Posted: Tuesday, 17 July 2012
The Canadian Labour Congress calls on Canada to withdraw its recognition of the newly-installed government of Paraguay under Federico Franco and to withdraw diplomatic ties with Paraguay until democratic order is restored. We note Paraguay's neighbours and trading partners have suspended Paraguay's membership in the MERCOSUR trading bloc pending the resolve of this crisis.
The CLC joins with democratic governments, human rights organizations and social movements around the world in expressing our profound condemnation of the institutional crisis in Paraguay which resulted in the removal of Fernando Lugo from the presidency one year before the end of his election term. Lugo was impeached in June under a questionable parliamentary process plagued with irregularities, in a Congress dominated by Paraguay's traditional elites.
For Paraguay's trade union movement, the crisis is clearly the result of a clash between politicians unable to resolve the serious social problems plaguing Paraguay’s people, leaving farmers without land, indigenous communities without rights, and men and women without work.
This institutional crisis in Paraguay is a reminder of the fragility of democracy in the Latin American region, where similar events occurred in Honduras in 2009 in which President Manuel Zelaya was forcefully removed from the country resulting in violent social upheaval which persists today. The CLC fears that, as in Honduras, the coup in Paraguay will lead to even worse levels of poverty, unemployment and social alienation.
The CLC stands in full solidarity with the workers and people of Paraguay and calls on the Canadian government to withdraw diplomatic ties with Paraguay until democratic order is restored and President Lugo is unconditionally returned to office.