Juan Carlos Wasmosy

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Juan Carlos Wasmosy
Wasmosy 1990 (cropped).jpg
44th President of Paraguay
In office
August 15, 1993 August 15, 1998
Vice President Ángel Roberto Seifart
Preceded by Andrés Rodríguez
Succeeded by Raúl Cubas Grau
Personal details
Born (1938-12-15) December 15, 1938 (age 81)
Asuncion, Paraguay
Political party Colorado Party

Juan Carlos Wasmosy Monti (born December 15, 1938) was the president of Paraguay from August 15, 1993 until August 15, 1998. He was a member of the Colorado Party, and the country's first civilian president in 39 years.

Born in Asunción, Paraguay, Wasmosy trained as a civil engineer and became head of the Paraguayan consortium working on the Itaipu Dam. During this project, he amassed a large amount of wealth. He served as minister of integration under President Andrés Rodríguez.

His ancestors Dániel Vámosy and József Vámosy, who changed his name into Wamosy, immigrated to South America from Debrecen, Hungary in 1828. At that time, the surname of the family was Vámosy. His relative, Alceu Wamosy (1895–1923), a famous Brazilian writer, is also from this ancestry. Juan Carlos Wasmosy went to see the home town of his ancestors in 1995 during his official visit to Hungary.

Rodríguez endorsed Wasmosy as his successor in the 1993 elections. He won with approximately 40 percent of the vote in what is generally acknowledged to be the first honest election in the country's history (the country had gained independence in 1811), with Domingo Laino finishing a close second. Although there were confirmed cases of fraud, a team of international observers led by Jimmy Carter concluded that Wasmosy's margin of victory was large enough to offset any wrongdoing. Carter also noted that opposition candidates took 60 percent of the vote between them. This was a remarkable figure given Paraguay's long history of autocratic rule. For most of the country's history, particularly during Alfredo Stroessner's 35-year dictatorship, the opposition was barely tolerated when it was even permitted at all. At the time of Stroessner's ouster in 1989, the country had only known two years of true democracy in its entire history.

However, he became very unpopular when he appointed many of Stroessner's supporters to government posts. He also failed to continue the limited reforms of Rodríguez.

Lino Oviedo, head of the Paraguayan army, allegedly attempted a coup in April 1996. Wasmosy countered by offering Oviedo a ministerial position, but soon imprisoned him.

Wasmosy was barred from running again in 1998; in response to Stroessner's authoritarian excesses, the 1992 constitution barred any sort of reelection for the president. Raúl Cubas stood for the Colorado Party presidential nomination and won.

In 2002, Wasmosy was convicted of defrauding the Paraguayan state and was himself sentenced to four years in prison. [1] The sentence was later appealed.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Andrés Rodríguez
President of Paraguay
August 15, 1993 – August 15, 1998
Succeeded by
Raúl Cubas