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Americas | International | U.S. | Anti-War
Dark policies of the past
Honduras was effectively an outpost of the United States' worst campaigns during the Cold War. They built a huge air base in Honduras and a training centre there for the Central Americans. The US has always felt it had a perfect right to do anything it wanted to do in Latin America. That was its backyard, and for the sake of better security it had a right to do as it pleased down there! Zelaya was forced out of office and exiled to Costa Rica in a military coup d'etat.
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has been ousted in what he has described as a parliamentary coup. A former priest, Lugo was once called the "Bishop of the Poor" and was known for defending peasant rights. Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile and Uruguay have all condemned Lugo’s ouster, but the question remains whether the Obama administration will recognize the new government. He didn’t show up. But, they ousted him using very legalistic means, in some ways very similar to what happened in Honduras three years ago in 2009 in which the right gathered and used technical legalistic procedures in order to oust the president that they felt was a threat.
Lugo came to power —he was the first President or First presiding over a government not linked to the old Stroessner dictatorship that ruled Paraguay for much of the Cold War and the years after. Much of that land was illegally gotten through the dictatorship, through the dictatorship with Stroessner, and there’s been a movement to reclaim it. The two things to look out for is, one if military aid to Paraguayan army will continue. The U.S. is a supplier of much material and financial support to the security forces in Paraguay, and two, if it will take advantage of the crisis to go forward with a long sought military base in the region, which the Pentagon, Southcom, has wanted for a while. President Barack Obama said that he doesn't want to return to the dark policies of the past. Let us hope so!
Ted Rudow III, MA