Is it a coup? Is it not a coup? The Obama administration said yesterday they still aren’t sure. But leaked cables show the U.S. government has been predicting a coup in Paraguay for at least three years.
From a WikiLeaks cable dated March 28, 2009:
------------------ A FARFETCHED PLAN ------------------ ¶5. (C) Duarte's and Oviedo's shared goal: Find a "cause celebre" to champion so as to change the current political equation, break the political deadlock in Congress, impeach Lugo and regain their own political relevance. Oviedo's dream scenario involves legally impeaching Lugo, even if on spurious grounds.
The cable goes on to say:
The presidential baton would thus, in this scenario, pass to Vice President Federico Franco, who would be constituitionally [sic] required to call vice-presidential elections within 90 days. Given the institutional collapse and political fratricide reigning now within the Colorado Party, Oviedo would be the obvious leading candidate. Meanwhile, Duarte, having regained his Senate seat via Supreme Court maneuvering, would assume the Senate presidency and become number three in the line of presidential succession. The Liberal Franco would be President, but Oviedo and Duarte would control Congress -- and the courts. Farfetched? Perhaps. But not entirely unprecedented in Paraguayan politics.