Paraguay claims a Venezuela funded “cruel lobby” is discrediting the country in OAS
The Caribbean countries that depend economically from Venezuela have become a “cruel lobby”, strongly pressing to have Paraguay sanctioned by the Organization of American States claims that country’s representative.
“They belong to the so called Petrocaribe and are economically dependent on Venezuelan oil and funds and have been constantly lobbying to have Paraguay sanctioned”, said Paraguayan ambassador before OAS, Hugo Saguier Caballero.
“The organization Petrocaribe is directly targeted to these Caribbean countries, some of which couldn’t survive without the aid from Venezuela and they are doing their utmost to discredit Paraguay, its constitutional process and current authorities”, claimed the ambassador.
Petrocaribe is a Caribbean alliance with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment and includes 17 country members from the Caribbean, Central America plus Guyana and Suriname.
Paraguay seems to be subjected to some kind of “international impeachment” for recent events and “these countries want the OAS to sanction us”.
But “in this political international impeachment, different ideas and ideologies are at stake, and that is why we have the strong support from some countries that are well aware that this is not about whether the impeachment of former president Lugo was correct or not. Here there is a vicious attack linked to ideologies and different policies that consider they have lost the bastion they held in Paraguay” underlined Saguier Caballero.
An OAS fact-finding in-situ mission visited last week Paraguay and reported its findings to the Permanent Council which still has to decide on the situation. The process has been delayed because the new president of the council, the ambassador from Jamaica only arrived in Washington this week.
Mercosur and Unasur have suspended Paraguay until next year’s elections arguing that there was a “democratic rupture” and even a “congressional coup” by the way Lugo was removed from office and replaced by current president Federico Franco.
However United States, Canada and other OAS members have yet to express their position regarding events in Paraguay and have stated they will wait for the results of the OAS report which has been distributed among member countries.
Although the whole impeachment process could have some questionable angles it kept strictly to what the Paraguayan constitution dictates.
The same can’t be said of Mercosur and Unasur summary decisions to suspend Paraguay, particularly since taking advantage of the absence of Asuncion, the rest of Mercosur members hastily bur controversially approved the incorporation of Venezuela as full member of the group, when these decisions must be taken on a strictly consensus basis.
Uruguayan president Jose Mujica said that “politics prevailed over procedures” and sometimes “these things must occur” for the good of organizations.
The Paraguayan congress was totally contrary to the incorporation of President Hugo Chavez’ Venezuela whom they consider a ‘non democratic leader’.