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Paraguayan president pledges to fight poverty, corruption
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Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo said Saturday he would wage a war on poverty and corruption in the country.

The newly-sworn-in president made the remarks during a visit in San Pedro province, where he had served as a catholic bishop for 11 years.

Lugo told a large crowd of peasants that he would work hard to improve their living standards as they had inspired him in the past.

With a sword from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a gift in hand, the bishop-turned-president said he would "use the blade to fight corruption."

Accompanied by Hugo Chavez during the tour, Lugo also assured the public that Venezuela would provide "all the oil Paraguay needs" to mitigate the ongoing fuel shortages.

Lugo, 57, won Paraguay's presidential election on April 20.

In 1994, he began serving as a bishop in the diocese of San Pedro and gained great popularity among the impoverished.

He earned the sobriquet of "the bishop of the poor" as he called for social equality and protection of the interests of the disadvantaged.

(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2008)

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