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Full Version: General Alfredo Stroessner Dies at 93
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Y2A
Despite being lesser know then Pinochet or even Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, Alfredo Stroessner ruled Paraguay for 35 years making him the second longest ruling leader of a country in Latin America (second only to Castro). Stroessner's government participated in "Operation Condor" a U.S. backed alliance between military dictatorships in the Southern Cone created with the intention of eliminating political opponents. From what I've read, in John Dinges book The Condor Years, Stroessner was quite active in the repression himself. Some victims of the dictatorship claim that they were at times sent to his Presidential office to be personally interogated.

Stroessner's government was also incompetent in hiding their role in the human rights violations, after Stroessner's fall from power and fleeing to exile in Brazil thousands of documents were found that uncovered the extent of Condor (many in a single building that was formerly used to detain political prisoners which the dictatorship had failed to eradicate). Without that important events such as the Pinochet detainment would have been impossible. It is unfortunate that the liberal media will ignore such an important event, it is making headlines in several major Latin American newspapers.

BBC News
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Ex-Paraguay ruler buried in exile

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Brazil and Paraguay did not send an official representative

Paraguay's former military ruler Alfredo Stroessner has been buried in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia.
About 60 mourners attended the private ceremony, mostly family. Neither the Brazilian nor Paraguayan governments sent an official representative.

The 93-year-old died in Brasilia on Wednesday after contracting pneumonia following an operation for a hernia.

General Stroessner, who led a military coup in 1954, had lived in exile in Brazil since being ousted in 1989.

Paraguay had said earlier it would not pay tribute to him as he was a renegade from justice and was wanted for questioning over alleged rights abuses.

Gen Stroessner's family say they would like to move his body back to Paraguay at some point.

Operation Condor

Gen Stroessner was renowned as a staunch anti-communist, and was an ally of apartheid South Africa and Chile's General Augusto Pinochet.

Hundreds of files discovered after his departure revealed Paraguay's extensive role in the repression of left-wing activists across southern Latin America in what was known as Operation Condor.

Paraguayan judges had, on a number of occasions, requested the extradition of the former leader to question him over human rights abuses.

Many Paraguayans admired Gen Stroessner for the stability he brought. But many others feel their country is still struggling to escape his legacy of authoritarian rule, cronyism and corruption.

He was overthrown by a former politically ally, General Andres Rodriguez, in a coup in February 1989. Gen Stroessner fled to Brazil a few days later.


Clarin
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EL EX DICTADOR PARAGUAYO
Sin pompa y en soledad sepultaron ayer en Brasil a Alfredo Stroessner

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Familiares de Stroessner llevan el féretro en Brasilia.

Eleonora Gosman SAN PABLO CORRESPONSAL
egosman@clarin.com

Ayer a las 16.45, el cuerpo del ex dictador paraguayo Alfredo Stroessner fue sepultado en soledad. También así le tocó vivir los últimos 17 años que pasó en Brasilia, en condiciones de autorreclusión y con la exclusiva compañía de algunos familiares. A la ceremonia del entierro en el cementerio de Brasilia apenas asistieron los parientes y unos poquísimos antiguos amigos, como si se tratara del más común de los mortales.

Si por algo se destacó el cortejo fúnebre es por su pobreza franciscana. Sin la pompa que suele acompañar las exequias de ex jefes de Estado, siete autos siguieron la carroza desde la casa donde fueron velados los restos del ex general paraguayo, quien vivió exiliado en la capital brasileña luego de ser depuesto en 1989, tras 35 años de permanencia en el poder.

El nieto del ex militar, bautizado con el mismo nombre del abuelo pero llamado por los íntimos y sus seguidores políticos como "Goli", ayer abrió el paraguas ante la prensa. Dijo que la decisión de depositar el cadáver en un cementerio brasileño fue tomada por la propia familia. Y no habría guardado relación con el rechazo del gobierno paraguayo de Nicanor Duarte Frutos a rendirle a Stroessner honras de ex presidente. "Esa fue una decisión política del gobierno de Paraguay que más adelante tendrá sus consecuencias".

La figura de Stroessner, que talló en la política paraguaya desde 1948 (primero como comandante militar y luego directamente como presidente), estuvo muy vinculada al régimen dictatorial que gobernó Brasil por 21 años, entre 1964 y 1985. En realidad, Stroessner llegó a la presidencia paraguaya en 1954, bastante antes que se impusiera en la región la onda de golpes de Estado apoyados por Estados Unidos. Y se mantuvo a lo largo de 8 períodos consecutivos en elecciones presuntamente libres —que para hacerse requerían la suspensión de un estado de sitio permanente— que lo convalidaron una y otra vez en el poder.

