In order to move forward, Asunción needs support from its neighbors, above all from Brazil
Isolated for so long, and lacking a political culture on which to force democratic values,
“Talking about democracy in Paraguay is like imagining verdant English meadows amidst the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert” A survey from mid-January gives ex-bishop Fernando Lugo the electoral triumph (43.5%), almost 28 points ahead of ex-soldier Lino Oviedo.
So that the reader can orient him or herself: in 1996, when Wasmosy was president, Lino Oviedo was a general and the army chief. Faced with an order to retreat, he threatened to bomb the Presidential Palace, and so Wasmosy appointed him as Secretary of Defense. But in view of the Parliament and common people’s protests, he revoked the appointment.
The Colorado Party, which has governed for the last 61 years, is represented by Blanca Ovelar, ex-Minister of Education, who directs the Progressive Colorado Movement, and has Carlos María Santacruz as a vice-president running mate. She won a long, internal battle among the Coloradoans, which revealed the division within the party: the ex-vice-president Luis Castiglioni challenged his fellow party member’s triumph, and he claims that he was robbed of the nomination.
This is nothing new. In the
AN UNFORTUNATE HISTORY
But nothing will change after Election Day. It must be said that talking about democracy in
“We are facing a typical case of elite parasites and predators who receive everything from the State (the State is theirs) and give nothing to society in return” Paraguay is the property of the Colorado Party (they have been in power since 1947), the military and the Catholic Church, who all worked together very closely during the General Alfredo Stroessner’s long dictatorship (1954-1989). The dictator consolidated a State of thievery, a predator of public resources, which has not yet been dismantled, and acts as a serious obstruction to the development and modernity of the country.
Democracy goes well with a political culture, and that political culture does not exist in
POORLY MANAGED PUBLIC BUSINESSES, A WEAK CIVIL SOCIETY
The public credit is not directed to those who could increase production and generate wealth for the country, but instead to a tiny elite whose loot is the State. The public businesses are not well managed, and they will not know how to put up a fight against competing businesses in an open market.
And even though in the year 2000 the Senate passed a law that created a professional public service based on the merits of the employees, with a system of professional promotion and periodic evaluations, there is no proof that such an initiative works in Paraguayan public businesses. Likewise, the Judicial Power is corrupted by the paths that connect it to political interests.
The civil society is weak, and cronyism continues to be the country’s political culture. We are facing a typical case of elite parasites and predators who receive everything from the State (the State is theirs) and give nothing to society in return.
THE ELITE, USURPERS OF PUBLIC RESOURCES
In Latin America, democratic legitimacy’s compatibility with satisfactory levels of public rationality is an unresolved problem, and
“It is estimated that, during Nicanor Duarte’s administration, about 600,000 Paraguayans had to abandon the country, due to poverty and a lack of job opportunities” The elite continue to be usurpers of public resources, in a State that is something less than a State: the former Intendancy of Paraguay was always in the hands of a select-few group of citizens, a republic of noteworthy people, exclusive and exclusionary.
THE VOICE OF LUIZ ALBERTO MONIZ BANDEIRA
The products are imported from
“The elections are welcome, even though we cannot hope for much from the new government, unless outside forces act from the Brazilian side” Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira writes that if Paraguay is not in a better situation following the completion of the construction of Itaipú, the cause is the weakness in its productive structure, lacking in a working class culture and penetrated by infractions. And outside of
It is estimated that, during Nicanor Duarte’s administration, about 600,000 Paraguayans had to abandon the country, due to poverty and a lack of job opportunities.
’S DECISIVE INFLUENCE BRAZIL
A bishop that renounces his position to be a candidate, and a candidate that pushes her feminist image, constitute attractive novelties for journalism, but could be mere anecdotes.
Isolated for so long (first by Dr. Francia, then by Dr. López, and later almost wiped out by the War of the Triple Alliance (1865-1870) Paraguay needs help and support from its neighbors to move forward, and above all from Brazil, a country which is an obvious reference point for Paraguayans.
In short: the elections are welcome, even though we cannot hope for much from the new government, unless outside forces act from the Brazilian side.