Paraguay History: From The Military Dictatorship to The Establishment of Democracy

By | October 27, 2021

This conflict also had decisive effects on the internal life of Paraguay. Returning from the front, the soldiers and officers warned that their sacrifices had no counterpart in the conduct of the upper classes: then they organized themselves into revolutionary groups and in 1936, squeezed into the Partido de la Reforma (later renamed Partido Febrerista Revolucionario), they conquered the candies. Colonel Rafael Franco was appointed President of the Republic, introducing an agrarian reform and various laws for social progress. The conservatives, however, reacted harshly. A year after the advent of Franco they carried out a coup and returned to the government. They attempted to restore the old order, however they did not succeed completely and popular resistance forced them to change their plans. However, after uncertain events, Higinio Morínigo who reintroduced a despotic system. This did not save him, in 1948, from a palace conspiracy, the outcome of which was, on August 15, the transmission of the supreme office to Natalicio González, in turn defenestrated in 1949. After other jolts, the reins passed into the hands of Federico Chaves, another conservative. In any case, the military resumed plotting and on May 5, 1954, with a pronouncement, they also got rid of Chaves. On 11 July they imposed the election of General Alfredo Stroessner to the presidency of the Republic.

A new lasting dictatorship began, with Stroessner having his mandate reconfirmed eight consecutive times (the last in 1988). When most of the South American countries returned to democracy and the diplomatic isolation put in place by the United States for the violation of human rights increased, only a military coup, led by General Andrés Rodriguez, gave a liberal turn to the internal politics, forcing the dictator to flee (February 1989). According to usprivateschoolsfinder, the provisional military junta that took office in fact initiated the democratization process by promising free elections and legalizing the opposition parties, despite the remaining in power of the main exponents of the previous regime. Colorado party holder of power for the last forty years. The new government was soon faced with a series of social tensions, but managed to maintain the majority of votes in the votes for the Constituent Assembly (December 1991), whose work ended with the approval (June 1992) of a new Constitution. The elections of May 1993 saw the victory, for the presidency of the Republic, of Juan Carlos Wasmosy, of the Colorado Party, while in Parliament the opposition managed to obtain, for the first time, a majority of the seats. The situation in the country, however, remained unstable: in 1995 the discontent of the population with the choices of economic policy provoked a series of popular demonstrations and the hostility of some army officers increased. opposed to the president’s attempt to limit the traditional influence of the military on the political life of the country. In April 1996, thanks to pressure from the United States and the OAS and the loyalty to the president of a part of the military, a coup attempt led by General LC Oviedo, commander-in-chief of the army, failed. In 1998, a member of the Colorado party, Raul Cuba Grau, was again elected to the presidency of the Republic. A serious crisis shook the country in 1999, when Parliament opened an impeachment procedure against President Cubas, accused of being the instigator of the assassination of Vice President Luis Argana and of having released General Oviedo. To avoid trial, Cubas was forced to resign; he was succeeded by the President of the Senate Luis Angel Gonzáles Macchi, who formed a government of national unity with the bona fide Liberal Party (winner of the 2000 elections) and the National Encounter Party. Macchi’s government, however, was unable to give political and economic stability to the country and in July 2002 there were violent clashes caused by popular discontent and fomented by the various factions always active within the Colorado Party.

The presidential elections of April 2003 were won by Nicanor Duarte Frutos of the Colorado party, who, in as part of a campaign against corruption, it replaced several members of the Supreme Court, involved in improper transactions. In 2005, the president established relations with the US, however, arousing protests from the Venezuelan president Chavèz. After 61 years of domination by the Colorado party, in April 2008 the candidate of a left-wing coalition won the presidential elections: the former bishop Fernando Lugo. In June 2012, a series of harsh protests linked to conflicts between farmers and landowners resulted in the dismissal of Lugo by the parliament.

Paraguay History