Coup against democratically elected Paraguayan president

This video from 2008 is called Bishop of the Poor becomes President of Paraguay.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thousands protest against Lugo coup

Sunday 24 June 2012

Deposed Paraguay president Fernando Lugo emerged early today to denounce his removal as a “parliamentary coup” and a “fore-ordained sentence” that was not based on proper evidence.

The Paraguayan Senate voted 39-4 on Friday to dismiss Mr Lugo and Vice-President Federico Franco claimed power soon after.

Crowds of pro-Lugo protesters took to the streets condemning the impeachment trial and expressed support for the president chanting “we will not recognise any other president.” Police in riot gear used horses and water cannons to drive them back.

Mr Lugo said his presidency had been targeted because he tried to help the South American nation’s poor majority.

Asked whether he had any hope of retaking office, Mr Lugo exhorted his followers to remain peaceful but suggested that popular national and international clamour could lead Paraguayan MPs to reverse his impeachment.

“In politics, anything is possible,” he said.

A long line of speakers queued up in the streets to vent their frustration over what they called an institutional coup, urging strikes and protests to demand his return.

In a brief appearance, Mr Franco tried to broadcast a sense of normality after MPs overwhelmingly voted to kick Lugo out of office.

But Latin American leaders called it a de facto coup and said they would seek Paraguay’s expulsion from regional groups.

Argentina President Cristina Kirchner withdrew her ambassador to Paraguay citing “grave institutional events.”

The Cuban government said that it wouldn’t recognise the new government and called Mr Lugo’s removal a “parliamentary coup d’etat executed against the constitutional President Fernando Lugo and the brother people of Paraguay.”

And criticism came not only from the left.

Chile said Mr Lugo’s removal “did not comply with the minimum standards of due process” and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said “legal procedures shouldn’t be used to abuse.”

Mr Lugo had locked horns with a virulent opposition from the beginning of his term in 2008.

Paraguay’s powerful landed elite, accustomed to getting their way during 61 years of Colorado single-party rule, fought his attempts to raise taxes and redistribute farmland to the poor majority.

Trade unionists in Britain today condemned the “coup d’etat” in Paraguay after President Fernando Lugo was impeached last week: here.

6 thoughts on “Coup against democratically elected Paraguayan president

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