Paraguay. The politically related violence in Paraguay harmed another victim during the year when Cecília Cubas Gusinsky, daughter of former President Raúl Cubas Grau (1998-99) who was kidnapped in September 2004, was found murdered in mid-February. The victim’s father, himself accused of involvement in the assassination of Vice President Luis Maria Argaña in March 1999, dismissed political motives, but the government accused the Liberal Party and the Colombian left-wing guerrilla FARC of involvement in the act. The incident and the subsequent criminal investigation led to the resignation of Interior Minister Nelson Mora and the unveiling of a widespread corruption rift within the police force. On April 21, the country’s police chief Carlos Zealaya also resigned, according to his own statement, however, for personal reasons.
|Land area||406,752 km²|
|Residents per km²||17.7|
|Income per capita||$ 12,800|
|ISO 3166 code||PY|
|Time zone UTC||-4|
|Geographic coordinates||23 00 S, 58 00 W|
According to countryaah, Asuncion is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Paraguay. One of Paraguay’s most important opposition parties, the Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico (PLRA), decided at a scandalous extra-ordinary congress in October to exclude one of the party’s foreground figures, Domingo Laíno. The reason was that he voted for the ruling party Partido Colorado’s candidates for the presidency of the two chambers of Congress. The measure was spectacular because Laíno is one of the founders of the party in the late 1970s and who has been its presidential candidate on two occasions during the 1990s when he received 32 and 44% of the vote, respectively.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym PY stands for the country of Paraguay and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
Paraguay’s internationally best-known author, Augusto Roa Bastos, passed away at the age of 87 on April 26. He was a staunch opponent of Alfredo Stroessner’s long military dictatorship (1954–89) and lived most of his life in exile in Spain and France.
Literature. – Two factors determine the situation of isolation and backwardness of Paraguayan culture: the condition of bilingualism, unique in the Latin American area, which has produced a mixed literary expression in which the oral tradition of Guaraní dominates, a language that has not had writing and has been preserved as a national language; and the dictatorship: not only the latest of Stroessner, but a tradition of totalitarian regimes that have their roots in that first famous dictatorship of Doctor France, in the aftermath of independence, which has effectively colonized the imagination of this country . Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember the eminent figure of a writer like A. Roa Bastos (b. 1917), whose writing, carried out in exile, condenses, in an innovative literary creation, the two national languages: Spanish and Guaraní.
The immediate antecedent of Roa Bastos is the work of G. Casaccia (1907-1981), considered the initiator of contemporary Paraguayan literature. Casaccia’s first novel, Hombres, mujeres y fantoches, is from 1930. He subsequently published two collections of short stories, El quajhú and El pozo. Mario Pareda, his second novel, is from 1939, but the one that gave him fame is La babosa, published in 1952 in Buenos Aires, where the author was in voluntary exile. In this novel, Casaccia describes the national reality through the history of his native country, Areguá, where myth and reality intertwine to literally fix the physical and moral violence of the dictatorship. The heartfelt denunciation that also characterizes the subsequent novels, La llaga (1964), Los exiliados (1966) and Los herederos (1975), will give rise to negative criticism and ferocious censorship.
The pain of the human condition, which characterizes Casaccia’s works, becomes a nightmare in Hijo de hombre (1959; trans. It., 1976), the first novel by A. Roa Bastos, which was preceded by the collection of short stories El trueno entre las hojas (1953). In Hijo de hombre, in which a modern structure of autonomous chapters is inaugurated, connected by characters and facts at different narrative levels, Roa Bastos traces, starting from the Chaco war and against the backdrop of a mythical indigenous landscape, a period of almost one hundred years, in which exploitation and repression become the real characters of the narrative. In 1966 he published a new collection of short stories, El Baldío, followed by Los pies sobre el agua (1967), Madera quemada (1967) and Moriencia (1969). In 1974 he published his second novel, Yo, el Supremo (trad. It., 1978), whose central character is the tyrant G. Francia. The structure is enriched with experimental forms not all typical of the canonical literary tradition: from the initial pasquinade to the perpetual circular, the leitmotif of this novel, of which the author, always in fiction, defines himself as a compiler as well as a scholar of the documents that give substance to the Opera.
The same cultural isolation that limits the Paraguayan narrative landscape conditions its poetic production. However, they deserve to be remembered: J. Pla (b. 1909), E. Campos Cervera (1908-1953), H. Rodríguez Alcalá (b. 1919), who is considered the initiator of contemporary poetry in Paraguay. Of some importance, despite the overly pronounced tones of social protest, is the poem by E. Romero (b.1926), author among other things of El sol bajo las raíces (1956), Un relámpago herido (1967) and Destierro y atardecer (1975). Among the poets of the last generations we remember: R. Vallejos (b. 1943), poet of solitude and death; R. Dávalos (1945-1968), R. Ferré Alfaro (b. 1945), the only woman among the emerging poets.
Among the theater authors, the names of those artists who have established themselves most successfully in other genres recur. The most important figure is that of JM Rivarola Matto. An important fact is the presence of a theater in Guaraní. Among the playwrights who use the native language in their works we remember: J. Correa and L. Ruffinelli; in both cases the dominant theme is the Chaco war.