Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Two:  Alfredo Stroessner: The Luckiest Dictator

Part Two: Alfredo Stroessner: The Luckiest Dictator

Thu, 23 Mar 2023 10:00

Robert is joined again by James Stout to continue to discuss Alfredo Stroessner.

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Roto makes it so easy to buy a car. I could do both at once. It's really that easy? Yeah. With the Roto app, I can shop thousands of cars from local dealers, buy the one I want right from my phone and have it delivered to my house for free. I'm gonna try it. Not a good idea, Jim. Downloading the app now. And I dropped my phone. Download the Roto app or check out When you're not playing a sport. The easiest way to buy or sell a car right from your phone. What's engaged in a conspiracy against all civilization? My Catholic Church! This is behind the bastards, a podcast that focuses on the evils of the false Pope in Rome. We are, of course, devotees of the anti-Pope Novatian, who carried out a righteous rebellion against the power of Pope Cornelius in the mid-200s. God rest his soul. James, what's the chief thing you've learned from the anti-Pope Novatian? I don't know. He's in on Heron's skincare. Has been really important to me. Yeah. He had a lot to say about that in the Latin language, which he was the first Roman theologian to use. I'm just learning about him now on Wikipedia. I don't know why I went with this as the introduction for the episode. Nobody knows, Robert. Nobody knows. Nobody knows. Nobody knows. But you know what? This is now a podcast dedicated to the anti-Pope Novatian, who lived from 280 to 258. Wow. Yeah, well, it's a big change from my last episode, which is to, of course, dedicated to a dead groundhog, so. That's right. That's right. They have a lot in common. The anti-Pope and that groundhog that built the anti-Pope Novatian. It did build a Blasio drop the anti-Pope Novatian. Right. It did incredible. I met up with this information you gave us, James. Yeah, I'm going to make one more request from the artist to our fans, which is a, like a, like a Roman style relief, like the ceiling of the, of the ventrican. That's like, yeah, that's like anti-Pope Novatian and that fucking groundhog holding hands in the sky. Press your power, James. Do it as a rehearsal. Find a building. It doesn't matter who earns it. Draw that as a mural and we will send you a t-shirt. Let those two kings be the symbol of our next revolution. Hand in pull. The anti-Pope writing a debatel on a dead groundhog. Like a grapidog. Finally, deblasio will get his comeuppance. So speaking of Bill deblasio, the first official Nazi party outside of Germany was formed in Paraguay in 1927 under a mango tree in the capital. While Forster, that anti-Semitic philosopher we talked about last time, had been a miserable failure in his goal of creating an area in sanctuary, his published writings traveled across the world and became kind of a leading light for several generations of German anti-Semites. One of these anti-Semites was a guy you might have heard of, named Adolf Hitler. He comes across Forster's readings as a young man and he reveres them so much that when he comes to power, he sends a bunch of German soil over to Paraguay so that local Nazis can cover Forster's grave. He also allegedly sends along a tombstone plaque with the words, the place where the father of Nazism lies and scribed upon it. We have any lists in Paraguay. That's a great thing to tag. Yeah, that would be a nice thing to destroy. Yeah, yeah. There is some groundhog on it. Yeah, groundhog that, fucker. Do that. Give it the old Bill de Blasio treatment and drop it. Now, there's there is debate over whether or not Hitler is the person who sent this plaque, but the plaque does exist. British historian Ben McIntyre is one of the people who considers it likely that Hitler would have said this. Obviously, that doesn't mean that he was like the only ideological father of Nazism. Hitler could be a flatterer when he wanted to be. But it does. There is, it is kind of beyond arguing that Hitler was a fan of this guy and that Forster influenced his attitudes. As a result of all this, it is perhaps not surprising that Nazism held an allure to some segments of the Paraguay in populace. The nation's first national police director named his son Adolfo and demanded police cadets wear swastikas on their uniform. This is a post 1945 swastika, right? No, no, no, these are pre-45 post-33. Okay, still probably a poor decision. Yeah. Did he then say it's just a Buddhist symbol, bro? Or yeah, yeah, it means peace. It's a whole time. Yeah. Now Paraguay also speaking of bad decisions, cited with the Nazis in World War II. Initially, so they kind of switched their allegiances midway through the war when it's like, you know what? Look, Paraguay's got a history of being on the wrong side of war. So we don't want to risk that this time. And obviously also like, it doesn't really matter what side of World War II Paraguay was on. They are a landlocked country in South America. They're not going to play a role in the fighting. The government though, the Paraguay government does switch their allegiances right before the end. It is worth noting that the Paraguay and Nazi party refuses to give up the ghost until 1946. So Paraguay's Nazi party lasts longer than the original one. That's a great, at least later. Yeah. Well, well done then. After the war, this tiny landlock nation seemed like an enticing new home to dozens of former SS men and other fascist war criminals. Paraguay already had a modest German speaking population based around midnight colonists. But it was also full of, and this kind of made it less desirable, it was also a place where a lot of white Russian officers had fled. Some of whom had helped out in the Chaka war. These guys, some of them didn't like the fascists. Some of them were always, we're also very sympathetic to the Nazis because like, Stalin and the white Russians, not a great mix. So, all the whole, this fucking white Russians end up everywhere. I've recently been on a kick about reading about white Russians in a Spanish civil war who end up all over the international brigade. Yeah. And a lot of these guys are zarists. A lot of these guys are fascists. A lot of these guys are the kinds of zarists that are basically fascists. In any case, it's a nice place to be a Nazi after World War II. Paraguay. So, Nazis start filtering in there. A lot of them settle with minonites. At least one minonite community adopts a pro-Nazi school curricula for its children as a result of this. Oh god. Yeah. Don't speak that shit into reality because we're understand this will be all over it. Yeah. Fucking minonatsies. Jesus. Others simply took Nazi money. If they'd all been minonites and we probably would have had quite so many issues with them. No. No. Although, logically speaking. Yeah. They, I mean, they already mostly did shit on horseback anyway, as