been talking about the formation of right-wing paramilitaries there which intend to harass the efforts of the left-wing there.