First of all, I start by clarifying that I call it coup because after months of investigation, the Truth Commission report named it so to what was called Honduras case and is the name that will international controversy will lead to Paraguayan people’s two years of suffering.
The similarities are many, in both cases it is a social and ideological dispute between a capitalist conservative streams against socialist ideas. There’s a class whose interests have been dominating power for years; against the threat of reforms that undermine their status. The ignorance of other models and stubbornness to keep poorly copied processes in other contexts.
Differs that, in Paraguayan case, the procedure there is tacit in the impeachment’s figure and that has already been applied on several occasions; the controversy is the haste in which has been implemented. In Honduran case had to be invented twisting law’s arm in a ruse fox’s lawyer that nobody was able to digest under the name of “Automatic termination of duties” and later “Constitutional Succession”. The report of the Truth Commission finally suggested that the impeachment must be implemented in Honduras and after Paraguay crisis surely will have it in a couple of years.
There are also great difference between Lugo’s publicly accepting and his alleged decision to stay in Paraguay. In Honduras case it was taken out of the country in his pajamas and was placed in Costa Rica, of course in the pajama bag were all his credit cards. In both cases, beyond the folkloric, the two publicly expressed an irregularity; an attack on democracy and the world tolerate both. The Honduras social upheaval took a year of riots, which I don’t think could so extreme in Paraguay, the gain in this was for nascent Freedom and Re-foundation party which lead to socialist movement leading to a participation level that remains concerned the two traditional parties, not because they have extreme fear but because their deteriorating political management caused it.
Similarly, the state powers continued in their place, the military on the sidelines in their barracks and the media playing an invaluable role as one who sells peanuts in the stands of the circus. All of them offered at their convenience instead of maintaining neutrality.
And then international diplomacy with the same game, left-leaning countries do not recognize it, the rest is called to silent waiting the skit to happen. It remembers me the Tin-Tin exemplary in America, where it is showed how Nordic context countries view us in the midst of coups and antics.
Definitely international politics requires a more effective upgrade to new inventions “made in Latin America” with rules and role that OEA less bland in patterns clearly identified:
- The new model of coups. This already constitutes a pattern and impeachment seems to be paid for it. Although we had seen auto-coups to other powers, the “constitutional coup” to the executive with legal hold will go on whenever the other two branches agree.
- The new dictatorships model. Nor ignore what the populist phenomenon has been doing with the perpetual reelection issue as Hugo Chavez style that has a minimum distance from a classic military dictatorship. With many social benefits, it is a too dangerous pattern so as to believe there’s a cherry up in this cake. Who’s stopping it?
- International intervention. Even though OEA can not send peacekeepers to bring down a defacto government, the democratic letter lets play with the weak side of these countries focuses on their sad economies, trimming cooperation funds, multilateral credit limitation and closing borders. In the case of Honduras is recognized that the OEA could have prevented the crisis or at least be more aware of what was happening. If the OEA does not update, the risk of intervention is dangerous.
And in our case, if we want the Europeans stop to see us on top tails, we should then stop using them. Tremendous challenge!
Our problem is no longer coups or dictatorships but our weak participation to demand that those who choose to fulfill their campaign promises, giving continuity to the long-term plans and make greater investments in the areas of education, health, housing and social safety. Higher education will make us more careful when choosing and also will give us better ideas to participate so that the law is applied and decrease the corruption vices that currently exist because of us and not politicians.
We should fall into the consciousness that no one will come to move forward, that any solution must come out from ourselves. Of course, that with the contribution of seeing what has worked well to others. There’s nothing wrong to go and see how was done in the Nordic countries, what does – and does not – Spain, United States, what Chile did, what makes Peru, Costa Rica; see other scenarios opens us the vision and gives us greater arguments. Do not making copy/paste and adapt to the context long term policy that are not sent to trash every four years and strengthen citizen participation that is the greatest guarantor of continuity.
Of course, it could be much to ask. But over there we should aim and at the measure of our power must contribute since our spaces; with realism but without losing optimism.
If there is gain of these crises, it is that every day we are more aware of things that perhaps we always knew. Make irreversible damage to bipartisanship; that leaders know they will be watched by us and that every day we look for more participation… even we’ve forced to take them away by impeachment.
One negative point is if really this judgment due to brake the abuse and not the power’s litigation that does not add to the independence flamed. It would be interesting to see a blow to the legislative branch by usurping executive work with a budget for projects’ subsidies, for using the Parliament funds to make political campaign despite the law prevents it. It is also harmful that the most affected after a political crisis is the population because economy deterioration and social stability require years to recover.
In two years, the truth commission report in Paraguay will say:
- That was a coup
- All are guilty
- The amnesty covers all
In conclusion, nothing happened.