illustrated in probably the best scene of band of brothers. God. That show did a lot right. There's this great scene where like a bunch of American soldiers are like writing in after kind of the Nazi regime collapses and they see all these like German POWs hauling shit on horses while they're on the back of a Jeep and they're like fucking horses. You thought you could win this war and you've got fucking horses. It's wrong with you people. It's very funny. So yeah, these Nazis start winding up all over the fucking place and they decide like, you know what Paraguay would be great for is a smuggling base for Odessa, the organization of former SS men who helped each other smuggle themselves into other countries in order to avoid prosecution for doing a Holocaust. Now, some of my sources will argue that like, stressor was the kind of guy who wasn't really ideologically committed to much of anything other than being in power. But that's also essentially the ideology of a lot of surviving Nazi officials. So stressor and the Nazis got along pretty well and there are some allegations, most notably from Alex Schumatov, that stressor was at least Nazi curious. Schumatov basically claims that in his early life, stressor had little contact with Germans in Paraguay but that this changed in his 30s and he kind of became a Germanophile, you know, getting in touch with his dad's people. I'm going to quote from Vanity Farrigan here. One of stressor's German buddies was Huns Rudel, a flying ace in the Luftwaffe who flew more missions than anyone, destroyed a cruiser, a battleship, 519 Russian tanks, was shot down twice, lost his right leg below the calf, but continued to excel at tennis and water skiing. Was the idol of the post-war German right, the embodiment of Aryan perfection, Hitler created a special medal with him, the night's cross with golden oak leaves. After the war, he tried out planes for the Argentinian government and when Peron fell in 1955 was given a silent by his friend's stressor when Argentina was no longer safe for ex Nazis. Rudel went to Paraguay as well and worked in the Ferreta Paraguaya and on Suncillon, selling BMWs, telephones, cement and iron. He also worked for Odessa. He's like a BMW dealer who's smuggling not the Waffen SS out of Europe and into Argentina. He's like the forest gump of Nazis here. He just pays for all the high points. He's doing fucking Argentina. He's all over the fucking place in addition to selling used cars. So, gonna have a side hustle. Stressor and Rudel become fast friends and working with Rudel stressor sets up a system whereby new passports and visas can be sold for an exorbitant price of which he got a cut to old Nazis. And one of the Nazis, who takes advantage of this very forgiving Paraguay and government policy, is another fellow you might have heard of, Dr. Joseph Mangala. So, if you're not up on your Mangala, the kind of cliffs notes of this guy is that he's a doctor at Auschwitz who performs fatal experiments on 1500 sets of twin children. He did shit like inject colored eye into the eyes of toddlers, colored eye into the eyes of toddlers who were twins to like see if it affected the other twin. It was like nonsense. It was it was crazy nonsense. That's Dr. Joseph Mangala. He's a terrible person. We will cover him at some point. He's one of those guys like Durowanger who he's not like Mangala himself is not the most fascinating individual. So a lot of it's just kind of a list of horrible war crimes. But we'll get him one of these days. I know I know the subreddit's crying out for Mangala and eventually I am going to show them why they don't want what they think they want. What a thing it's going to have a good time with this episode. It is it is weird. The people are demanding Mangala. Got a lot of Mangala stands in the audience who can't wait to get their Mangala queue out. Got a Mangala pill. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. That was a mistake. Oh, let's move it on. Let's move it on. So Mangala. One report from a German Paraguay and who was in country at the time says that Mangala in 1959 made a living in Paraguay as a salesman for a manure spreading business. Post-war Nazi careers are always like. Why weird. Why did they make them do shit? Look, even if you're just fucking like put them in a hotel or something like these comedy fucking jobs. Yeah. No, they're making money. The guy who claimed this told Alex Schumatov. I didn't know he was a doctor and we talked about business and never the war. I figured he didn't want to talk about it. It probably did. I see. Probably didn't want to talk about the war. Yeah. Whatever. So some reports do alleged that stressor and Mangala were close friends also and knew each other well. I have not come across any convincing evidence of this, but he certainly it's almost certain that Mangala traveled through and spent time in Paraguay. He gets citizenship at one point in time. So it's certainly possible that he and stressor had a degree of social interactions together. Now that's all pretty bad, James. When you are smuggling Dr. Joseph Mangala to safety, that's a bad thing to do. That's that's high up on the list of least forgivable things. And I'm very pro smuggling, but not if you're smuggling Nazis, you know, fentanyl, totally fine. Old electronics that you stole from people's cars. Great. Candolidate converters. Excellent. Yeah. Copa. Not some guys got some chopper today. I was really proud of them. Exactly. We need we need we need the smuggling community to come together against smuggling Joseph Mangala places. Look, not even once folks, not even once. Anyway, the government's tolerance of Nazis led the fairly small Paraguay and Jewish population to have some awkward experiences after World War II. And this is where things get very weird. James, this is a really odd little story I've got for you. I found a peculiar but unique account of life and stressors Paraguay written by a person who at the time was a young boy named Michael Kane. Now, not that Michael Kane. Okay. This Michael Kane is basically a fascist. Yeah. And he grew up in this is so weird. I found this in like this guy's blog. He's just like writing about his time as a little boy and stressors Paraguay. He grew up in the UK in a peace church called the Bruderhof, which was part of the network of pacifist and abaptist religious communities that had started spreading out from Germany in 1920. Now, Michael's like three, I think, in 1941 when his family has to flee the UK, when the war breaks out, the UK puts Germans in concentration camps. Now nicer ones than the German concentration camps, it must be said. But that's why his family leaves. They're like, this is not, it seems like maybe being German in the UK in 1941 is an ideal. We might win a bounce. So, well, unless you're the mother of course, in which case, unless you, yeah, unless you are the monarch. So his family flees the UK for the only country that will