Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 362
Paraguayan Febrerstia Revolutionary Party, 362
Variables and Codes for 1950-1962
For the concepts and variables below, use these links to Political Parties: A Cross-National Survey:
Governmental Status
Issue Orientation
Goal Orientation
Organizational Complexity
Organizational Power
Organizational Coherence
Membership Involvement
The "ac" code is for "adequacy-confidence"--a data quality measure ranging from 0 (low) to 9 (high)
Party name and code number
Paraguayan Men of February Revolution Party, usually called Febrerista, 362
Partido Revolucionario Febrerista, PRF
Information base and researchers
The information base for party politics in Paraguay consists of 771 pages from 51 documents, nine of which are in Spanish. A total of 309 pages or 40 percent pertain to the Febrerista Party. Marcelino Miyares, Judith Newsome Gillespie, and Jean Jacobsohn indexed the literature for retrieval. Doreen Kostel Ellis coded the variables.

Institutionalization Variables
, 1.01-1.06
1.01 year of origin and 1.02 name changes
1936, AC9
5, AC8
The Febrerista Party grew out of the 1936-7 revolutionary government, although the party did not actually have a convention until 1951. The party did control the state for a few months in 1936 and has since been competing for political power. Since its formation as a loosely organized group after the Chaco War, the Febrerista Party has been becoming more and more centralized. Each stage of development and centralization has been accompanied by a different name--Committee of Revolutionary Organizations (1937-1945), Concentracion Revolucionaria Febrerista (1945-1951), and Partido Revolucionario Febrerista (1951 and on).
1.03 organizational discontinuity
12, AC8
There has been great factionalism in Paraguayan parties. In the case of the Febreristas, the Vanguardia and the List 17 Febrero became autonomous political groups whereas many members of the Bloque, another faction, joined the Communist Party.
1.04 leadership competition
2, AC7
Colonel Rafael Franco has been the leader of the party since its inception. Any mention of other leaders is probably in reference to the leaders of the splinter groups.
1.05 / 2.05 legislative instability and strength
Instability is undefined
Strength is .00 for 1st half, AC9 and .00 for 2nd half, AC9
The Febrerista Party was banned during our time period. It thus had no legislative strength but its instability is undefined.
1.06 / 2.06 electoral instability and strength
Instability is 1.83, AC3
Strength is undefined
The Febrerista Party was declared illegal and did not participate in elections during our time period. This accounts for its high instability score.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 government discrimination
16, AC9
The Colorado party has displayed the typical Paraguayan policy of eliminating the opposition parties from the political arena. Thus the Febreristas have been declared illegal.
2.02 governmental leadership
0 out of 7 for 1st half, AC9
0 out of 8 for 2nd half, AC9
The Febreristas have not been allowed to participate in national politics.
2.03 cabinet participation
0 out of 7 for 1st half, AC9
0 out of 6 for 2nd half, AC9
There have been no cabinet members of Febrerista origin--all are hand-picked by Stroessner's party.
2.04 national participation
5, AC9
The Febreristas are an interesting example of a party that is nationally based, but gets most of its support from exiles or from certain social groups (e.g., students and labor). Thus its membership is spread out over great geographic area, cutting across borders where persons are in exile, but at the same time its ideology is very nationalistic. Its membership varies in each area due to the limited bases of support which the Febreristas have. There is some over-representation of the urban areas in the Febrerista Party due to the greater appeal to social groups found there (e.g., students, labor) as compared with the peasantry who tend to belong to the older Colorado or Liberal Parties.
2.07 outside origin
6, AC9
The Febrerista Party was formed in the aftermath of the Chaco War. The leaders in its organization were Franco, a war hero, and other war veterans , with the additional aid of discontented students and labor.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 ownership of means of production
1, AC6
The more conservative wing of the Febrerista Party, that wing that is in control of the party's legitimate actions, agree with the radical wing as far as the necessity for state-owned subsoil and soil rights but stop at the radical notion of state ownership of all land. The Institutionalists believe that private property gives the worker initiative, but maintain that property must not become more important than the importance it retains in aiding society (food, shelter, resources, etc.).
