Vinod Sreeharsha – McClatchy Newspapers, 06/28/2012
SAO PAULO, Brazil — A week ago, Paraguay’s Congress impeached and removed from office the country’s president, Fernando Lugo, just 10 months before his five-year term would have expired. The process was abrupt – Lugo was given just one day to prepare his defense against charges of “poor performance” – but his country’s neighbors still haven’t figured out how to respond.
Was it a coup d’etat deserving of condemnation, or a perfectly legal, constitutionally sanctioned transition of power?
The question is a serious one in a region that has made massive strides over the past two decades to shed its past of military coups against leftist presidents. Lugo was the first Paraguayan president not from the long-ruling Colorado party.