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INSIGHT - PARAGUAY/US/MIL - New Horizon mil, devo program

Released on 2012-03-13 09:00 GMT

Email-ID 2046029
Date 2010-09-23 21:14:42
CODE: PY 505
ATTRIBUTION: Paraguay military

Followed up (phone) with a source as per Reva's request. I basically
asked him how he interprets the US ambassador's comments about the New
Horizon military and how seriously Paraguay would consider and view such

He first explained that Lugo is the first left Pres Paraguay has had in
recent history and that he's more center-left as opposed to extreme left.
Source believes that Lugo needed to follow along with these center-left
ideas/beliefs at the beginning of his term; source used being wary of the
States as an example. Source believes this is one of the reasons why Lugo
became more vocal/assertive towards Brazil (ex, Itaipu) upon taking
office. Source clarified that Paraguay will never dream of confronting
Brazil and understands well its subordinate role. At the same time
Paraguay also has a healthy fear of Brazil's potential for domination and
doesn't like seeing Brasilia getting to involved and powerful in Paraguay
(when I refer to powerful inside Paraguay I mean local level, cultural
things such as Brasiguayos and Brazilian business, etc). Source said that
now Lugo's approaching the half way point of his term, he is not afraid to
make changes w/i the govt to help direct the course he wants to follow.

Source said that the key to understanding this potentially renewed
military cooperation is the nature of the cooperation. New Horizon is a
humanitarian, development program in which the US military would go in to
areas where the Paraguayan government is absent and help the communities
develop and increase their standard of living. Source said that the
Paraguayan govt is now realizing that the results of the New Horizon
program would be good things and that cooperating on this front would
result in more benefits for Paraguay than losses. Source also reminded me
that one of Lugo's promises/goals for his Presidency was to reach out to
the poor communities and increase development. (side note - this also goes
along with what I heard when in Paraguay. The Armed Forces were just
finishing up the field portion of a study that evaluated the rural, poor
areas of the country with the goal of identifying their needs and
developing govt programs or other courses of action to address these

I asked him if the presence of US military would offend Paraguay's
military. He said that no, he did not believe this would be something
that would cause an all out ruckus in the Paraguayan military and that
things should be pretty cool given the humanitarian, social nature of the
project. I then asked why the US, why not ask Brazil for this help in
this area? He laughed out loud with his first reaction being ' you're a
bright girl, figure it out'. And then implied that having the US around
was not a bad thing in terms of balancing out countries giving help to

He also mentioned that within the Paraguayan military there exists a group
that is very pro-Brazil; there are also those that are anti-Brazil. Also,
when he was serving officially in Brazil, he said the amount of respect
and 'ceremonia' that they always demonstrated for him was remarkably high.