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Saved Stories – None: Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putinism Most Closely Resembles Stroessner’s ‘Stronismo’ in Paraguay, Eidman Says

Paul Goble
            Staunton, September 13 –Russian analysts have long sought to find analogies to the regime Vladimir Putin has imposed in Russia not only to be in a better position to suggest its future evolution but also the ways it may end. Igor Eidman has now presented a new and unexpected one – between Putinism and ‘Stronismo’ under Alfredo Stroessner in Paraguay.
            Stroessner imposed that system on Paraguay between 1954 and his overthrow in 1989; and the main characteristics of his rule are remarkably similar to those of Putin, the Russian commentator says (
            Eidman lists nine features the two systems share:
·         A dictator ruling the state
·         The social-political dominance of the ruling party
·         A significant political for the force structures
·         Suppression of the opposition
·         Dirigisme in the economy
·         Nationalism
·         Close interaction of the state apparatus, above all its military-policy side, with the shadow economy and organized crime
·         The formal retention of a multi-party system and elections
·         Targeted repression.

            “With Stroessner as with Putin,” Eidman continues, “the state represents a conglomerate of criminal groups who are led by senior bureaucrats and siloviki.” The major differences, he concedes, are “the openly imperialist, aggressive, and annexationist policy and economic stagnation.”
                But there is one hopeful aspect of the Stroessner case, he suggests. Stroessner was overthrown, and the people he had ruled so badly committed themselves to “never again” having such a ruler in place. According to Eidman, the same thing will occur with the passing of the Putin system. Only a few of its “ugly fragments” will remain.

Window on Eurasia — New Series

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