accept their peace church during the war years, which is Paraguay. Michael's recollections are on his website. And I have not looked into the Bruderhof a lot. It is again, it's like a pacifist and abaptist network of religious communities. Michael claims that he suffered terrible sexual abuse and paints a picture of the Bruderhof and Paraguay as a cult. It's entirely possible. This is true. It would not be out of line with a lot of similar movements. I have no particular reason to doubt him on this. We will be using Michael's account today because it provides some context on how German, Jewish and the German Nazi diaspora communicated, which is an interesting thing, right? That you have these Jewish people who have fled to Paraguay and these Nazis who have fled to Paraguay. And because they're all German, they wind up like involved with each other sometimes. And they are awkward with a break. That would be, and again, Michael is writing as an adult about his experiences as a child in this like ex-pat community. The same bar, he's talking about like a bar that he was brought to as a kid for like a business deal. The same bar used to be owned by Schwarzschild. His real name was Emil Wolf, a German Jew. And his place was used for years by Nazis and Jews who were all involved in business and all of them good friends. As a 14-year-old, the Bruderhof put me to work in a Sonsion where they bought a new house in Vugizio Moreno. They rented a large house in Independenceia, Nassiana, two doors down from Wolf. I went to Schwarzschild's bar with Alfred, a brother from the Bruderhof who wanted a drink of beer but had no money. But I did. So we went together. Soon Schwarzschild approached me for some business and would turn to products that the Bruderhof was selling. That's how it became a good friend of Schwarzschild. With Jews, the key to a good friendship is money. When I came round, oh, dear. Oh, boy. Oh, no. Do we want to keep reading Roman? Yeah, one last sentence. When I came round to Schwarzschild's with wooden articles, he called me Vainakschmann and I called him Saojud. Now, I looked these nicknames up because I was like, what kind of nicknames? Do basically a Nazi boy and a Jewish boy come up with for each other. Vainakschmann basically means Santa Claus. So that's the Jewish guy is calling him Santa Claus, right? Because he's by, I think because he's buying him a beer. And Saojud, that nickname, which is this kid's nickname for his, his Jewish friend, comes from the term Juden sao, which is a medieval racial caricature that depicts Jewish children suckling at the teats of the lake. It is a racial slur. So like, his friend is like, hey, Santa Claus and he's like, hey, slur, like, hey, racial slur buddy. Awkward. Look, yeah, I would love to find, I haven't found really any other accounts of like the complicated interactions of the Jewish Dresche for a German community in Paraguay and the Nazi. I assume this happened in places like Argentina too. It's a fascinating topic. I would love to read more on the matter. Hopefully, I'll find something else at some point. I just kind of accidentally stumbled into this. Yeah. The shit that people will put on the internet without being forced to. Like, you could not send me to Guantanamo Bay, if I had been giving my friends slurred, it names and get out of me. But this guy's just apparently popped it out on the internet for the world to see. I mean, this, I don't entirely know what's happening with the fascist Michael Kane. But he's his his blog is a real one. Yeah. Yeah. There was a time when the famous were blogging in it. Yeah. Oh, powerful insight into the brain. Speaking of fascist Michael Kane, do you know what the non fascist Michael Kane loves? Blowing the doors off things. Is that is that a thing that Michael Kane did a lot of? Oh, the Michael Kane isn't it? And what's it called? He's in a lot of stuff. He's Michael Kane. Uh, yeah. I mean, he was in the Batman movies. He's Alfred. I think so. Does he blow the doors off of something? I'm in the Italian job. Oh, oh, oh, yeah. I think that is it. My that is Michael Kane. That's a lot of stuff. The Italian job. I had a moment there was where yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No. This is this is good. Michael Kane content. This is an episode rich with Michael's Kane. So, um, anyway, that was a bit of a aggression, but I just found it too interesting to not include. No, fascinating. This must have happened in a lot of other countries too. This like the German Jewish diaspora and the German Nazi diaspora having some forms of interaction with each other. I would love to read more about that. I just don't know. I haven't I haven't run into much else, but yeah. It's a whole whole thing. And it gives you an idea of the kind of peculiar bedfellows that exist under Stressner's regime. The main reason that I found Michael's story though is that it provides a rare direct personal account of the man that Alfredo Stressner trusted to maintain his secret torture police, who were his primary instrument of maintaining power. And this man was named Pastor Miliciatas Coronel born in August of 1919. Coronel worked for the education and culture ministry when Stressner came to power. He was like part of the Department of Education and then Stressner's like, no, no, you see my more of a torture guy to me. I'm going to put you in charge of my tortured my tortured apartment. Um, Coronel was noted to be an obsessive bureaucrat. He loves paperwork. Part of what we know so much about this guy is every arrest and every torture that they do is documented every surveilled dissident is recorded and filed away. But he's not just a paperwork guy. He likes to get down there and get his hands dirty. In 1975, when his forces arrested the secretary of the Paraguay and Communist Party, Pastor Coronel had him dismembered by chainsaw while he watched. That is, yeah. We don't come into enough chainsaw killings in this show, but there we go. That's, uh, it's always good to break new ground when he, he's a state violence. Yeah. No, it's nice. He's like a Robert Rodriguezville in this guy. So Coronel is a dedicated student of torture. He practiced it himself, but he was also a keen admirer of the world's greatest torture experts at the time, which was the US police. Now, we know that the FBI sent him friendly letters as well as books on law enforcement like the director of the FBI is like sending this guy like textbooks to be like, here you go. This is how you make your torture police. Don't worry. We know all about it. Uh, we also know that through Operation Condor, the FBI kept abreast of whenever Paraguay and dissidents would pop up and surrounding countries that had right wing dictatorships allied with the US, uh, which at this point was all of Paraguay's neighbors. This brings me to the 1958 story of Gladys Sanaman and Augustine Guibaro. They were physicians in the capital who refused to falsify an autopsy report