Monday, June 25, 2012
Obama's War on Democracy
by Stephen Lendman
In June 2009, Obama orchestrated Honduran President Manuel Zelaya's ouster. A US supported fascist despot replaced him.
For good reason,
is called the murder capital of the world. Independent journalists are killed. So are protesters for democratic change. Honduras
After its calamitous January 2010 earthquake, Obama militarized
, plundered it freely, opposed Jean-Bertrand Aristide's return, orchestrated the nation's rigged elections, and prohibited the emergence of democracy. Haiti
On September 30, 2010, his attempt to oust
's Rafael Correa failed. Coup plotters shut down airports, blocked highways, burned tires, and roughed up the president. Ecuador
They also took over an airbase, parliament, and
streets. They acted on the pretext of a law restructuring police benefits. Ignored was that Correa doubled their wages. Quito
Obama's fingerprints were all over the scheme to oust a business-friendly leader who fell short of a neoliberal perfection.
If Correa grants Julian Assange amnesty, perhaps his long knives won't fail next time.
In the interim, he added another democrat to his trophy collection. On June 22, he plunged a dagger into Paraguayan democracy. Parliamentary impeachment was his weapon of choice.
A former Roman Catholic Bishop, Fernando Lugo was elected president in August 2008. Noted liberation theologian/philosopher/author Leonardo Boff attended his inauguration.
He said it was "an extremely happy moment." He called
a "true bishop of liberation. We are celebrating the rise to power of one more liberator of Latin American." Lugo
Called both "the Bishop of the Poor" and "the Red Bishop," his election ushered in hope for change. Ordained in 1977, he worked as an indigenous community missionary until 1982.
He spent 10 years studying at the
. He was appointed Vatican 's Divine Word head. In 1994, he became Bishop of the Paraguayan San Pedro Department. Paraguay
Three of his brothers were exiled. Conservative Paraguayan Catholic leaders pressured him to resign because he supported landless family settlements on large latifundio estates.
On Christmas day 2006, he announced his presidential candidacy. Popular support made him a threat to Colorado Party rule. In September 2007, he formed a multi-party opposition coalition. He registered as a Christian Democrat Party (PDC) candidate. He ran as the Patriotic Alliance for Change (APC) nominee.
Winning nearly 41% of the vote, he failed to gain an absolute majority.
's Blanca Ovelar got 31%. He pledged a government "characterized by honesty and not by corruption." Colorado
He called for "unity" and extended "a very special invitation to the entire political class, to all without exception" to participate in his government.
Social inequality is among
Latin America's highest. Powerful interests run the country. One man alone can't change things. Governing as a centrist, he tried, but now he's gone. He called himself a proponent of "socially responsible" capitalism. considers him a closet communist. Washington
He vowed to be a uniter, not a divider. "I will not be a Paraguayan Morales," he said. He promised "a middle path between Chavez and Lula."
From 1947 - 1989, mostly junta power ran
. General Alfredo Stroessner was in charge from August 1954 - February 1989. After falling out of favor with Paraguay , General Andres Rodriguez's coup ousted him. Washington
In May 1993,
Colorado's Juan Carlos Wasmosy became 's first civilian president in four decades. Paraguay 's ouster reestablished hardline neoliberal rule. Right wing parliamentarians assure it. Lugo
After a five-hour trial, 39 senators voted to remove him.
controlled things behind the scenes. Washington
Ahead of proceedings,
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro traveled to with 11 other regional foreign ministers. He denounced them as a "new type of coup." He called it a "truly shameful act..." Asuncion
Their arguments on behalf of
fell on deaf ears. Proceedings were rigged to convict. Orders came from el norte. Lugo
Ahead of his ouster,
's Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) Secretary-General Ali Rodriguez denounced the attempted coup. Venezuela
He said "UNASUR’s greatest concern is the legitimate exercise of democracy, and within that, that there be a guiding principal of the administration of justice and conditions, (that's) absolutely indispensable."
Following the coup, ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance of the
) countries condemned it. Americas attorneys got one day's notice and two hours to defend him. Charges against him were spurious. Lugo
Ahead of them in mid-June, clashes between landless peasants and police left 17 dead.
named a new interior minister and national police chief. Lugo
The confrontations followed weeks of peasants occupying wealthy latifundista land. They called it illegally acquired public land.
The combination was pretext to act. Parliamentary palace coup proceedings followed.
Charges brought included signing a Mercosur Southern common market Protocol for Democracy, allowing a military installation youth meeting, clashes described above, deaths resulting from them, and failure to capture leftist guerillas.
The indictment said evidence supporting charges wasn't necessary.
was guilty by accusation. Ousting him was prearranged. Latin American democracy sustained a body blow. Lugo
ALBA members expressed solidarity. Liberal Party member Federico Franco replaced him. He served as
's vice president. His neoliberal advocacy is business friendly. Recognition wasn't extended. Lugo
He's extrajudicially forming a new government. He promised to respect big money's private property and honor
's foreign commitments. He meant those benefitting elite interests. Paraguay
He asked other regional leaders not to call him a pariah for spurning the rights of impoverished Paraguayans desperate for help to survive.
Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua blamed
and elitist Paraguayans for what happened. He denounced efforts to weaken revolutionary Latin American change, saying: Washington
"The battle of the Paraguayan people is that of the Venezuelans, and we are committed to thwart this new attempt by the oligarchies and imperialism as we did in
in 2002...." Venezuela
He added that regional popular struggles are about "letting imperialism know that our
Latin America is no longer their backyard."
At the same time, ending its last vestiges takes time.
's ouster set things back. Lugo
It's for regional campesinos to regain lost ground. It's crucial they continue struggling against neoliberalism's death grip. It's that or perish. There is no other choice.
Stephen Lendman lives in
and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chicago
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.