5.02 government role in economic planning
5, AC9
The Febrerista Party has historically utilized an ideology that contained the idea of governmental direction in the economic sphere of activity as one of importance. During our time period the Febreristas maintained this ideology, proclaiming the necessity for the state direction of reform and the distribution of wealth. In terms of agrarian Paraguay, this means also that the state is to expropriate and divide all unproductive latifundios and to designate their use.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
4, AC9
Probably the most important type of reform for agrarian Paraguay is the redistribution of land. The Febreristas desire a seizure and re-distribution of land by the government, but the Institutionalists shy away from the all-encompassing state-ownership of land which the List 17 Febrero ( radicals) desire. Instead the Institutionalists feel that private property is important to the peasant for psychological reasons which would impel the peasant to work harder. Thus their re-distribution of land would involve selling it to the peasants--it stops short of any communalism. This variable is coded according to the ideas of the Institutionalists, not only because they are the faction that has the power, but also because they are the lowest common denominator as far as the degree of radical thought. This practice will be followed throughout this variable cluster.
5.04 social welfare
5, AC9
The Febrerista movement wishes to realize the ideal of making available to all persons the means for the proper standard of life in Paraguay. They are especially concerned with those very basic needs without which many Paraguayans live, namely health, nourishment and education. They feel that the best method for reaching these goals is through the nationalization of all public services. It is important to remember that the Febrerista plans are basically just in the planning stage and are not being carried out during our time period, due to their illegal status and their lack of funds.
5.05 secularization of society
There is no actual mention of the degree of secularization of the Febrerista Party, beyond the fact that they tolerate other religions (than the general Latin American Catholicism).
5.06 support of the military
0, AC3
Although the Febrerista program states their desire to depoliticize the army and to take away some of their expenditures, I would hesitate to describe this as their policy in that at the same time as they are declaring these principles, they were in favor of violence, if necessary, to oust Stroessner, and they did have many guerilla attacks on Paraguay. Naturally, being an illegal party subjected to many repressive measures, they would be in favor of less government expenditure on the armed forces, but yet I find it difficult to label them anti-military.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
0, AC9
The Febreristas feel a great anti-imperialism against both the U.S.S.R. And the U.S. they desire independence from any rival blocs of nations in an effort to find a new democracy for Paraguay. This is a very interesting reaction to U.S. aid to the repressive dictator and to what they view as the international interests of communism. Both are viewed as the menace.
5.08 anti-colonialism
5, AC9
The Febrerista Party is an extremely nationalistic party. Thus they desire no political ties that would in any way subordinate them to another nation. As Lewis has described it, they are opposed to "U.S. intervention and communist penetration." They desire a truly Paraguayan culture, economy, and nation state.
5.09 supranational integration
3, AC5
The Febrerista Party has been described as belonging to a general type of Latin American political party--the Aprista type. The Febrerista Party has attended conventions of the Latin American popular parties and has shown its agreement with the convention's general policy statement by signing that statement. One of the portions of the statement called for the parties to work towards the eventual economic and political unification of Latin America. Yet I would hesitate to give full confidence to this statement, in that it is not a party statement, but rather a statement by a group of parties--in other words, this statement was not of Febrerista origin, and perhaps it would not have been quite as much in favor of the eventual federation of Latin America (or it may have been more in favor of it).
5.10 national integration
5, AC8
As stated previously, the Febrerista Party is extremely nationalistic, and in our time period has been attempting to integrate the rest of the Paraguayan population into their culture. This is an effort to create a different mass-based political culture and to integrate the entire population under the Febrerista banner.
5.11 electoral participation
5, AC3
The Febrerista Party wants uniform civil rights for all men and women in Paraguay. In the past they have not followed through on this theory, and in our time period they could not practice their theory because they were illegal. It would be interesting to see exactly how the Febrerista Party would treat the problem of franchise if they were in power again.
5.12 protection of civil rights
3, AC9
The Febreristas desired equal rights for men and women and equal political rights for all persons regardless of their political party or social group. They were not in a position to legislate their theory during our time period, and thus did not make any statements about possible enforcement of civil rights legislation, nor did they speak in a more specific sense about their population, beyond the desire to mobilize the masses. Thus, again this is an example of a theory expounded without the actual practice.
5.13 interference with civil liberties
There is not enough information about this variable beyond the fact that the Febreristas were desirous of freedom of the press.
