Judi LynnJudi Lynn's Journal
Ronald Reagan, Enabler of Atrocities
By Robert Parry
February 6, 2011
When youre listening to the many tributes to President Ronald Reagan, often for his talent making Americans feel better about themselves, you might want to spend a minute thinking about the many atrocities in Latin America and elsewhere that Reagan aided, covered up or shrugged off in his inimitable "aw shucks" manner.
Defending Rios Montt
Despite the widespread evidence of Guatemalan government atrocities cited in the internal U.S. government cables, political operatives for the Reagan administration sought to conceal the crimes. On Oct. 22, 1982, for instance, the U.S. Embassy claimed the Guatemalan government was the victim of a communist-inspired "disinformation campaign."
During a visit to Central America, on March 10, 1999, President Bill Clinton apologized for the past U.S. support of right-wing regimes in Guatemala.
"For the United States, it is important that I state clearly that support for military forces and intelligence units which engaged in violence and widespread repression was wrong, and the United States must not repeat that mistake," Clinton said.
Though Clinton admitted that U.S. policy in Guatemala was wrong -- and the evidence of a U.S.-backed genocide might have been considered startling -- the news was treated mostly as a one-day story in the U.S. press. It prompted no panel discussions on the cable news shows that were then obsessed with Clintons personal life.
would have thrown him over in his first term, like Allende. As it was, this Nazi freak tortured, murdered, enslaved Native people, all WITH the U.S. material and spiritual support.
12 ALFREDO STROESSNER
President-for-Life of Paraguay
Alfredo Stroessner came to power in 1954, but European correspondents who visited Paraguay during his rule used the term the "poor man's Nazi regime" to describe the Paraguayan government. The parallels may have been more than a coincidence, for many Nazi war criminals, such as Joseph Mengele, had settled there with Stroessner's blessing.
From the Nazis the Paraguayan military leamed the art of genocide. The native Ache Indians were in the way of progress, progress represented by American and European corporations who planned to exploit the nation's forests, mines, and grazing lands. The Indians were hunted down, parents killed, and children sold into slavery. Survivors were herded into reservations headed by American fundamentalist missionaries , some of whom had participated in the hunts.
Between 1962 and 1975, Paraguay received $146 million in U.S. aid. Paraguayan officials seemingly wanted more, however, for in 1971, high ranking members of the regime were implicated in the Marseilles drug ring, with Paraguay their transfer point for shipments from France to the U.S. In the 1980s America finally condemned Paraguayan civil rights abuses and drug trafficking. Stroessner still looked as if he'd be dictator for life but in 1988 one of his closest generals, Andres Rodriguez, a known drug dealer, took over after a coup. Rodriguez promised to restore democracy, and President Bush called the 1989 elections "a democratic opening," but opponents declared them "a massive fraud." Rodriguez's Colorado party won 74% of the vote.
New York Times:
Divisive Candidate in Paraguay Is Killed in Helicopter Crash
By SIMON ROMERO
Published: February 3, 2013
RIO DE JANEIRO Lino Oviedo, a candidate in Paraguays presidential election and one of the countrys most polarizing political figures, was killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday night while returning from a rally in northern Paraguay, government officials said Sunday. The death of Mr. Oviedo, 69, opens new uncertainty in Paraguay, where President Fernando Lugo was ousted last year. After the authorities confirmed Mr. Oviedos death and called it an accident, officials in Mr. Oviedos party, the National Union of Ethical Citizens, immediately questioned whether he had been assassinated.
Mr. Oviedo fled the country in 1999 seeking exile first in Argentina and then in Brazil after being charged with organizing an aborted coup in 1996 against Juan Carlos Wasmosy, who was then Paraguays president. The authorities also indicted Mr. Oviedo on charges of masterminding the assassination of Vice President Luis María Argaña, who was killed by gunmen outside Asunción, the capital, in March 1999. But after Mr. Oviedo returned to Paraguay in 2004 and served time in prison in connection with the coup plot, Paraguays Supreme Court absolved him of the various charges.
Paraguay was officially commemorating Mr. Stroessners overthrow on Sunday, and some of Mr. Oviedos supporters questioned the timing of the helicopter crash, which also killed an aide and the pilot. The Paraguayan aviation authorities said the helicopter went down during a storm in northern Paraguay and said they would investigate the cause of the crash.
Twenty-four years ago today General Oviedo overthrew the dictatorship, César Durand, a spokesman for Mr. Oviedos party, told Radio Ñanduti. This is a message from the mafia, he said, employing a blanket term often used by Paraguayans to refer to shadowy organizations involved in drug trafficking and the smuggling of pirated goods into neighboring Brazil.
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