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Lessons of the Paraguay Coup


Co-opting nationalist soldiers to counter the "red threat" is no longer an essential condition for a successful political overthrow in Latin America. After the failed attempt against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in 2002 and the long deadlock caused by the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in 2009, the usual conservative forces—rural and industrial oligarchies, the leadership of the Catholic Church, mainstream media, and U.S. commercial interests—managed to refine the new model for overthrowing popular progressive leaders: parliamentary/media overthrow.

Before removing elected politicians from office, it is necessary to deco...