Meanwhile, I’ll just smile over how wrong the press initially got him…while savoring this:
President-elect Fernando Lugo, whose historic election ended six decades of one-party rule in Paraguay, on Friday named a former leftist militant to head his Cabinet when he takes office on Aug. 15.
Miguel Lopez Perito, 57, was one of the leaders of Paraguay’s leftist Military Political Organization, which plotted to violently overthrow dictator Gen. Alfredo Stroessner in the mid-1970s.
Many of the militants were captured by Stroessner’s secret police before their plan bore fruit, however, and disappeared during a region-wide clampdown on leftist militants during the 1970s.
Lopez Perito, who is a sociologist, said his militancy during that time was “part of the fight for democracy, social justice and to bring an end to the repression of the peasants, students, workers and the opposition.”
This makes me chuckle. The US thought they could curry favor with another “moderate leftist” who’s not really moderate, but who IS a leftist? Considering how Paraguay suffered at the hands of a US-installed dictator for longer than any other South American country, that’s a fine joke. This choice is a definite “oh yeah?” on the part of Lugo to his would-be wooers.
Memo to Michael Fitzpatrick: One doesn’t have to be “Hugo Chavez’s puppet” (he doesn’t have puppets, dumbass), or even his formal ally (to use a more accurate term), to be working for the same goals, using similar methods. I seem to recall Chavecito appointing a former guerrilla to a rather important cabinet post himself, not so long ago. Both of them did it for their respective countries and their common good.
Chavecito can certainly offer plenty of pointers for Lugo as he settles in, because he won’t have an easy go of it, what with the Colorados still dominating the Paraguayan congress and all. Chavecito was in the same position initially, and is still in the process of cleaning house of old-order bureaucrats.
And I predict these two leaders will find much common ground as they work together in Unosur and Mercosur, too. Who knows, Lugo may just find the ALBA very much to his liking once he’s had a chance to study it and figure out what Paraguay has, and what it needs, in order for a non-monetary fair trade agreement to work out. And even if he doesn’t join the ALBA, he’ll probably still benefit from the anti-IMF Chavecito is setting up to help countries like Paraguay get ahead at last.