By Eric Stadius, Research Associate at Council on Hemispheric Affairs and Peter Tase, Research Fellow at Council on Hemispheric Affairs.Two months after President Fernando Lugo’s impeachment, Paraguay has transitioned from reconciling its relatively benign political crisis to enhancing regional and international links politically and economically.
The OAS, Organization of American States, cabinet chief and head of political affairs are expected in Paraguay to continue with the organization’s mandate of establishing an electoral committee and helping with the process of strengthening democracy in the country.
The Paraguayan Senate, at the heart of serious regional diplomatic dispute, voted by a solid majority against the incorporation of Venezuela as full member of Mercosur. Thirty one Senators rejected the Venezuelan Protocol of Adhesion, three supported it and eleven left the floor before the vote was taken.
The Organization of American States (OAS) agreed on Wednesday to dispatch of a mission to Paraguay to accompany and observe the electoral process in the country that will conclude with the general elections of April 21, 2013.
“We must prepare for war to live in peace” said Paraguay’s Defence minister Maria Liz Garcia in reference to the new geopolitical situation following the suspension of Paraguay as a member of Mercosur and Unasur.
Paraguay officially announced holding elections on April 2013, when a new president and congress will be voted. The three branches of government attended the launching of the announcement that took place at the Superior Electoral Justice Tribunal on Tuesday, one day ahead of the OAS Permanent Council debate on “the Paraguayan situation”.
The Ecuadorean government reiterated on Monday that dialogue with UK on the Julian Assange case will continue once London officially “withdraws” the original message with threats. Quito also is hopeful that the coming OAS extraordinary meeting will ratify full support for Ecuador as has happened with other regional organizations.
Ecuador has reiterated its intention of joining Mercosur but this needs to be compatible with the rules from the Community of Andean Nations, CAN, (to which it now belongs) said Ecuadorean ambassador Horacio Sevilla Borja.
Unasur (Union of South American Nations) wants to closely accompany the democratic restoration process in Paraguay and is not after the reinstatement of removed president Fernando Lugo, said Peruvian Foreign Affairs minister Rafael Roncagliolo.
Unasur ratified on Tuesday Paraguay’s suspension from the block at a meeting of the so called High Level Group in Lima, Peru which assessed the situation of the landlocked country.