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The 1989 Coup d'Étát in Paraguay

The 1989 Coup d'Étát in Paraguay Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review May 2019 Title The 1989 Coup d'Étát in Paraguay
Author Antonio Luis Sapienza Publisher Helion
Published 2019 ISBN 9781911628699
Format 64 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $29.95


Antonio Luis Sapienza continues his fascinating South American historical coverage with The 1989 Coup d'Étát in Paraguay – eleventh in Helion’s terrific “Latin America@War” series.

Subtitled “The End of a Long Dictatorship, 1954-1989”, coverage commences with a handy summary by Adrian J. English of Paraguay’s tumultuous history.

Author Sapienza then recaps the overthrow of General Alfredo Stroessner’s régime in four succinct sections:

  • The Historical Background
  • Prelude To The Coup
  • The Coup
  • The Aftermath

During his rule, Stroessner spearheaded 35 years of solid Paraguayan economic progress – but brutally suppressed political opposition.

Sapienza’s study surveys how the aging Stroessner eventually lost domestic military support – and alienated international allies. And his combat commentary – events of the coup itself — reads like a political thriller.

Stroessner entered exile in Brazil – and died there in 2006.

The author’s copiously illustrated effort sports dozens of color and B&W photos. And 17 color profiles – six military vehicles by David Bocquelet, nine aircraft by Tom Cooper, and two warships by JP Vieira – offer plenty of potent project possibilities.

Building Esci’s classic 1:48 MB.326? Or Hobby Boss’ recent EMB.312 Tucano to the same scale? Get inspiration here.

Maps, tables, extended captions, and references support the study. But as events in Venezuela currently confirm, collapse of Stroessner’s régime did not mark the “last surviving dictatorship in South America”.

I loved this page-turner. If you follow the military’s role in Latin American politics, grab this intriguing, illuminating case study.


My sincere thanks to Casemate Publishing for this review sample!