Mercosur summit delays and oil are two of the main issues the Paraguayan foreign minister Eladio Loizaga will address with his Venezuelan peer Elias Jaua, when he travels on Thursday to Caracas. Formally the event is a diplomatic reciprocity for Jaua's visit to Paraguay last 9 October, when the two countries re-established full relations.
Loizaga will be received by Jaua at the foreign ministry seat or Yellow House, and the issue of Mercosur, currently chaired by Venezuela figures top of the list. So far the block has been unable to agree on the several times delayed summit (originally last December) which is to be hosted by President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas.
The summit's last postponement (31 January) was requested by president Dilma Rousseff, who had a full agenda of activities and foreign trips.
However the two ministers are also scheduled to address Paraguay's 300 million dollars oil bill to PDVSA, Venezuela's government oil company, and which Asunción would like to defer in several installments until 2023, according to statements from the Paraguayan minister of Industry Gustavo Leite.
Paraguay and Venezuela have full diplomatic relations and again have exchanged ambassadors, since the incidents of June/July 2012, when the Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo faced political impeachment and was replaced. As a consequence of the incident and Maduro's involvement (at the time Foreign minister) in Paraguayan internal affairs when he tried to convince Paraguayan officers to impede the removal of Lugo, both countries downgraded their bilateral relation.
Mercosur also suspended Paraguay from the block until fresh presidential elections were held which happened last year
But the situation worsened when Mercosur members taking advantage of the suspension of Paraguay, decided to approve the incorporation of Venezuela as full member of Mercosur, which the Paraguayan Senate was repeatedly refusing to vote because it considered the former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez 'non democratic'.
Jaua's visit last October was the first of a Venezuelan official to Paraguay following the incidents and he also met with President Horacio Cartes. It would not come as a surprise if Loizaga is received by President Maduro.
Paraguay's full return to Mercosur took place last December when the congress voted for the incorporation of Venezuela to the group, thus ending the 18-month diplomatic rift.