to claim a victim of Coronel's police had died of natural causes. Instead, Dr. Sanaman took the corpse to a class in her medical school and performed the autopsy in front of her students so that there would be people who knew what had happened to this man. It was just the only thing she could think of to do to make sure that the truth got out. Like, if I write anything about this, they will purge it. So I am going to autopsy this murder victim in front of my students so they see what our government's doing. Uh, very sensibly, she and her husband fled the country for Brazil. Um, now they're in Brazil for a little while before the Brazilian military sees his power. Uh, and so then they have to flee Brazil and the next place they move Argentina falls to a US backed military dictatorship in 1976. This gives you an idea of like how tough it is to be any kind of dissident in South America at this time, right? They're like running as fast as they can always just ahead of the next US backed military coup. And I'm going to quote from the New York Times here, hours after the coup, the Argentine police abducted Dr. Sanaman and tortured her at the Esquela Mecanisa in Buenos Aires. Dr. Sanaman said she was bound and plunged into a bathtub of vomit and excrement. They accused me of killing a patient in my office, Dr. Sanaman said, calling the charge a total lie. Then the police falsely accused her of selling drugs, she said. A week later, Dr. Sanaman's husband was abducted and tortured as well. Dr. Sanaman landed at the emboscada camp for political prisoners in Paraguay, where she treated more than 400 fellow prisoners from several South American countries, including women whose husbands had been executed and their children. The women she said had been imprisoned to silence them. Dr. Sanaman and her husband were eventually given asylum in Germany in 1997 after the German government pressed Argentina to bring about their release. The fate of Dr. Guaybrew, who also refused to white watch torture, remained a mystery until the archives were opened. In 1977, he was kidnapped from a street in Miseonez, an Argentine town where he had gone to escape the stress in a regime. He's executed by the regime he's killed once he gets back. We have some personal accounts of Pastor Kornel's torture tactics as well. Senator Carlos Levy Rufinelli was the leader of the Liberal Party, a controlled opposition party stressener allowed to exist to provide the illusion of democracy. Even though this was, he's letting this guy basically live to be controlled or to be opposition, he still arrests him 19 times and has him tortured six times. That guy's what that is a bold dude. Just coming back for more. He is a brave man. And I'm going to quote from him now talking about his experiences under Kornel's torturers. Most of the time I did not know what they wanted. They did not even know what they wanted, but when they put the needles under your fingernails, you tell them anything, you'd announce everybody, and then they say, see, you were lying to us all the time. Now, I found an even more detailed and horrific account of Pastor Kornel's jails and a BBC article by Simon Watts. Elmada came to the attention of the secret police in the early 1970s, when he and his wife, Celestina, were working as teachers in the school where they had set up on the outskirts of Uncenseon. Their politics were left winged and they campaigned for better salaries and working conditions for teachers and for changes to the curriculum. One evening, the secret police came for him. After 30 days of interrogation, Elmada was officially classified as an intellectual terrorist and an ignoramus. He was sent to the infamous Embuscada Open Air Prison where he was held for three years. Celestina died shortly after Elmada's arrest and what the police said was a suicide. Elmada has always believed she died because police played her recordings of him being tortured. The telephone was used as an instrument of psychological torture, he says. For eight days, they made her listen systematically to everything that happened to me. Then they sent her my bloodied clothing. Finally, they called her one night and said, the subversive teacher is dead. Come and get his body. She died of a heart attack, he says. She died of grief. And again, all of this is based on teachings that the FBI handed down to Kornel and his police. They sent trainers, the CIA sent trainers, like US cops taught Kornel's cops how to do all this. None of this was separate from American politics and Latin America at the time. Yeah, there are people alive today whose taxes helped to pay for that. So that's great. Anyway, to the FBI agents listening, I hope you enjoyed this proud recitation of your history here. What a curious institution. 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We also know that stressiner after he took power a US military colonel named Robert Terry, T-H-E-I-R-R-Y, he lived in Texas, actually came to Paraguay to put together a lot of the basic structure of stressiner's police state as part of a broader US plan to crack down on left wing organizing in the entire region. The FBI handled a lot of the grunt work. On one occasion, a dissident from Pinochet's regime in Chile fled to Paraguay. He was arrested and interrogated by Coronel's men. They then called up the FBI who interrogated Chilean relatives of the dissident who were living in the United States and handed that information to Pinochet who disappeared the dissident once he'd been handed over. This is the way things worked in Latin America. Much of it. Clarence Kelly, who was head of the FBI at the time, sent Coronel a Christmas letter wishing him, quote, a truly joyous Christmas and a new year filled with all the good things you so richly deserve. Good, good guys. Good guys. Now, earlier, I read you a quote from that weird Michael Cain guy's blog. I decided to highlight some of this kind of an Nazis recollections because as a child, he lived near pastor Coronel and he spent time with the man and there's not a lot of context on this guy. So he's some of like the only evidence I've found about what stress nurse chief torture was like as a person. And this is kind of interesting. On this day, I first met pastor Coronel. He was about five years older than me. His uncle Dawn and rather mayor, or rather mayor Coronel owned a neighboring Estancia ranch to the Bruderhof. His Estancia was called San Martin. In Paraguay, landowners like to give themselves military titles for importance. Hence the mayor title. Mayor Coronel habitually carried a gun. He must have read the little bread book by chairman Mao, where on it says page 48, the power of the people comes out of the barrel of a gun. For this reason, he was highly respected or feared, pitting on your language. It was him who let me shoot his coat 45 revolver for the first time in my life. The recoil hurt my thumb. This made all the Paraguay and onlookers laugh really loud. Oh, this