Those who have been following the news may know that the president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, has recently been impeached by the Paraguayan senate. While the impeachment included some vague charge of incompetence, it also claimed he was attempting to “generate a constant confrontation and struggle of social classes”. The precipitating event was a conflict between landless farmers and the police which left 17 dead. In response to this Lugo had replaced his national police chief and interior minister, something which apparently did not make the senate happy.
The ouster has not been met with broad acceptance in South America. Indeed, both Uruguay and Brazil have withdrawn their diplomatic envoys in response and Chavez has stated that there may be a halt to oil supplies in protest to what he views as an illegal procedural coup.
In addition to these events USAID has just been ousted by ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas). This comes on the back of proof that USAID was complicit in funnelling millions of US dollars into opposition parties. While anyone who is intimately familiar with USAID will not be surprised at these events, the combination of proof and the response represents a fairly big change. It seems that the balance of forces may be shifting and weakening US influence in the region.