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VENEZUELA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN
“LEADING BRITISH FIGURES EXPRESS GRAVE CONCERN ABOUT ‘EXPRESS COUP D’ETAT’ IN PARAGUAY”
Leading British figures with an interest in Latin America have joined the governments of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic in condemning what has been widely termed a “political coup” in Paraguay, where the elected President Lugo has been removed from office by an illegitimate “impeachment” process.
Additionally, concerning reports are already emerging of human rights violations and attacks on progressive and social movements by the new regime as tens of thousands of Paraguayans protest outside the Parliament against the change in government.
Colin Burgon, from Labour Friends of Venezuela, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign and former Labour MP, said “We share the grave concerns of so many Governments in the region at what has been termed there a ‘political coup’ and support the right of people to protest against it.”
Dr Francisco Dominguez, Head of the Centre for Brazilian and Latin American Studies at Middlesex University, said “We should totally reject this vicious attack against democracy in Paraguay. This is an attack on democracy in the whole of Latin America.”
Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary of Unite the Union, said “Reports of human rights violations against Lugo supporters, trade unionists, campesinos and others are deeply concerning. We are fully on the side of democracy and social progress in Paraguay and Latin America.”
Additionally, President Lugo, although accepting that he is now out of office has termed it an “express coup d’etat.” Previous to the decision the Lugo government had declared the procedures against him illegal and unconstitutional, views that have been echoed by UNASUR and ALBA.
According to news reports, Dilma Rousseff, Brazilian President, has called for the expulsion of Paraguay from MERCOSUR and UNASUR as the action has broken the preserving democracy clauses in the organisations. Leonel Fernandez, President of the Dominican Republic, has said that the ousting of President Lugo was “illegal and undemocratic”.
Notes to Editors:
1) The governments of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic have condemned the removal of the elected President Lugo in Paraguay.
2) It has been reported that President Lugo was given just 24 hours to prepare a defence against an impeachment instituted by a temporary right-wing majority in parliament, using procedures the Lugo government has previously declared illegal and unconstitutional.
3) Please contact Matthew Willgress for further information on email@example.com. A coalition of people will be taking a series of initiatives on Paraguay over the next few days and a number of people are available for media comment. Photos of today’s campaign initiative on the issue are also available for use.