5.14 / 5.15 us--soviet experts left-right ratings
US says 3, non-communist left
Soviets say 3, supported by the radically oriented petty bourgeoisie, democratic intelligentsie, students and sectors of peasant classes. Favors nationalization of resources, agrarian rorm, and constitutional reorganization.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 open competition in the electoral process
1, AC9
The Febreristas wanted electoral reform and wished to compete in elections, but felt that they could not due to the repressive actions of the Stroessner regime. Thus they took part in boycotts and subversive tactics, including some guerilla warfare. Again in this case there was a more radical viewpoint that could not see any possibility of reconciliation with the Stroessner government. They desired revolution, but I feel that it is important to account for the majority of Febreristas who would be willing to work for institutional change if at all possible. However, the channels for such cooperation appeared to be closing up in the second half of our time period.
6.10 restricting party competition
0, AC5
The Febreristas desire reform through constitutional processes and through revolution if necessary. They do not speak about restricting party competition, but rather, being an illegal party, want party competition to regain some ability to take part in the electoral process.
6.20 subverting the political system
3, AC9
The Febreristas have been throughout this time period the more radical of the non-communist opposition parties, allowing, if not supporting, guerilla warfare and boycotting elections in an effort to pressure the government into some reform. In the second half of the time period, due to their unification with the Liberals in a coalition, their tactics were made a bit more moderate, although they still saw the need for a possible armed uprising against the Stroessner regime. This slight change should not affect the code.
6.30 propagandizing ideas and program
6.31--2, AC9. When allowed by the Colorados and/or when it can be sold on the black market, the Febreristas operate their newspapers. An interesting mode of communication which seems widely used and which is ignored by this variable is graffiti, which can be described as a mode of mass communication. The Febreristas utilize this also.
6.32--2, AC6. The education process in the Febrerista Party is important for recruitment because most Paraguayans have belonged to one of the traditional political parties. The underground classes are the Febrerista's best means of screening their recruits and of teaching the recruits the Febrerista political culture (political socialization). The schools also serve as a general information center for members.
6.33--2, AC9. It appears that Febreristas have passed many definitive resolutions and platforms, the "new Paraguay" program being an example that has been incorporated into the Colorado program. Interestingly enough, many of the Febrerista programs have been adopted in some way by the Colorados to assist reform in Paraguay.
6.34--2, AC9. In an effort to survive, the Febreristas must publish position papers. These papers are basically to illustrate the way the Febreristas view Paraguayan life and the way they feel it can and should be changed. The papers are generally published to enlighten the Paraguayan people to the possibilities that the Febreristas feel they can offer them and to show the people the wrongs of their society.
6.50 providing for welfare of party members
6.51, 6.52, 6.53, 6.54--AC1. There is generally very little material on this variable cluster. There is only one illustration of an experiment in living, where the Febreristas aided a village for six months, but it appears that this did not occur as a common practice, and this only applied to providing shelter.
6.55--1, AC8. There have been cases described in the literature of social activities planned and executed by the Febreristas to promote unity and/or raise funds.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 sources of funds
7, AC8
Due to their illegal status and the fact that many of the Febreristas are in exile, their source of funds is generally only a sporadic income from membership dues and party activities for fund-raising. The financial insecurity of the exiles resulted in a very shaky economic foundation for the party. The illegal status of the party made it very difficult to extricate funds from new sources. There was a general statement made as to the possibility of funding from the German Social Democrat Party because the Febrerista Party belongs to the same general category as the APRA and other popular parties in Latin America. Some CIA support has also been rumored.
7.02 source of members
5, AC6
During our time period, membership in the Febrerista Party was by recruitment. There was no special organization from which the members were chosen, in fact, there was an effort to broaden the Febrerista base of support.
7.03 sources of leaders
2 (sectors 03, 07), AC8
Between 1952 and 1962 the Febrerista Party was illegal and therefore did not nominate representatives to the Paraguayan chamber of deputies. The leaders of the party that are documented in the material do appear to come from two sectors of society, the intellectuals and the war veterans association, with some overlap between them.
