Paraguay statement

We the undersigned join the governments of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic & others in condemning the removal of the elected President Lugo in Paraguay, in a process that has been described widely as a “political coup.”

President Lugo has labelled his removal as a blow against Paraguay’s democracy & although accepting he is currently now out of office has termed it an “express coup d’etat.”

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 & unconstitutional.

There have also been reports of human rights abuses from the new regime. For example, activists in the CUT-A (Paraguayan union federation) are reporting that the military have fired live rounds at unarmed protesters & campesino leaders have reported activists killed. Currently tens of thousands of Paraguayans are protesting outside the Parliament for the return of Lugo. They have established a Front for the Defence of Democracy.

The progressive wave of recent years in Latin America has many powerful enemies, both from former ruling elites internally & right-wing forces internationally. International support is vital so that democratic & social advances continue.

Yours,

Eric Hobsbawm, Historian
Richard Gott
Hugh O’Shaughnessy, author: The Priest of Paraguay
Peter Lambert, Senior Lecturer in Spanish & Latin American Studies, University of Bath
Robin Blackburn
Ernesto Laclau
Dr Francisco Dominguez, Centre for Brazilian & Latin American Studies, Middlesex University
Doreen Massey, Professor of Geography
Ken Livingstone
Colin Burgon, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign & Labour Friends of Venezuela
Grahame Morris MP
Valerie Vaz MP
Nic Dakin MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
John McDonnell MP
Mike Wood MP
Linda Riordan MP
Mark Lazarowicz MP
Baroness Anne Gibson, All Party Parliamentary Group on Latin America
Neil Findlay MSP
Frances O’Grady, TUC Deputy General Secretary
Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union
The GMB / Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer
Billy Hayes, CWU General Secretary
Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary
Matt Wrack, FBU General Secretary
Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary
Steve Murphy, UCATT General Secretary
Gerry Morrissey, BECTU General Secretary
Jonathan Ledger, NAPO General Secretary
Doug Nicholls, General Federation of Trade Unions General Secretary
Terry Hoad, Immediate Past President, University & College Union
Jody McIntyre, journalist
Kanje Sesay, National Union of Students Black Students’ Officer
Aaron Kiely, National Union of Students NEC & Black Students’ Officer (elect)
Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition Convenor
Maggie Bowden, General Secretary, Liberation
Peter Hallward, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University
Dr Steve Ludlam, University of Sheffield
Professor Mike Cole, Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln
Marcos Costa Lima, Profº. of the Political Science Department of UFPE
Jenny Pearce, University of Bradford
Dr Michael Derham, Northumbria University
Dr Lee Salter, University of the West of England
Dr Diana Raby, Senior Fellow, Latin American Studies, University of Liverpool & Professor Emeritus, History, University of Toronto
Jonathan Rosenhead, London School of Economics
Matthew Brown, Director of the Centre for the Study of Colonial and Postcolonial Societies, University of Bristol
Iain Bruce, journalist
Grace Livingstone, Author, America’s Backyard
Mike Gatehouse
Rod Stoneman, Executive Producer, The Revolution will Not Be Televised
Pablo Navarrete, journalist & documentary filmmaker
Cat Smith, Chair, Next Generation Labour (pc)
Lucy Anderson, Labour Party National Policy Forum
Cllr. Samuel Tarry, Barking & Dagenham Council Chief Whip
Steve Hart, Unite the Union Political Director
Cllr Vince Maple, Leader Labour Group of Medway Council
John Haylett, Morning Star Political Editor
Jim Kennedy, Labour Party NEC (pc)
Max Watson, UNISON NEC
Denise Christie, FBU Women’s Committee
Ruby Cox, Chair of the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign & as Chair of Unison’s Greater London Region International Committee
Jackson Cullinane, Political Officer, Unite Scotland
David Winters, Croydon NUT & VSC TU delegation to Venezuelan 2012 member
Paul Foley, Head of Health, UNISON North West (pc)
Richard Ascough
Carl Maden, CWU NEC
Cllr Tom Beattie, Unite the Union
Kevin Flack, Chair, Sevenoaks Constituency Labour Party
Phil McGarry, Scottish VSC & RMT Scotland.
Matt Willgress, VSC Co-ordinator

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