Analistas consultados por la prensa brasileña recordaron el papel del dictador paraguayo en las negociaciones de la usina de Itaipú, una central hidroeléctrica construida en sociedad con el Estado brasileño. Se ha sugerido que Stroessner fue, durante años, un aliado fiel de los sucesivos presidentes militares que gobernaron Brasil. Se asoció así a la llamada Operación Cóndor, que unificó a gobiernos derechistas de todo el Cono Sur en la persecución de militantes de izquierda y democráticos de la región.

Pero al terminar los años 80, con el fin del período dictatorial en los países sudamericanos y con la caída de sus protectores en Brasil, Argentina y Chile, el longevo poder de Stroessner (35 años) llegó a su fin: perdió el control de las FF.AA. y éstas optaron por entregar el mando a un familiar del ex dictador, el general Andrés Rodríguez. Fue éste el hombre elegido para garantizar la entrada paraguaya en una etapa de aparente estabilidad democrática y dar así al país un sesgo de modernización.

Derribado en mayo del 89, el ex general se refugió rápidamente en Goiás, estado del centro de Brasil, donde está localizado el distrito federal. Después se desplazó a una casa de playa del estado de Paraná y finalmente, en julio estableció su búnker en Brasilia, en calidad de asilado político, que sólo justificaba su extradición en caso de que hubiera una condena por un delito común en el país de origen.
Dragonspirit
It's tragic that in order to fight the necessary battle against Communism, South America needed dictators like this and Pinochet to shore up support. The consequences, and payment for what some believed to be that necessary evil, will be a long time coming in suffering through far left leaders like Hugh Chavez.
Zippo
To bad he never got to pay for his crimes in Paraguay.
necrolyte
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Gen Stroessner was renowned as a staunch anti-communist, and was an ally of apartheid South Africa and Chile's General Augusto Pinochet.


Well, he sure was hanging with a good crowd...

QUOTE(Dragonspirit @ Aug 18 2006, 11:18 PM) [snapback]407756[/snapback]

It's tragic that in order to fight the necessary battle against Communism, South America needed dictators like this and Pinochet to shore up support. The consequences, and payment for what some believed to be that necessary evil, will be a long time coming in suffering through far left leaders like Hugh Chavez.


Necessary evil my ass. Communism isn't fought by installing Bananna Republics, Drug lords, and Fascists. If that's the only way to fight it, its not worth fighting. At best, America was fighting the ghost of Communism. Allende wasn't a communist, but Pinochet WAS a dictator. The Sandistas were more than charitable compared to the organizations and groups that the US supported (and still seem to get a lot of support in the democratic elections.)

By far, the best anti-communist policy in history was the Marshall plan in Europe, not coups on legitimate, democratically elected governments. All that did is discredit the US, and as you pointed out, led to the rise of leaders like Chavez who feed on the resentment from all that. Now Venezuela has a growing military and a virulently anti-American leader, and Europe is basking in the wealth generated by its legitimately, democratically elected governments.
Molimo
QUOTE(Dragonspirit @ Aug 18 2006, 07:18 PM) [snapback]407756[/snapback]

It's tragic that in order to fight the necessary battle against Communism, South America needed dictators like this and Pinochet to shore up support. The consequences, and payment for what some believed to be that necessary evil, will be a long time coming in suffering through far left leaders like Hugh Chavez.


Wait, so south american countries "need" Pinochet but "suffer through" Chavez? I'm not a fan of Chavez but he doesn't seem worse than Pinochet.

Edit: I'd hoped I'd never say this, but necro makes a pretty good point about the Marshall plan.
Ralph Wiggum
QUOTE(Molimo @ Aug 21 2006, 02:01 AM) [snapback]408045[/snapback]

Edit: I'd hoped I'd never say this, but necro makes a pretty good point about the Marshall plan.

At least you said it about something worth saying it about.
gnuneo
and presumably "leeft wing activists" refer to the same kind of people as they did in the CIA-backed slaughter in indonesia - ie teachers, trade unionists, activists, democrats, civil rights workers - in fact just about *everyone* who creates a decent civil society.

the appaling thing is how many westerners accept at face value the trumpeted claims of "spreading democracy" whilst managing to turn a completely blind eye to the simple fact that in virtually every case since 1950 the US has deliberately *destroyed* any countries movement towards actual democracy.
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