kind of prose is really gifted to the internet. It's amazing. It's amazing. You legitimately never know what this fuck is going to come up with next. I know. This man is fascinating. Yeah. Yeah. I'll just a stream of consciousness. Yeah. It's interesting. It's one of those little gifts that you come across when you're doing a deep enough dive that's just like no one no one would put this in a scholarly. Because like, I can't verify any of this, but I'm not not going to put it in a podcast. It's just too, it's just too incredible. It's it's it's it's it's a shame of the this guy now is commenting on Facebook shit about how he had a powerfully divorced vibe. Yeah. I'm not surprised that Michael Kane grew up to be the most divorced man on the internet. Yes. Yes. H is children. Mm hmm. Oh, perfect. Yes. No, no, no, no, no, I'm giving it all to me. James. That's that's what I love the internet for. Yeah. Yeah. This is a true goal. So back to Paraguay. It has always been pretty deeply fucked from an economic justice point of view. Today it actually has fun fact James. The most unequal land distribution of any nation on earth. 90% of its land is owned by 12,000 people. Now Jesus Christ. That's not great. This state of affairs actually started because of the war of the triple alliance, which left most Paraguayans dead and they're land up for grabs. Right. There's a lot of land that there's no one alive left. Yeah. And in the wake of that calamity, the next dictators basically sold everything that wasn't nailed down all these dead people's land to fund rebuilding and to fund themselves. And during this period, 32 firms purchased almost half of the country. One Spanish businessman purchased seven million hectares, which is more than a full Ireland of private property. Yeah. That's that's too much land for a person now. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You know what needs that much. What is he doing? It was a little there's a brisk debate to be had about the extent to private property. No one should be able to own an Ireland. Yeah. No. That's that's too much. The consequences of this led directly to a situation where all wealth in Paraguay was determined by land ownership because land gave on the ability to exploit minerals or other natural resources or at least charge rent. When stressiner came to power, the first person he killed was a government official tasked with carrying out a land reform policy to remedy this inequality. That is the first guy he has murdered is this guy doing the land reform. Great. And yeah, I'm going to quote next from an article in Earth site. As part of these clientele list networks, stressiner divided what remained a public land among his allies. Eight million hectares were given away or sold at negligible prices to army generals and Colorado grandees. This land was ostensibly destined for small scale farmers as part of a program of agrarian reform. And so has come to be known as lastieris malhabitas, the ill gotten lands. Yeah. Yeah. It's cool. It's a good story. Great. Yeah. Yeah. That probably is our tool. He started off on a great note, didn't he? Yeah. Yeah. So this leads to a pretty long running series of massacres of what are called compocinos who are tenant farmers attempting to protest for land reform. For stressiner, this also forms a crucial part of the network of bribery and other way looking that powers his dictatorship. To get military officers on his side, he hands out high level positions in statement opalies or land. And then he also has Pastor Corridel's secret police stand aside and ignore the illegal trade and contraband so that they can make a shitload of money smuggling stuff into the country. Peter Lambert writes of this, contraband often quoted as the price of peace and involving the vast majority of officials through their control of the frontier zones, guaranteed the complicity of the military establishment and the maintenance of a lucrative status quo. And the words of Eduardo Galliano, the generals fill their pockets and hatch no plots. So basically, he kills the guy who is responsible for redistributing land to the peasants. He takes all this land, he gives it to his generals, particularly land on the borders, which they then use in order to carry out like basically create smuggling networks, right, to bring products and then are not taxed. And this is fucked up. It's a mixed bag for much of the population because one thing this does is that you can actually get a lot of shit cheaper in Paraguay than you can in like the US where it's being made, like TVs are cheaper there and shit for a while because it's like no taxes and everyone in the government understands part of why we don't we're not dealing with any uprisings right now is that like people get cheap TVs and the money from those cheap TVs bribes the generals not to upset the apple cart, you know, it's a pretty intelligent system. It's evil, but it's smart, right? Right. How are you funding your state though if people aren't paying taxes and, uh, well, a lot of people aren't paying taxes. You do have like a shit. I mean, part honestly, the CIA James is the CIA, right? Like he's getting great. I'm eventually tens of millions of dollars from the United States. You can't be insurgent. It's a perfect system. What if the CIA could fund civic programs here to rebuild roads and bridges? Don't even think about it, Robin. Nope. Dropping in CIA agents to like clean up that part, Tana, Ohio, the trade just nupt. It's torturing the, uh, dude who runs Nulfux 7. Yeah, backing a dictator in Ohio, but then also cleaning up the land. It's a mixed bag in Ohio. Yeah, you have the population's been tortured to death, but the C's cleaner now. The C it's Ohio. One of my, yeah, yeah, the Ohio, yeah, the Ohio, the Ohio, we call it. But we've talked a good amount about the torture and murder, stress nurse chief attack dog pastor and by the way, pastor's not like a religious term. It's like, I think, sorry, pastor is what I should be saying. But you know me in pronunciations. It's his first name is pastor. Um, pastor, Kornel carried out, but what's perhaps more interesting is how relatively rarely he needed to do this. The early years of the stress nurse regime established such a baseline of terror that Paraguay and civil society was comprehensively beaten down. Um, and it had been pretty beaten down earlier, right? So kind of what happens after he takes power is most people are like, yeah, man, he sucks. But we're not dealing with the civil war every year. And like, you know, the corruption at least means cheap TVs. So why don't we just give up on politics, right? Like that's kind of, that's how Lambert Lambert, that's how Lambert kind of describes what happens to the people. And he calls this the institutionalization of repression and defines that as a demobilization of civil society due to a perception that politics is only the domain of soldiers and the leaders who control