Paraguay: Big march to resist coup-makers

In a show of force, about 10,000 supporters of the Frente Guasu attended a rally addressed by the party’s leader, ex-president of Paraguay Fernando Lugo, in the regional city of Coronel Ovideo on October 25.

Lugo was deposed in June in a parliamentary coup. Lugo's removal was organised by right-wing forces opposed to progressive changes that threatening to challenge the interests of the traditional oligarchy and US imperialism.

Lugo's supporters are confident that he could win general elections due in April next year. The candidates for the right-wing in the coming election “will be drug-runners or businessmen”, Lugo told the crowd.

He accused the new president Federico Franco and the members of congress who had overturned his own government of being “coup-makers” . “We are meeting here to remember the four months since the coup d’etat,” he said.

Lugo noted that “it hurts them if we call them golpistas [coup-plotters], but that is their real name. Now they tell us they are going to bring so-called ‘new paths of democracy’ to our country, but why didn’t they let our government finish its term?

“We know the real reason why they ended democracy.”

Lugo added that he was not responsible for a massacre a week before the coup in Curuguaty. The massacre took place in the province of Curuguaty, where eleven peasants and six policemen were killed.

This occurred in the property of the wealthy Riquelme family after landless peasants tried to take back land given to them by the previous government of the dictator Alfredo Stroessner.

The land had been taken off the peasants and given to the Riqelme family by the courts. Lugo’s supporters believe the whole situation was set-up by the coup-plotters to create a crisis for the Lugo government.

Lugo said the excuse used to remove him “at times makes me laugh, for what did I have to do with the massacre of Curuguaty?”

Lugo also condemned the media as “liars” and “accomplices” of the coup. The rally was attended by several ministers of the previous government, and senators supporting Lugo.

Meanwhile, the Franco regime has refused to invite international electoral observers from the Union of the South, which unties the governments of South American nations, to monitor the April elections.

However, it has accepted 90 official observers from the Organisation of American States, which is dominated by the US, who will work together with representatives of the European Union, the October 26 Ultima Hora noted.

About 3500 public servants have been sacked by the new Franco government due to involvement in progressive social organisations, such as Indigenous rights groups and trade unions.

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