•  HOME 
  •  BOOKS 
  •  WWP 
  •  DONATE 
  • Loading

Follow workers.org on
Twitter Facebook iGoogle

Workers oppose U.S. military base in Paraguay

Published Nov 6, 2005 8:53 PM

On Oct. 22 in Brasilia, Brazil, Workers World conducted the following interview with Luis Casabianca, at 78 one of the historic leaders of the much-persecuted Communist Party of Paraguay (PCP). The PCP was outlawed for most of its history, including all of the brutal U.S.-backed dictatorship of Gen. Alfredo Stroessner from 1954-1990.

WW: We have heard rumors
that the United States has begun
to set up a military base in Paraguay. What do you have to report about this threat?

LC: That is exactly the biggest news in Paraguay at this moment: the presence of U.S. troops in order to support the U.S. policy of domination of Paraguay and of our continent.

Recently there were declarations by representatives of the State Department and the Pentagon, spread by the media, with the goal of intervening in the internal social struggle and blocking the movement for democracy and liberation in Latin America. The declarations make it explicit that what is worrying the Bush government is the turn to the left in various Latin American countries.

It’s not only the growth of the popular movement in Paraguay that worries U.S. imperialism. More worrying is the victory of the Bolivarian movement with its center in Caracas, the development of a popular liberating movement on our continent, and which also has participation from democratic and progressive governments, like those in Brazil and Uruguay.

In Paraguay they have already begun the project of carrying out joint military operations by the end of 2006, with the participation of hundreds of Yankee soldiers and officers. There are rumors that they will establish or that there already is a U.S. military air base. The Paraguayan government and the U.S. Embassy has denied this, but all the operations that precede such a development in the rest of the world have begun.

It is well known that recently U.S. Minister of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited our country at the culmination of many visits from officials from the “great country to the North,” as well as frequent visits to the U.S. of Paraguayan leaders, including the president and vice president.

On top of the military base it has also been announced that a permanent office of the FBI is opening in Asuncion, our capital city, which goes along with the CIA’s activities under the cover of USAID.

What is the situation with
the progressive movement for socialism and for liberation in Paraguay?

Paraguay has the sad honor of being one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking somewhere near Haiti and Cameroon. It is also one of the most corrupt. But the narrow ruling class in Paraguay and imperialism is worried about the growth of popular movement demanding basic and often urgent necessities. The peasants are occupying land and sometimes making socialist declarations, the teachers often hold large demonstrations for better salaries and better schools, homeless people are occupying urban lands and setting up housing, and students demand increased subsidies for education and democratization of the educational process.

The working class and its principal union confederations, CUT and the CNT, are leading the struggle for better salaries and better conditions of life and of work, as well as for the national sovereignty of Paraguay.

Joined in united fronts, which include the PCP and other left parties, the people are engaged in struggle. One of the main slogans at this time is: No to U.S. intervention in Paraguay. Yankee troops out!