Paraguay’s Lugo denounces ouster as president

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Mr. Lugo was in good spirits, had spoken by phone the previous night with leaders such as Mr. Chavez, and was now focused on moving his things out of the presidential residence with the help of his nephews, said Sen. Alberto Grillon, one of the four to back Mr. Lugo in Friday’s vote.

Mr. Lugo had locked horns with a virulent opposition from the beginning of his term in 2008. He was criticized by some as being unyielding and unwilling to compromise. Meanwhile, Paraguay‘s powerful elite, long accustomed to getting its way during 61 years of Colorado Party rule, fought Mr. Lugo’s attempts to raise taxes on the country’s No. 1 export, soy, and redistribute farmland to the poor majority.

There had been talk of impeaching Mr. Lugo in the past, but there was never enough support in Congress. Ultimately, a deadly forest clash between police and landless protesters cost Mr. Lugo all but a handful of votes in both legislative houses, setting the stage for his rapid removal.

Associated Press writers Pedro Servin and Belen Bogado in Asuncion and Ian James in Caracas, Venezuela, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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