The governments of South America have united to punish Paraguay for removing President Fernando Lugo on Friday, suspending the country’s membership in regional organizations for what some leaders are calling a coup.
When news spread that the Paraguayan Senate had voted to oust the left-leaning former Catholic bishop, widespread condemnation came quickly from leaders in a region with bad memories of dictatorships and democratic instability. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said her government would not recognize the new government formed by Federico Franco, who served as Lugo’s vice president before turning against him.
“Argentina will not validate the coup d’etat in Paraguay,” Kirchner said. “This is about more than Lugo.... This is a definitive attack on institutions and a replay of situations we had thought were totally forgotten.”