General Aldredo Stroessner, the most firmly established military ruler in Latin America, celebrated the 30th anniversary of his ascendancy to Paraguay's presidency on August 15.
1. GV PAN Presidential palace. 0.10
2. SV President Alfredo Stroessner on balcony. 0.13
3. GVs & SVs Military parade in progress as president watches (15 SHOTS) 0.46
4. GV Presidential palace. 0.48
5. SVs PAN Cabinet minister and military chiefs inside palace. (2 SHOTS) 0.58
6. SV President speaking. (SOT) 1.28
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Background: ASUNCION, PARAGUAY
General Aldredo Stroessner, the most firmly established military ruler in Latin America, celebrated the 30th anniversary of his ascendancy to Paraguay's presidency on August 15. The 71-year-old general, by far the longest serving head of state in the Western hemisphere, watched from the presidential palace as troops, anti-guerrilla units and police marched through the streets of the capital, Asuncion. Only Brazil and South Africa sent military delegations to the ceremony, which coincide with Paraguay's National Day and the 447th anniversary of the founding of Asuncion. Four Brazilian jets were among aircraft taking part in the parade. Observers noted it was the first time for many years the United States had not sent a military delegation to the celebrations. Relations have deteriorated since President Stroessner closed the country's main newspaper last March. He has resisted pressure from the US state Department to re-open it. Although General Stroessner made no anniversary speech, he told the Paraguayan congress he was not ashamed of having been in power for so long, as it had not been our of personal ambition but because of the people's will. The son of a German immigrant and allegedly pro-German during World War II, General Stroessner was first elected president in 1954 after leading a military coup in a country still scarred by civil war. Paraguay enjoyed an economic boom in the 1970s, when it became Latin America's fastest-expanding economy. But gross economic product fell by five per cent last year, after an wight per cent growth in 1981. Foreign economists believe it may still be falling, especially following recent floods which have hit agricultural exports.
Source: CHANNEL 9, PARAGUAY