Posts Tagged ‘Federico Franco’

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Bolivia to consider nationalizing embattled silver project

Credit in Brazil
Maxing out
A spike in defaults signals a need for caution, not yet panic

Cholera death toll at 158; Cuba scrambles to fight rare cholera outbreak, and the understatement of the week, An outbreak of cholera tests a much-praised health system

Cuba Seeks Closer Ties With Beijing

Remembering the “13 de marzo” Tugboat Massacre, July 13, 1994

Ecuador to make ‘sovereign’ decision on Assange: president

Assange and Ecuador: A toxic mix
Analysis: Why WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Ecuador are so bad for each other

Honduran seizures raise fear of wider conflicts

South American integration
Mercosur RIP?
Mounting protectionism and the rule-breaking admission of Venezuela have fatally undermined a once-promising trade block

After Mexico’s election
Counted out
López Obrador, sore loser

No New Property Waiver for Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega

Paraguay’s presidential coup: the inside story

The Significance of Paraguay
It is still a functioning democracy, which is more than we can say about Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Paraguay counts cost of Lugo’s sacking

Franco’s challenge

Puerto Rico Seeks US Help to Fight Crime, Drugs

To Power Syria, Chávez Sends Diesel

Venezuela’s presidential campaign
Tilting the pitch
The opposition faces some extraordinary obstacles

Virgin Islands governor’s chief of staff resigns after seeking favorable tax breaks

The weeks’s posts:
10 ways Chavez has presented a national security threat

Integration through welfare dependence: SNAP to the Parque Alegría dole

National Drug Intelligence Center closed

Argentina bans buying dollars

Venezuela: Chavez gives China control over oil

Assange comfy…at the Ecuadorian embassy

Paraguay: Lugo will be spending more time with his families

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

As previously posted, Fernando Lugo, the Catholic bishop(*) who’s sired at least a dozen children by several women (at least one of which was underage at the time), has crowned his political career by getting himself impeached.

As Carlos Eire put it, the impeachment is good news from Latin America, for a change.

The Diplomad has more,

Lugo. I have met him on three occasions, once in Paraguay and twice in Washington. How do I put this diplomatically and delicately? He is certifiably insane. He is the stuff of novels and comedy movies. A Catholic bishop gone mad who promotes a weird blend of populism, sixteenth century anti-Protestant dogma, a dash of Marxism, some anti-US rhetoric, and some other odds and ends. He had become a follower of Venezuela’s ailing Hugo Chavez and Ecuador’s increasingly unstable Rafael Correa, and at the OAS and the UN, Paraguay took on the anti-US rhetoric of his ALBA masters. As a priest, he had several children, some of whom he officially acknowledged as his. Paraguayans frequently referred to Lugo as “the father of our country.”

Lugo used his office to promote land seizures and, frankly, violence against landowners by the poor. For him, the law was a flexible, plastic, pliable material which could be bent, pulled, and twisted into whatever form he saw fit. He encouraged violence, and he got it; dead cops and dead poor people. The Paraguayan congress had enough of the violence and wackiness, impeached and convicted him in rapid fire order, and swore in Vice President Federico Franco. President Franco will hold the office until national elections in 2013. The new chief executive has run into a firestorm of criticism from around the region, especially the Chavez controlled ALBA nations, but others as well. Lots of gnashing of teeth and rending over garments over the supposed lack of due process, with some alleging the Congressional action is tantamount to a coup a la Honduras.

Third, I am no Paraguayan constitutional expert, but any process that involves open voting by elected officials, and does not involve firing squads or electrodes to the genitals, is a dramatic improvement over what has happened before in Latin America and Paraguay. To have your process criticized as undemocratic by the likes of Castro and Chavez is no shame.

Fourth, this is an opportunity for the US to begin to undermine ALBA influence and shore up a rocky democratic regime. The worst thing we can is criticize, criticize, criticize, and do what we did in Honduras–i.e., let Venezuela take the lead. The US should act like a democratic superpower and not let ourselves get steamrolled by loud Latin American executives who do not like to see fellow chief executives removed, even by democratic means.

Lugo’s crying coup, while new president Federico Franco explained the impeachment,

The transition took place with little unrest, while the usual Latin American lefties aren’t happy.

Cross-posted in The Green Room. Hat tip: Phineas.

*Note: As a couple of readers correctly point out, Lugo is no longer a bishop,

Born in 1951, Mr Lugo became a priest in 1977, and served as a missionary in Ecuador for five years.

In 1992 he was appointed head of the Divine Word order in Paraguay. He was ordained a bishop in 1994, and then served for 10 years as the bishop of the poor region of San Pedro.

There, his support for landless peasants earned him the reputation of “bishop for the poor”.

He came to national prominence in March 2006 when he helped lead a big opposition rally in the capital, Asuncion.

He resigned from the priesthood in December that year, as the Paraguayan constitution prohibits ministers of any faith from standing as a political candidate.

The Vatican initially refused to accept his resignation, arguing that serving as a priest was a lifetime commitment and instead suspended him from his duties.

However, in July, Pope Benedict XVI granted Mr Lugo an unprecedented waiver to remove his clerical status.

I should have said “former Catholic bishop.”

He still wears custom-made suits with a clerical collar.

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