them. Yeah. Yeah. You don't have like a civil society's like non-state actors who make demands of the state. What the fuck is the point in making demands of the state when yeah, either it changed every five minutes or it kills you. Exactly. And I'm going to read another quote from Lambert here that makes this point. To a large extent, the regime succeeded in not only demobilizing the, but depoliticizing civil society, destroying not only the organizational ability of the opposition, but more importantly, the capacity to question, to analyze and to criticize. The repression and co-option of nascent opposition led to an apparent acceptance of the status quo, a cynicism toward politics, a disinterest in what was seen as an area reserved for elites and prohibited to the masses. And to be fair, the stability that stress never brings with them makes it easy for the people who aren't being targeted by the government to feel this way. Regular people are benefiting from this situation in a lot of ways. And the 1970s see an economic explosion as Paraguay finally recovers from both the Chaco war and its decades of instability for a while. It has the highest growth rate of any South American country. And a lot of this is due to the fact that there's a joint Brazilian Paraguay in project to create a massive hydroelectric dam in a typo. Today, I believe the typo dam is still the most productive hydroelectric power project on the planet. Like, it's a pretty good idea to have this dam there. You know, not that that's up to stress in everybody, green lights it. And massive corruption ensures that Paraguay and industry, like this is part of the problem, is that like, this is a great thing to have in your country, like this incredibly productive power dam. They have a contract basically with Brazil where they split the power 50-50 and Brazil like funds the construction. But because of massive corruption, none of the 50% of a typo's power that's supposed to go to Paraguay actually goes towards, you know, building an industrial base or doing anything to improve the economy. So the project temporarily brings an economic boom because so many Paraguayans are working on it, but they're not going to actually use the resources that it generates to improve the economy in any meaningful way, which is going to be a problem for everybody in a little bit here. Paraguay's boom years are also helped by regular infusions of cash from the United States and the IMF to the eventual tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. In exchange, stressor keeps Paraguay as a compliant and stress-free part of operation condor. The CIA never needs to send in black ops teams to the country or fund paramilitary death squads. There's no grinding left wing insurgency that threatens the stability of the government. The fact that stressor was generally good for U.S. policy aims and the undeniable fact that life under his rule was at least more stable than life under previous dictators led some in the international community to call him a good dictator. George Landau, a U.S. ambassador to the country, called Alfredo, but nine as dictatorships go. Oh god, there it is. Yeah, I'm sure I'm sure the teachers being soaked in shit and then murdered are, yeah, this is benign basically. Yeah, it has dictatorships go. Yeah, television cheap. What are you going to do? What of the things? Fucking George Landau says is that, well, you know, political prisoners in Paraguay generally get out of prison alive as long as they have powerful friends. No, yeah, great. That's probably better. That's good. We're good. Yeah, no. Thank you. I was worried we were complicit in nightmare-ish evil again, but you know what? It's good. We're fine. Shining city on a hill, ship, as always, the United States. I am at the ghost of George Washington speaking on a mountain above DC. Yeah, we will build a nation where political prisoners sometimes get out of prison if their friends are powerful. That's one of the things they didn't put on my becoming an American test. No, that's one of those like little quotes they write in your passport book. Yeah, I'm sure. You know what else winds up written in your passport book. Is it corporations? Yeah, I mean, kind of. How many piles of gold you've bought? If you have enough gold, you don't even need a passport, Sophie. You know what? Innovative, I like it. Thank you. Buying a home, Rocket Mortgage will cover 1% of your rate for the first year at no cost to you, saving you hundreds, even thousands, with inflation buster. For example, if you like a 7% rate today, you'll only pay 6% for a year. That's more game days, more girls trips, more family gatherings. Every month for a year, and your rate is secured for 30 years. Plus, if rates drop within three years of your home purchase, you get exclusive savings when you refinance with rate drop advantage. More kitchen upgrades. More room to grow. More cash in your pocket. 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So George Landau are our good friend, the US ambassador to Peregway for a while. Claims that stressor repeatedly complained in the late 70s that he was tired of ruling and that he wanted to retire to a life of fishing and hunting. But that Peregway needed him. Landau claimed he believed his most dictators do that he was absolutely irreplaceable. He talked himself into a sense of duty. Now that's horseshit. What's actually, why is he writing this? Like is he just like doing all that? Yeah, like a Suncian. Yeah, he's like, I think this is like, yeah, while he's probably, I think he leaves in 79. I guess he's 79. Yeah. So I believe that and other sources I found will argue that stressiner basically gets addicted to total power. Yeah. And it kind of loses the ability to conceive of anyone else making decisions about his country. It is interesting to read accounts like Landau's by Americans who talk to stressiner during this period because like everyone in Peregway, like all of the people in his cabinet, every other leader has to treat him as kind of a cross between like God and the devil because his whim can destroy their lives, right? So no one can talk to him honestly. But American soldiers and diplomats like are safe, right? Like you, you can actually have a conversation with stressiner because like he's not, he's not going to fuck up the money, right? He's not an idiot. Um, so take this and, taking this into account, I found a letter to the editor of national review by a former US soldier who traveled to Peregway for work during stressiner's time in office that I found really interesting. In very good English, he said, I am president Alfredo stressiner and I would like to thank you for showing us your aircraft. Since I am in my country, custom requires that I continue this conversation in Spanish with my interpreter, which he did. His interpreter was far less fluent in English than the leader. We gave him a tour of the airplane and answered all his questions