Paraguay’s Vice-president Federico Franco said he was contrary to Venezuela’s incorporation to Mercosur as long as Hugo Chavez is president accusing him of having “imperial attitudes” towards the land-locked country.
The incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur will help dilute the Brazil-Argentina hegemony and will be beneficial for small countries said Paraguay’s Foreign Affairs minister Héctor Lacognata on Wednesday chatting with foreign correspondents.
Paraguay’s GDP in the third quarter contracted 0.3% compared a year ago confirming the country’s recession, according to the latest report from the Central Bank. However the performance was an improvement compared to the drop of previous quarters, which “could be anticipating the recovery of the economy for the coming year”.
The Brazilian government is not putting pressure on the Paraguayan Congress to vote the full incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur. Paraguay is the only remaining full member which still has to vote for Venezuela to join the South American trade block, following last week’s Brazilian senate divided approval.
President Hugo Chavez said he was hopeful the Paraguayan congress would vote for Venezuela to join Mercosur since Paraguay is one of the countires to “most benefit” from such an incorporation.
Paraguayan Congress will remain blocking Venezuela's entry into Mercosur trade bloc as long as President Hugo Chávez continues intervening in foreign affairs, stated the head of the Senate, Miguel Carrizosa, just a day after Brazilian lawmakers approved the incorporation. However his successor in the job affirms the opposite.
Following this week’s Brazilian Senate vote to for the incorporation of Venezuela as a Mercosur full member, only Paraguay’s support is pending, but the Paraguayan Senate is divided on the issue. More over President Fernando Lugo had to withdraw the initiative last August when he was informed the divided coalition that took him to office could not garner the sufficient votes to ensure support.
Rio Tinto Alcan, a unit of global mining giant Rio Tinto said on Monday it could invest up to 2.5 billion US dollars in a potential aluminium smelter in Paraguay. Rio Tinto Alcan said it had begun negotiations on a possible power purchase agreement for the potential smelter.
The Paraguayan Senate is also turning its back on Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez Mercosur incorporation request. A leading Senator from the ruling coalition said that under current circumstances, and Chavez latest statements makes it “virtually impossible” to decide on the issue.
Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo, a former Catholic bishop that is facing at least two paternity demands was again involved in a similar controversy when his niece claimed his uncle had a non recognized 22 year old daughter who married over the weekend.