Carolina Barros – Buenos Aires Herald, 06/27/2012
Brazil moves with leaden feet when it comes to the Paraguayan issue. Three factors weigh heavily, on its reactions since June 21, when in Asunción, the Paraguayan Lower House ignited the impeachment culminating with Fernando Lugo’s removal and Federico Franco’s swearing in as president.
History — and its scars — provide the most tangled factor for the Brazilians. The Triple Alliance (1864-1870) — in which the armies of the Brazilian Empire, together with Argentina’s and Uruguay’s, fought Paraguay and decimated almost 60 percent of its adult population, still bleeds, and will probably continue to do so forever.
However, the most recent precedent is 2009, when Brazil sought to lead the support for Manuel Zelaya, the former president of Honduras who was removed by a coup led by the Supreme Court, Congress and the Armed Forces, and housed the deposed leader for almost a year in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, along with his train of followers, his Stetson hat and guitar. Criticism against Itamaraty and Marco Aurelio García, the sherpa for Latin American and Iranian affairs during Lula’s presidency, can still be heard in Brasilia, where nobody can forget the international mess caused by meddling in the Central American nation’s domestic affairs. It was Brazil who orchestrated the “return” of Zelaya to Honduran soil, in order to later deny him political asylum. Neither one thing nor the other.