Ghosts of the Stronato: Asunción’s Taiwanese Ex-pats a Dying Breed

The News Lens
Date: 2017/02/28, Culture
By: James Baron

In 1986 the Taiwan leader was granted his own effigy in Paraguay’s capital. But what of Taiwan’s expats in Paraguay today?

There aren’t many options if you’re bookless in Asunción, but the dusty old store halfway up Silvio Pettirossi is a real treat. Among Spanish translations of Jules Roy and propaganda materials featuring images of the late dictator General Alfredo Stroessner, I find a small blue pamphlet.

Published by the World Anticommunist League (WACL) – now known as the World League for Freedom and Democracy – it is titled “Industria de Los Comunistas Chinos en 1979.” Even if my Spanish language skills weren’t so limited, I wouldn’t be all that interested in the contents: annual increases in bicycle and fertilizer production, to take just one page. But the booklet is a reminder of just how tight the relationship between Taiwan and Paraguay was during El Stronato, as Stroessner’s 35-year reign was known.

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