about it. Then he philosophized for a few minutes. We never understood why the remark that has struck with me to this day was, I am sure you have heard that I am a dictator. That is true, but I am a benevolent dictator, which my country needs. We are a backward country and my people are not ready for democracy. We wisely made no comment on the remark and shortly after we launched for a return flight to the canal zone. It is interesting because this guy is literally writing the editor of national review. I am going to assume this service is pretty conservative, but he ends this letter by noting, we knew very well even then there was nothing benevolent about stressiner's dictatorship, which is more honest than George Landau. This guy has not cut out for career and foreign service. No, no, no. In my studio, thanks showing him your airplane to speak. I am glad that we are sharing on military assets with the speech of shit, Booma. I feel good about my service today. I signed up to defend this country. God willing. As the 1980s dawned, Alfredo's power was at its apparent height from the New York Times. President stressiner was never one for understatement. His name written in neon flashed nightly over the Asuncian cityscape during his reign. And his face was plastered day. He's been in the past. He's been tempted neon. Yeah, he's ready for the Reagan years. His face was plastered daily in the newspapers and on television. He was known for turning up in his powder blue military uniform every Thursday at the general staff headquarters of the armed forces. John Vinequier, writing in the New York Times magazine in 1984, offered this snapshot of Paraguay as its army goosed stepped down the boulevards to celebrate General stressiner's 30 years in power. A continual state of siege over the entire period that literally places the president above the law, people with occasionally uncontrollable urges to fall into rivers or jump from planes with their arms and legs bound, serenades in front of the presidential palace, featuring the ever-popular forward, my general, and congratulations, my great friend. Foreign thieves, broots, and madmen hidden at a price and economy administered so corruptly, it is officially explained away as the cost of peace. A United Nations voting record on so-called key issues more favorable to the United States than any other ally, a party newspaper that prints six four-page color pictures of the general every day. Jesus Christ. What a great country. They should go in well. The powerful image. Anytime you've got goose-stepping military and anyone in power for 30 years, I should set off some alarm bells. Yeah. Now appearances can be deceiving, James, because when the construction of the atypudam stopped in 1981, that just so happened to occur at the same time as a global collapse in the value of cotton and soybean, which were paraguay's two biggest crops. So because due to rampant corruption, none of this power generated by a typo who's being used to help them create a better industrial base, paraguay's economy takes a long walk off a short pier at this point in time. The balance of payments and deficit for paraguay gets so bad that stressiner is finally forced to abandon his fixed rate for the currency. Inflation rises sharply and with it comes the first stirrings of resistance to his regime. Now, in addition to the fact that the economy has taken a shit, stressors an old man at this point. His health troubles him and he's forced to hand over more and more control to his underlings, like Pastor Coronel, who begins actively scheming to replace him. To cope with the stress, Alfredo increasingly gravitates to the only hobby that makes it all better. James, what do you do when you're stressed out? How do you chill out? I go for bike rides, I go climbing, I can't. It's just those his favorite activities too. I'm at spoons. That's interesting. Those are all great hobbies, James. Alfredo takes a slightly different route. He gets really involved in child sex trafficking. I'm going to read a quote from from kind of spooning. Oh boy, I'm going to quote from Alex Sumitoff from Vanity Fair. Stressiner was no doubt aware of the inevitable waning of his powers and his solution to the problem seems to have been schoolgirls. Muchachitas, they were his elixir. Maybe he thought that the intercambio de hormonus would keep him young. He wasn't alone in his pre-election for this therapy. His friend Perone, who liked boys as well, consoled himself with a 14-year-old after the death of Aveda. In the opinion of stressiner's family surgeon Manuel Riveraos, there was nothing abnormal about an old man having a soft spot for nymphets. This is an article from the 80s in Vanity Fair. So the writer is a bastard too. Look, let's not be wrong here. Youth is contagious, he told me. Trujillo crossed the streets of Santo Domingo looking for girls. Bocaça cruised the streets of Bangui. Stressiner cruised the streets of Asuncillon. It went with the turf. The girls were Don Alfredo's draw to signature. Oh dear. Oh dear. Yeah, it's not very good. Alex Sumitoff is a prestige magazine journalist writing in the 1980s. So he's a kind of gross guy in some ways. Yes, he's got an extreme fucking creep. Oh, I don't even start it. James. Oh god. Here's Alex. Again, give me more of his pay on Topía Filia. It is hard not to notice the school girls. Slender, Tan, Mestiza, beauties, budding in their white uniforms who pour into the streets of Asuncillon at noon. After a long morning, stressiner would park near one of the schools and watch them come out when he had made his pick. His age would find out who the girl was and approach the parents with an offer of cash or real estate. If all else failed, the girl was kidnapped and given an injection that made her more cooperative. If she got pregnant, she was sent to the best hospital and treated by the best doctors. How many children the tyrannosaur produced is unknown, but there are thought to be many. I am feeling physically unwell. So that's fucked up. Obviously, if you are this guy reporting for a huge magazine on this, this is critical stuff to report on. You don't need to describe how attractive the school girls are, Alex. That's bad. That makes me think you're a monster too. That story. Wildly inappropriate. Terrible. Wow. So yeah, Jesus Christ. Good stuff. One of the people procuring children for the dictator was Colonel Leopoldo Perrier, who scoured the countryside for eight to 12-year-old peasant girls and brought. Yep. He, he, he, me, very young. And he would bring them to safe houses and suburban like neighborhoods that had playgrounds so that they would be amused while they waited for the general. That's like the worst detail. Yeah, that's fucking hell. If you got a slide for your girlfriends, like, yeah, you're doing it wrong. I'm going to read another very rough two sentences from that vanity fair article. I'm breaking. One of stress nurse conquests was the 15-year-old