Former Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner has gone to join Argentina’s Juan Peron, Nicaragua’s two Anastasio Somozas and many others in whatever corner of hell is reserved for anti-democratic and corrupt Latin American caudillos.
Unfortunately he escaped justice for his crimes in this life.
There’s still room in that corner of hell for Chile’s Pinochet, Cuba’s Castro, Guatemala’s Rios Montt and the rest. Venezuela’s Chavez may not yet belong in such select company, but he is trending in their direction.
Like Peron, Stroessner provided a haven for Nazi war criminals in the post-World War II era. The infamous Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele lived freely in both Peron’s Argentina and Stroessner’s Paraguay.
It was of the first Somoza that Franklin D. Roosevelt reportedly said in 1939, “[He] may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.” Unfortunately that attitude dominated US foreign policy for the next 50 years or so, winning “anti-Communist” sons-of-bitches like Stroessner the tolerance and favor of Republican and Democratic US presidents alike.