Low key talks with some Unasur members to lift sanctions on Paraguay
Paraguay is involved in low key negotiations with the region to find a way for the quick return of the country to Unasur and Mercosur, and Chile and Colombia are playing crucial roles in such discussions, according to media reports from Asuncion.
Foreign minister Jose Felix Fernandez Estigarribia supposedly left for the United States but his objective is to meet with peers from Unasur countries, particularly a few of them who believe that the suspension of Paraguay from the organization because of the political impeachment and removal of Fernando Lugo, given the current circumstances is unsustainable.
“The peace and calm climate, full exercise of all rights, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the normal start with no incidents of the electoral and primaries process leading to April 2013 elections plus the ratification by the Supreme Court of its ruling throwing out former president Lugo’s appeal regarding his removal process from office by the Senate are positive signs”, said Paraguayan diplomats quoted by the media.
Furthermore “the situation is also internationally unsustainable given the open support to the administration of President Federico Franco from the United States, Canada, Mexico and the European Union among others” and the first step would be to reincorporate Paraguay to Unsaur with the support from Chile and Colombia, which supposedly are ready to send their ambassadors back to Asuncion.
The same sources quoted by the Paraguayan media indicate that none of the presidential hopefuls for the April 2013 election support the return of Paraguay to Mercosur as long as Venezuela remains as full member and this position was informed to President Franco, who urged the Foreign minister to find a diplomatic solution to the controversy.
One of the possible scenarios, but difficult to envision, is for Venezuela to momentarily walk out and return to its condition of associate member of Mercosur, which was the situation before the Paraguay-Mercosur political crisis of last June. Paraguay would then return but with the commitment that the Senate approves the Venezuela Adhesion Protocol, which then formally becomes full member of Mercosur.
Earlier in the week the Brazilian Foreign minister met with his Uruguayan peer Luis Almagro in Rio do Janeiro, where he also held talks with Chile’s Alfredo Moreno. On Thursday Patriota visited Hector Timerman in Buenos Aires and a release following the talks said the ministers had addressed issues from the bilateral agenda, Mercosur and the Paraguayan situation.
“Timerman and Patriota discussed Venezuela’s incorporation process to Mercosur and the evolution of the electoral process in Paraguay, said the release.