7.04 relations with domestic parties
7 for 1st half, AC3
5 for 2nd half, AC9
In the first half of our time period we can infer that the Febreristas were completely autonomous of any domestic alliances because all political actions which they were undertaking appeared to be completed by them, alone. They were more radical in their tactics than the Liberal party, and yet not radical enough in their ideology to be in an alliance with the communist-oriented groups. In the second half of our time period this changed and the Febreristas merged into a very loose coalition with the Liberals called the Union Nacional Paraguaya. This coalition was formed to coordinate the anti-Stroessner forces.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
4, AC6
This, again, is a tricky variable to code because the Febreristas are related in a very general way to the Latin American popular parties, but it is difficult to say if they adhere to their international policy because they have been illegal. There was not much mention of the Febrerista support for this organization, other than the fact that they do attend its meetings and that they signed a policy statement. They have not been in any position to prove their allegiance to this policy statement, except on paper, thus the Febreristas are coded as being more independent of this organization.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 structural articulation
11, AC9
There are many national organs in the Febrerista Party, structuring the many processes and interests of the party. The congress of the party is the national convention which elects the national executive committee and other national committees, which are generally interest-based. There is prescribed selection, but within this type of selection it is not clear how much co-optation occurs.
8.02 intensiveness of organization
6, AC6
The cell is the smallest organizational group in the Febrerista hierarchy, although the party is also structured along branch lines for collecting funds and representational (to the national convention) purposes. The cells are for political action, education, propaganda and for membership recruitment.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
5, AC6
The local units of the Febreristas are spread all over Paraguay and the surrounding countries. They are not spread throughout the country evenly, but rather there is an over-representation of cells where there is an over- representation of members, i.e., cities. Since the cell is their means of recruitment, they are created as a means of broadening party support in the more traditional countryside.
8.04 frequency of local meetings
6, AC6
The party cells, in their position as information transmitters and receivers, meet very often--generally once a week. Approximately once every three months the cells of a particular area meet together under the auspices of the local administration of the party in order to coordinate their activities.
8.05 frequency of national meetings
The National Executive Committee (CEN) meets regularly from what I can gather in the material, but no actual frequency is defined for their meetings.
8.06 maintaining records
12, AC6
The Febreristas have a party newspaper that is circulated in Paraguay but printed in other nations due to Colorado pressure. The party also keeps a membership list of all its members.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
3, AC3
Previous to 1951 the Febreristas had youth groups and were intricately tied to the war veteran's association, but there is no information on such groups and their relations to the Febreristas after 1951. There is a group called the Ateneo Cultural which appears to be some sort of organization related to the Febreristas, but there is no certainty of their exact function beyond the fact that they published the party's cultural paper. Thus they are not coded as being representative of a socio-economic sector, but are included as a possible ancillary group.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 nationalization of structure
6, AC8
In the Febrerista structure there is a hierarchy with the CEN in the position of power. The CEN contacts both the regional and local organizations, but there is no evidence of the hierarchy running through the regional organization before it reaches the local organization. In looking at the Febrerista Party structure it is important to remember that there is a reduced effectiveness of control from the top due to lack of funds, their illegal status and their physical dispersion. Thus many times the local units may act by their own volition out of necessity.
9.02 selecting the national leader
6, AC6
It appears that the CEN selects the party leaders and the choice is then "ratified" by the national convention. The CEN hold the power in the Febrerista organization. Their choice is generally upheld, even in the case of alternative lists of leaders being presented to the national convention.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
Not applicable
The Febreristas did not compete in parliamentary elections due to their illegal status. They did not select at any time during our time period candidates for any governmental position.
9.04 allocating funds
2, AC6
One of the telling problems of the Febrerista organization is their inability to collect great amounts of funds. This is often due to the types of social groups to which the Febrerista Party appeals, i.e., students and labor. Thus collection of funds is generally a haphazard affair, depending upon the success of social activities with an admission fee, etc. What fees are collected in this method are partially kept by the sponsors of the activity and partially sent to the higher committees for further distribution.
9.05 formulating policy
6, AC6
The CEN generates all policy. This fact has been examined by Lewis as an example of the centralization of power, oligarchical tendency of parties. The main party leader, Col. Rafael Franco, does not hold any decision-making powers, but rather serves his party in a psychological sense as the founder of the Febrero movement.
9.06 controlling communications
4, AC3
The Febrerista use of mass communications is restricted due to their illegal status. It appears that the national organization tries to prepare pamphlets and newspapers, but the distribution is often difficult due to their illegality. It is likely that the local and regional units also publish papers , outside of the country if necessary, and then distribute them.
