Democracy Did Not Ruin Paraguay.(LETTERS)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 15, 2002 | Go to article overview
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Democracy Did Not Ruin Paraguay.(LETTERS)


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

As a Paraguayan, I consider the "special contribution" from Reed Lindsay offensive, biased and misleading ("Democracy's disillusionment," World, Tuesday).

To begin with, I am not sure I understand the message of the article. Is it intended to break the news that there are corrupt politicians in Paraguay? Unfortunately, that would not be news.

The fight against political corruption in Paraguay might be more surprising for your readers. Is Mr Lindsay aware that a considerable grass-roots movement recently observed a national day of mourning over the lamentable state of affairs in our government and that many Paraguayans publicly displayed black flags of solidarity against corruption?

Would this article have readers believe the average Paraguayan believes democracy ruined the country? Is it meant to suggest that the majority in Paraguay is willing to exchange democracy for a "benevolent" dictatorship?

What is clear is that Mr. Lindsay has spun his tale incorporating timely sound bites from an odd cast of characters. A chambermaid in a brothel, a community leader from one of our capital's poorest neighborhoods, a politically ambitious government planning secretary and a rights activist can hardly be considered as representative of our nearly 6 million citizens.

Based on his skewed sample, Mr. Lindsay proceeds to affirm that perhaps in no other country the failings of democracy have been as clear as in Paraguay. That seems an ambitious slander.

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