Paraguay Political Reviews

The coup against Progressive President Fernando Lugo led Paraguay to be frozen out of regional cooperation in South America. With the election of Horacio Cartes as new president, privatization and regional reintegration are high on the agenda.

Paraguay is a coastal country located in the southern part of South America (latitude 25 ┬░ south, close to Capricorn’s turning circle). The country borders Bolivia in the north and northwest, Brazil in the north and northeast, and Argentina in the east and south.

Paraguay is divided into two different geographical regions that characterize the country’s population pattern. The eastern region houses the country’s urban area and is the most developed region in terms of agriculture due to the fertile soil. The country’s capital Asuncion is located in this region. The western region, also known as Chaco, on the other hand has dry land and cattle farming is thus the region’s main source of income. In this region the Mennonite religious group has a great influence.

Current President Mario Abdo Benitez

After his first year as president, Mario Abdo has been heavily criticized for the government’s lack of a clear political agenda. In addition, he has been involved in major scandals surrounding the Itaip├║ hydroelectric power plant (the world’s most productive hydroelectric power plant), owned by Brazil and Paraguay.

Mario Abdo’s father was a central figure during Alfredo Stroessner’s military dictatorship, which is why the country’s president is considered an extreme right-wing politician. Abdo’s government is composed of a political alliance and government ministerial posts were allocated as payment for political services, at the expense of the State institutions.

According to Countryaah, some of Paraguay’s biggest challenges are drug trafficking and money laundering. To counteract these has become Abdo’s main priority by strengthening cooperation with the United States in this field.

Military Dictatorship

The dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner, partido Colorado military and politician, characterizes Paraguay’s modern political history. Stroessner held power from 1954 until 1989 when he was overthrown by a new military coup that started the transition process towards democracy. Stroessner’s dictatorship was backed by the United States in its attempt to halt the Left’s progress in Latin America. It is important to note that the political party responsible for the dictatorship and the human rights violations of the dictatorship are exactly the same party that held power for the longest time after the reinstatement of democracy.

About the history of Paraguay

The Trippel Alliance War lasted from 1864-1870. Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay joined forces with Paraguay to secure much of Paraguay’s territories and natural resources. Up until the Triple Alliance War, Paraguay had maintained a steady economic development without debt, the country also received one of Latin America’s first railways.

Paraguay’s population was severely affected and the country lost 2/3 of its people, mainly men. Therefore, it was women who led the country in the post-war period and women are an icon of the country’s reconstruction. When the war ended, the first liberal constitution was passed and for the first time a diverse party system, principle of power distribution and popular sovereignty was established.

The second major war that marks Paraguay’s history is the Chaco War against Bolivia (1932-1935). Chaco is Paraguay’s westernmost region and these two countries have been fighting for sovereignty over northern Chaco since independence from Spain. Englishmen and Americans speculated about the possibility of oil extraction in the region and pushed both countries to war. Paraguay is considered the victory of the Chaco War, because even though the war ended with negotiations, Paraguay had a distinct advantage in wars.

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