What will Washington do about Fernando Lugo’s ouster in Paraguay?
This hasty, trumped-up impeachment of President Lugo amounts to a coup d’etat. The US must back democratic process
Mark Weisbrot
guardian.co.uk, Friday 22 June 2012 16.17 EDT

A coup d’etat is taking place right now, Friday afternoon, in Paraguay.

That is how it has been described by a number of neighboring governments. And the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is treating it as such, taking it very seriously. All 12 foreign ministers (including those of Brazil and Argentina, who are deeply concerned) flew to Asunción Thursday night to meet with the government, as well as the opposition in Paraguay’s Congress.

The Congress of Paraguay is trying to oust the president, Fernando Lugo, by means of an impeachment proceeding for which he was given less than 24 hours to prepare and only two hours to present a defense. It appears that a decision to convict him has already been written, and will be presented Friday evening (at 20.30 GMT). It would be impossible to call this due process under any circumstances, but it is also a clear violation of Article 17 of Paraguay’s constitution, which provides for the right to an adequate defense.

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