Stroessner (Matiauda), Alfredo

Stroessner (Matiauda), Alfredo

biographical name

(born Nov. 3, 1912, Encarnación, Para.—died Aug. 16, 2006, Brasília, Braz.) Military leader and president of Paraguay (1954–89). The son of a German immigrant, Stroessner joined the army in 1932 and rose to become commander in chief in 1951. He deposed Pres. Federico Chávez (b. 1881?—d. 1978) in 1954 and was the sole candidate in the presidential elections later that year. He stabilized the currency, moderated inflation, and provided some new schools and public health facilities, but he spent half the national income on the military establishment in order to preserve his authority. He also participated in Operation Condor, a clandestine campaign coordinated by several South American rulers to eliminate their opponents. After his election to an eighth successive term, Stroessner was deposed in a coup d'état and went into exile.

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