9.07 administering discipline
4, AC8
Because there are no governmental or parliamentary candidates from the Febrerista Party, we must look at the disciplinary actions of the party to control the party members, themselves. The executive committee administers all forms of discipline, the most common being the purge.
9.08 leadership concentration
4, AC8
The five key posts in the CEN are the leaders of the party most involved in the decision-making process. With the changing structure of the Febrerista Party and the consolidation of power within the CEN, these five posts have become institutionalized as the policy-makers of the party. One specific group, during our time period, succeeded in maintaining their control over the party by continually filling these posts with their members.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 legislative cohesion
Not applicable
On paper this is not really a one-party system, but the Febreristas have been completely excluded from any participation in the decision-making processes of the nation.
10.02 ideological factionalism
6, AC7
Ideological problems have caused grave conflicts and the formation of factions within the Febrerista Party throughout our time period. Within the twelve years there were four factions formed dividing the Febrerista unity greatly. Therefore this variable is scored for a "large" faction because of the ever-presence of an opposing faction.
10.03 issue factionalism
6, AC7
The Febrerista Party is also badly split on different issues, including labor and social reform, ideas basic to their program. The factions are large as defined in the previous code, and they are organized in that they prepare alternative lists for election of Febrerista candidates to the national convention and alternative programs.
10.04 leadership factionalism
6, AC9
Nichols views the Febrerista factions as strictly generational conflicts, in other words, the factions are solely the results of leadership competition. Many other authors have also been aware of this type of competition, but have still maintained that there might be other causes for the factions in addition to this leadership competition (Lewis). This competition is not based on the personalistic virtues of the leader, but rather on the possibilities for patronage.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
6, AC7
The basic reason that is given for most of the factions is the fact that the Institutionalists are not radical enough in their tactics. The factions generally desire guerilla action and other war-like tactics to overthrow the Stroessner government, whereas the Institutionalists (the moderate Febreristas) wish to work through the governmental system.
10.06 party purges
1 for 1st half, AC5
3 for 2nd half, AC5
In the first half of our time period the Bloque faction was expelled from the Febrerista Party, and in the second half of our time period the Vanguardia, the List 17 Febrero and Ricardo Franco's group were expelled. There is no data on the percentage of the party that these expulsions included.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 membership requirements
3, AC8
There is formal enrollment in the Febrerista Party. Each member must have certain qualifications and must be sponsored by an active member of the party. The members are asked to pay membership dues, although they are often waived when a member cannot afford to pay them.
11.02 membership participation
6, AC6
The Febrerista Party, being structured on the cell basis and requiring its members to remain active in cell activity, would by necessity be mainly composed of militants.
11.03 material incentives
0, AC9
During our time period the possible material advantages for joining the Febrerista Party did not exist, due to their illegal status. In a country where the political system is based on patronage, the Febrerista Party had no means of aiding their followers materially.
11.04 purposive incentives
4, AC5
Because there are no patronage benefits in joining the Febrerista Party, whereas they existed for other parties, Lewis has stressed the fact that there are purposive incentives for recruitment, that the members remain in their party for "voluntary commitment to its principle" (p. 191). The Nichols thesis modifies this idea in a way that could supplement this idea and possibly discount it. Nichols believes that there are no differences between the major parties on ideological issues, thus the parties are formed solely by solidary incentives. This probably has a great deal to do with the joining of the party , but it is necessary to remember that during our time period the Febreristas were illegal, and many of them were in exile. In order to remain a member of that party, it would seem that one would have to be committed to some ideal that it represented, if one had to leave his or her homeland. Thus there probably are purposive incentives behind the militant loyalty to the Febrerista Party, whether there are real differences in the purposive incentives or not in reality.
11.05 doctrinism
1, AC9
The Febreristas have a declaration of principles and a program. It does not appear that they consult this body of literature to any great extent.
11.06 personalism
0, AC5
Personalism, in relation to leadership competition, has been manifested in the Febrerista Party by the competing factions to get their leaders on top of the party governing structure. I would hesitate to say that this is the only motivation of any of the militants, except perhaps for a few who link party ideals with the charismatic leader of a faction.