Saturday, June 10, 2023

In Paraguay there is still a fight against those nostalgic for Stroessner

In paraguay there is still a fight against those nostalgic for stroessner

By: Roberto Morejon

In Paraguay’s eighth general election since the fall of the Alfredo Stroessner dictatorship in 1989, there is a glimpse, though not certain, that the ubiquitous Colorado Party may give way to an opponent.

In seven and a half decades, the Colorado Party in government, with a suffocating machine, has lost only one election, in 2008, when former bishop Fernando Lugo triumphed and was evicted in a coup.

Paraguayans go to another election on Sunday to choose from 13 candidates, amid many doubtful polls due to their bias with the ruling Colorado Party, when they predict the victory of Santiago Peña, i.e. the continuity of the regime.

But this time the political collective government is more fractured than before due to the differences between outgoing president Mario Abdo Benítez and former president Horacio Cartes, the latter sponsor of Santiago Peña.

Into this unfavorable situation for the Colorados, an acquaintance of Paraguayan politics, the opponent Efraín Alegre, bursts into his third attempt to become Head of State.

Alegre denounced Abdo Benítez’s corruption, clientelism and breach of promises, in a country with a solvent macroeconomy and serious shortcomings in public services.

In Paraguay, where Colorados are credited with benefiting from fraud as Stroessner did, there is still a risk of vote-buying, according to opposition reports.

However, this room for maneuver today seems insufficient in the face of the dilemma created by the United States, traditionally supporting the Colorados, but now facing Horacio Cartes, whom they label as corrupt.

Inevitably, the allegations against Cartes splashed his dolphin Santiago Peña.

On the opposite side is Efraín Alegre, former Minister of Public Works in the Lugo government and president of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, at the head of a centrist coalition called the National Concertation.

Alegre generates enthusiasm by promising a parity government, reviewing relations with Taiwan and rejecting the dirty money of organized crime.

If he wins, he says, there will be changes, a proposition raised by many in Paraguay, especially in the fifth part of the population who, according to the World Bank, suffer from poverty.

Alegre and his aides know that the elites and the divided and unliquidated Colorado Party will seek to enforce continuity.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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