Bad luck has been Paraguay’s lot. A country of noble people subjected to insatiable greed from within and without. Brutalized by its neighbors during the Triple Alliance War (1864-1870) and plundered by its own ruling class since, the country has been disgraced by the likes of Federico Franco, functioning as president since a 2012 parliamentary coup.
This petty and insignificant individual – installed as a result of an illegal conspiracy which deposed elected President Fernando Lugo – declared recently during a trip to Spain, “It is a miracle that Mr. Chávez has disappeared from the face of the earth since he did so much damage to my country.” In this unrestrained verbal attack, he went on to allege that Chávez had provided “protection” to members of the Paraguayan Army of the People (EPP) and was responsible for the “kidnappings and death” caused by the guerrilla group.
True to his role as a simple shopkeeper for the empire, drug traffickers and smugglers who have taken possession of the country, Franco invited Spanish businessmen to invest in Paraguay, guaranteeing phenomenal profits that would fill “wheelbarrows.” This must have been why Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy – a man with little else to do apparently – considered it important to post a picture of his meeting with Franco on Twitter.
Putting his paltry moral standards on display, Franco stated at the end of his comments, “I do not regret, nor am I ashamed of the conditions in which I assumed the Presidency.” Of course not! These are attributes characteristic of those with some moral rectitude, which Franco does not possess. Once the parliamentary assault on the Presidency was complete, he did not hesitate to call on the “embassy” in Asuncion for reinforcement of U.S. troops stationed at the Mariscal Estigarribia and Pedro Juan Caballero bases. Franco, an illegitimate and illegal president, is not only a puppet of imperialism, but also follows the orders of Cargill, Monsanto, the Río Tinto aluminum mining company, the local oligarchy and brasiguayo landowners.
The obscure reality of the mysterious Paraguayan Army of the People has come to light recently. It appears to be an invention of the CIA, implementing one of its oldest destabilization strategies directed toward governments which are not to its liking: Create a pseudo-guerrilla group and accuse the enemy country of complicity.
The UN Human Rights Committee demanded on March 29, that the Paraguayan justice system conduct an “immediate, independent and impartial investigation of the deaths of 17 persons during a raid in Curuguaty, on June 15, 2012, as well as related events denounced by victims.” Prominent among the “related events” cited by the Committee is the express destitution of President Fernando Lugo, for which the murderous events in Curuguaty provided the pretext.
The Human Rights Committee also expressed its concerns given “allegations of serious irregularities in the Public Ministry, the judiciary and security forces, in this case,” as well as the lack of impartiality and independence of investigations. For these, and many other reasons, Franco will go down in history alongside his Spanish counterpart, who shouted ‘long live death’ with other fascists and claims that his power is god-given. Franco is a representative of the most primitive and corrupt right wing forces in Latin America, which do not even qualify for the title of oligarchy.
The word “kleptocracy” best describes the nature of this band of gangsters who amassed fortunes bleeding the country under the dictator Alfredo Stroessner, who organized the plunder of public lands, widespread smuggling operations, trafficking in drugs and persons, with the open complicity of successive U.S. and Israeli administrations, leaving the people in ignorance and poverty. Franco is an unscrupulous liar, accusing Chávez of having hurt Paraguay, neglecting to mention that the Venezuelan President had included the country in a program which supplied Paraguay with oil under preferential credit terms and prices, much more favorable than those otherwise available on the world market.
This generosity was maintained even after the coup, in solidarity with the Paraguayan people, until it was finally cancelled after the repeated insults and false accusations of the illegitimate president, like a character in a small-time operetta, made its continuance impossible.
This is the wasted human being who celebrated the death of Chávez as a miracle. But poor Federico Franco! While his inevitable fate is the dustbin of history, forgotten and disparaged by his own people, Chávez has earned his place among the greats of Latin America and the Caribbean and within the hearts of the oppressed throughout the world.