"The demise of the long-ruling Stroessner military dictatorship in 1989 initiated a political transition in Paraguay that has been difficult at times. Current President Nicanor Duarte Frutos has implemented some reforms that have addressed corruption and contributed to economic growth. Yet, due in large part to the country's authoritarian past, Paraguay's state institutions remain weak while corruption remains ingrained in the political culture, impeding democratic consolidation and economic development. The April 2008 presidential elections could serve as a test of the strength of Paraguay's democracy since the Colorado Party faces the possibility of losing its dominance after 60 years in power. At this juncture, the opposition is divided between support for former Catholic priest Fernando Lugo and former General Lino Oviedo. U.S.-Paraguayan relations have been strong, with extensive cooperation on counterterrorism and counternarcotics efforts. For additional information, see CRS Report RL33620, Mercosur: Evolution and Implications for U.S. Trade Policy and CRS Report RS21049, Latin America: Terrorism Issues. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34180