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.
The Russian Federation has formally opened its first embassy in Paraguay’s 200 year history. Although there have been diplomatic relations the Russian ambassador was concurrent from Buenos Aires and only since two decades ago.
Paraguayan Foreign Affairs minister Hector Lacognata described as extremely worrying the escalating “bellicose speech” of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and admitted Paraguay could review its stand in support of that country’s Mercosur admission “if he persists in calling to prepare for war”.
A country with the size of Brazil can’t fight with Paraguay, said Brazilian president Lula da Silva justifying the Itaipu hydroelectric energy agreement signed last July with his Paraguayan counterpart Fernando Lugo in Asuncion.
He added, “I preferred to give a country like Paraguay the chance to develop”.
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo continued to purge the top ranks of the military Friday, removing the armed forces' commander. Lugo fired the commanders of the country's army, air force and navy on Wednesday.
In related news the Brazilian Senate postponed for a week a full house vote on the incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur which is pending since March 2007 when the administration of President Lula da Silva sent the request.
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo put an end Wednesday to rumors circulating the capital Asuncion about a possible coup by replacing all top military commanders. The announcement came from the armed forces themselves, not the president's office.