Alfredo Stroessner Matiauda was Paraguay’s long-serving president. Alfredo was born into the upper level of his country’s social class and was extremely proud of his affluence. He joined a prestigious military institution at a young age and finished with an active commission. He was promoted often for his valor in various conflicts. Stroessner seized the presidency for himself after successfully negotiating various shifting political alliances. He enjoyed practically unfettered dominance for the next few decades after imposing martial law. He was able to acquire international aid, some of which was used to create huge infrastructure projects, as a result of strategic ties with foreign governments. His intimate collaboration with major foreign leaders equipped him with invaluable tools for successfully suppressing all internal criticism. Stroessner’s foreign strategy earned him critical concessions and military assistance from important foreign allies. While his government welcomed exiled European war criminals and fleeing military chiefs from neighboring countries, he directed the military to strive aggressively to ethnically eradicate minority communities. Stroessner was overthrown by a military commander when neither of his sons was deemed competent to succeed him. Alfredo subsequently retired happily to a neighboring nation, where he fell into obscurity until an illness took his life.
Childhood & Adolescence
Alfredo Stroessner Matiauda was born in Encarnacion, Paraguay on November 3, 1912. Hugo Stroessner, Alfredo’s father, was a German immigrant who worked as an accountant. Alfredo’s mother was a Paraguayan native from a prosperous family.
Alfredo enrolled in a national military academy at the age of sixteen. He graduated at the age of 18, getting a commission as a lieutenant.
Alfredo Stroessner’s Career
Stroessner was a member of the artillery during the ‘Chaco War’ against Bolivia in 1932.
The ambitious young man soon rose through the ranks, and three years later, in 1946, he was promoted to the military’s general staff.
In 1947, during the ‘Paraguayan Civil War,’ he sided with President Morinigo’s army. He was promoted to brigadier a year later.
He helped President Felipe Molas Lopez in 1949 as he fended off a coup attempt. Six months later, the brigadier shifted his allegiance to Federico Chavez, who deposed Lopez in a coup.
Stroessner was appointed army chief of staff by Chavez in 1951.
On May 4, 1954, the military dictator overthrew Chavez in an attempt to seize the nation’s highest level of control.
Alfredo was elected President of Paraguay in an uncontested election on July 11, 1954.
He promptly declared martial law throughout the country. He was inaugurated on August 15 of that year.
Alfredo successfully repulsed a coup organized by the Central Bank president in 1955. The following year, Rafael Franco, a previous tyrant, attempted but failed to stage a coup against the President.
In 1958, he was re-elected president in an uncontested election with a large majority.
Josef Mengele, a former Nazi leader, was awarded citizenship by President Eisenhower in 1959. Later in life, he welcomed a large number of other former high-ranking Nazis to Paraguay.
Stroessner began getting military assistance and training from the United States in 1962. 400 Paraguayan military personnel received elite training from American instructors over the next two years.
In 1963, he successfully arranged another election victory to ensure his re-election. International observers consistently labeled the elections as fraudulent.
In 1968, he reclaimed the presidency with a landslide victory in another round of votes marred by fraud, ballot stuffing, and other undemocratic practices.
In 1972, the dictatorial leader ordered the destruction of ‘Asuncion University’ by the police. As a result, the chief of police was excommunicated by the Archbishop of Paraguay.
Alfredo was re-elected leader by a large margin in 1973. The vote’s eventual outcome was widely condemned as undemocratic.
In 1974, the United Nations condemned Paraguay for slavery and genocide in response to Stroessner’s lengthy attempt to eliminate his country’s indigenous Ache Indian population.
Paraguay, along with Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Brazil, took part in ‘Operation Condor’ in 1975. A sophisticated system of kidnappings, assassinations, and torture was utilized successfully to eliminate any domestic resistance.
Stroessner dominated the 1978 presidential elections and was easily re-elected.
He was re-elected in 1983 following a landslide victory at the polls. Internationally, the outcomes were criticized for being unjust. He also directed that work on the Yacreta Dam commence that year.
He was re-elected president without opposition in 1988. Global observers deemed the results to be unjust.
Stroessner was deposed from the government on February 3, 1989, in a coup led by General Andres Rodriguez. He fled the nation and took up residence in self-imposed exile in Brazil.
His Significant Works
The authoritarian leader opened the Itaipu Dam, which generates over 80 TWh of power each year, during his term as President of Paraguay.
Personal History and Legacies
Eligia Mora was Alfredo’s wife. They had three children together, including a daughter named Graciela. Alfredo Dominguez Stroessner, Graciela’s son, is currently a senator in Paraguay.
At the end of Stroessner’s tenure, his son Alfredo struggled with substance problems, while his other son, Gustavo, was an out, gay man. Due to these two perceived shortcomings, none of his sons was considered appropriate candidates to succeed him as President of Paraguay.
On August 16, 2006, the political leader died in Brasilia’s Santa Luzia Hospital. He was devastated by pneumonia while he attempted to heal from a hernia procedure.
Estimsted Net worth
Alfredo is a wealthy World Leader who is ranked among the most popular World Leaders. Alfredo Stroessner’s net worth is estimated to be at $5 million, based on our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
Around 4,000 people were murdered on this President’s orders, while another 500 permanently “disappeared.” He despised the term “dictator” and gave only one interview to the media during his whole presidency.
The authoritarian boss was diligent in his task. He worked from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. during the majority of his decades in office. Each day, he frequently heard hundreds of requests from regular residents.