Full Text

Paraguay, protest and revolt, 1954–1989

Christina Turner† and Brian Turner


Subject Social History » Labor History

Place South America » Paraguay

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics church and state, coup d'etat, labor movements, revolution, rural

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01155.x


Extract

The forces unleashed by the Chaco War, the professionalization of the military, and modest industrial growth culminated in the long period of rule in Paraguay by General Alfredo Stroessner. The stronato , as it was called, eventually achieved the pacification of the elite factions within the ruling Colorado Party, but periodic episodes of rural and urban protest and armed insurrection were met in turn with brutal repression. Federico Cháves' government was overthrown on May 6, 1954 by the recently installed commander of the army, General Stroessner. Within a month and against no opposition, Stroessner was elected president, a position he would retain for almost 35 years. Initially, Stroessner appeared sympathetic to continuing labor reforms. The month before he was elected president he approved another general 40 percent raise. However, inflation continued unabated and the government was forced to work out a stabilization plan with the International Monetary Fund, which in turn led to a rapid loss in income in 1955. Stroessner shifted his support to a 10 percent raise in salaries, much less than was requested by labor. An additional 10 percent general raise did not assuage labor as inflation was increasing much more rapidly. Tension mounted between the government and labor leaders in the next few years. The tension was exacerbated by a new schism in the government between the traditional ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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