Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte lashed out at his US counterpart George W. Bush for failing to contribute to development in poor countries, and hailed Hugo Chávez' Venezuela as a country with an overdose of democracy.
In an interview broadcast late Wednesday on TV station Red Guaraní, Duarte said "it cannot be possible that the US Government does anything it pleases in much sensitive areas such as waging wars, setting international prices, but at the same time it does not have the strength to convince developed countries to suppress protectionist barriers" underlined Duarte. The Paraguayan president claimed he would believe in Bush "when there is technology transfer, when tariff barriers are lifted and when he stops treating our fellow citizens in a miserable way when they try to travel to his country." When asked whether the so-called "democratic clause" of the Common Market of the South should be enforced against Venezuela, Duarte stressed that the new member of the bloc "has an overdose of democracy". "What is the Mercosur regulation that is endangered because of Venezuela? Venezuela has an overdose of democracy, with one election after the other. It is the only country where the Constitution provides for a (presidential recall) referendum in the middle of the presidential term," Duarte added. Chávez "is the result of the Venezuelan historically corrupt leadership, and all leaderships are the fruit of failed liberalism." Duarte also defended neighbouring Bolivia's Evo Morales policies including the close cooperation with Venezuela in defence affairs, even when Paraguay and Bolivia fought a bloody three years war in the Chaco between 1932/35. "In Bolivia as in Paraguay, the Armed Forces have always been used by the ruling oligarchies. Evo wants to dignify the military. I would also purchase arms and equipment if I had the resources", admitted Duarte.