Hmm. Maybe the "Pinochet" sobriquet
isn't too far off the mark, just in the wrong hemisphere. Now granted, this is all still unsubstantiated, but it's interesting to hypothesize.
At least two sources, including Upsidedownworld and Prensa Latina, report rumors of a Bush family purchase of land in northern Paraguay.
Upsidedownworld writes, on October 11:
The Governor of Alto Paraguay, Erasmo Rodríguez Acosta has admitted to hearing that George Bush Sr. owns land in the Chaco region of Paraguay, in Paso de Patria. Acosta says that rumor has it that Bush owns near to 70 thousand hectares (173,000 acres) as part of an ecological reserve and/or ranch. However, the governor said he had no documents to prove the rumor.
Prensa Latina, writing on October 13, gives a similar story but names George W. Bush rather than his father:
An Argentine official regarded the intention of the George W. Bush family to settle on the Acuifero Guarani (Paraguay) as surprising, besides being a bad signal for the governments of the region...Luis D Elia, undersecretary for the Social Habitat in the Argentine Federal Planning Ministry, issued a memo partially reproduced by digital INFOBAE.com, in which he spoke of the purchase by Bush of a 98,842-acre farm in northern Paraguay, between Brazil and Bolivia.
A visit by Jenna Bush on behalf of Unicef may have triggered speculation, as Upsidedownworld also suggests. But, could there be truth to the rumors? As calls increase for his impeachment, the President could well be thinking that South America would make a fine place to retire.
Another rumored land deal, this one involving the U.S. military, attracted the attention of Project Censored, which listed "U.S. Military in Paraguay" as one of its top 25 censored stories of 2007.
Five hundred U.S. troops arrived in Paraguay with planes, weapons, and ammunition in July 2005, shortly after the Paraguayan Senate granted U.S. troops immunity from national and International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction. Neighboring countries and human rights organizations are concerned that the massive air base at Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay is potential real estate for the U.S. military. [Project Censored]
And then George could establish his own little fiefdom with his own military (and coca exporting business) and be KING FOR REAL! Whooo hooo!
[h/t olvlzl for the reminder about this story]
UPDATE: Wonkette reviews the timeline via Bring it On!.