daughter of the head of the national cement industry. As part of the seductions, she and her brother got a trip to Disney World. Oh, man. Good hell. Now that is that is stuck. That is rough. Yeah. This story was first broken by Jack Anderson in the Washington Post in 1977 who I'm fair. From what I recall of his article does not write anything creepy about these children. Yeah. He, like, basis his article off of an interview he conducts with a woman named Malina Ashwell and Malina is the daughter of a Paraguay in official stationed in Washington, DC, who tells him that two years earlier in 75 back in the capital, they'd been having lunch with a colleague when they were called over to the mansion next door, where they saw the unconscious bodies of two eight-year-old girls and one nine-year-old girl who were both bleeding between their legs. Ashwell called the police, but they had, like, the police show up, but they leave immediately because somebody points out that the house is owned by Colonel Perry A. The house is apparently a brothel frequented by the dictator himself. And she calls, like, you know, once the police leave, she calls a local journalist and tries to give him the story before she goes to the post. But the journalist she tells this all to, the Paraguay journalist, gets arrested for communism and a raid of his house turns up the text of her interview, so she gets tortured for three days. She's only saved because her dad is influential. When Anderson publishes this story, we'll start turning in the Carter White House. And thankfully, Carter is not unwilling to back dictators as he does an El Salvador during this period of time, but this is far too much for Jim H. Carter. And the United States cuts aid to stress nurse dictatorship. Now, Reagan winds up in the office very shortly thereafter. And Reagan's like, oh, we have no problem supporting a pet of flour. We're done this totally fine. Yeah. Ronald Reagan switches that policy right back. They do lose out on money during this period where the economy is also in the shitter, and that creates problems at weakened stress nurse regime. It's one of the things that contributes to the weakening of his regime. By 1982, Kampacinos who lost their job, or in 1982, Kampacinos who lost their jobs when the dam was finished started to protest again for land reform. This got in the way of the dreams of stress nurse cabinet members and military officers. Villages were declared centers of delinquency, subversion, and forcibly evacuated. The peasantry began to desert stress nurse as a result. By the late 1980s, the general was sick enough that he could no longer fully control his regime. He'd hoped one of his sons would take over for him, but one of them was an alcoholic and the other was gay, and neither of them had the wherewithal to politic their way through stress nurse cabinet. On February 3rd, General Andres Rodriguez, a close relative of the dictator by marriage, executed a violent coup against stress nurse. There's an eight hour gunfight. Stress nurse barely gets away in a limousine from the gunfight, but there's enough resistance that he is able to escape and keep his own life, but his troops are not able to stop the soldiers loyal to Rodriguez from taking the capital. Rodriguez is married to his daughter. It's like his son-in-law too. Stress nurse is able to negotiate a safe surrender of power, and he and his householder granted the ability to leave the country. He survives losing power, which is, again, rules for 35 years gets out alive, very rare story in the annals of dictatorships. He had initially hoped to land in Florida because he owned several houses in Florida. The traditional resting place of retirement dictators. He feared though being tried for his crimes, and so when the right wing military government of Brazil offered him sanctuary, he took it. He spent the last 17 years of his life there, living in comfort until the age of 93. Jesus. Yeah. Wow. A terrible, terrible monster. Yeah, he did die by the night of the night. I was really rooting for Rodriguez that too. Yeah, yeah. It would have been good if he'd gotten the old Mussolini. Yeah, that would, yeah, we'd have loved to see that. Yeah. Or if they did him like Kedafi, but yeah, I know, put him up as a fucking pinata for eight-year-old girls to Alas. He lives out his life on the beaches of Brazil. So, you know, that's a good story. Yeah, in many ways not, but it is a story. That's undeniable. You know what else is undeniable, James? How brutal the ending of this fucking podcast was? Yeah. That was fucking terrible. No, I really did backload the work. That dude died fucking Disneyland. She is. Oh my god. Yeah, that's pretty rough. You said some really horrible things on the podcast. That was an ex-loveled door. I'm glad you gave like a slight warning to people. Because that's just, yeah. That was some particularly dark shit. That is some particularly dark shit. Yeah, James. Oh, James, do you have anything to plug? Yeah. Now that we've talked about child sexual abuse, we've got another podcast in which we much more rarely talk about child sexual abuse, which is, you know, so if that's something you don't want to hear about, you can listen to, it could happen here. Sometimes with me, sometimes with Robert Sophie. We're going to put that in our vulture right up. We'll go soaring up the rankings. Yeah, so rarely discusses child sexual abuse. Yeah, so yeah, the thing we won't talk about. I would like to plug the concept of hugging a nice friendly animal like a dog or a cat and definitely not a fill. Yeah. Yeah, well, he's probably decayed at this point. He's been dropped. Thanks to. Yeah. If you're going to hug an animal, like, you know, really make sure you're in a stable stance. Make sure the animal wants to hug you back. Yeah. Yeah. Don't kidnap animals. Don't let your animal anywhere near filled. It's a blast. You adopted it posthumously and it's now filled with us. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. I mean, he simply had to at that point. But yeah, Robert, Robert, it's funeral. You have a book that people can buy. I do. It's called After the Revolution. You can find it at AK Press's website or like Amazon or like bookstores. You go to a bookstore and you could be like, I would like After the Revolution by Robert Evans. And if they say no, whatever weapon you're carrying, you know, you can just whip that out and, and, you know, create a hostage situation until you get a copy of my book. Or you could repress it at your local library. Yeah. All of these are equally valid options. I'm just I like, I, my brain is on that photo of buildings, you're dropping filthy ground. It's very funny. Very funny. Oh, man. All right. I'm glad this is over. I've been put away too. Yeah. We're going to go pull one out for Phil. We're not for Phil. Bye. Bye. Behind the bastards is a production of Cool Zone Media. 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