How agribusiness, landowning and media elite, and the U.S. are paving a way for regional destabilization
July 4, 2012, Buenos Aires
It has been nearly two weeks since the parliament of Paraguay orchestrated an institutional coup that removed President Fernando Lugo from power and installed vice president Fernando Franco in his place, a mere 9 months before the next presidential elections.
Reading articles coming out of South America, I have been trying to wrap my head around not just what happened in Paraguay but what it could mean for the region. And I’m afraid it’s not good. When one connects the dots – many of which require further investigation–it suddenly feels as though the gains that countries in the region have made toward multi-lateral cooperation in order to guarantee economic and political sovereignty and are dangerously vulnerable.
I have always been skeptical of claims by Hugo Chavez or even anti-militarist voices here in the region that believe that the U.S. has not let go of its plans for the region in its fulfillment of “Full Spectrum Dominance”—controlling natural resources indirectly through elite puppet governments and directly through the threat of military force. Between the U.S’ refocus on the Middle East and the rise of left-leaning governments in Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, and Uruguay, the idea of the region falling victim to the kinds of imperial/neoliberal bullying of the 70s, 80s, and 90s seemed both politically overblown and strategically unfeasible.
I am no longer so sure.
Because when looking at the powers at play in Paraguay it becomes clear that the past is not so far behind. They are the powers behind this unbelievably sordid coup, an event that appears to have been merely a step toward fulfilling longstanding agreements made between the Paraguayan oligarchy, multinational agribusiness interests, and the United States. By no means was Lugo an obstacle, but he wasn’t serving their interests quickly enough. Moreover, his willingness toward regional cooperation in bodies such as UNASUR and Mercosur — from which Paraguay has now been expelled— was also endangering the security of these moneyed and military interests.
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Cross Posted from War-Times.org