United States strongly supports the Organization of American States Council decision to send a top level delegation to Paraguay headed by Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza, said on Wednesday US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland during the daily briefing.
“We were very pleased that yesterday’s OAS meeting agreed that Secretary General Insulza will lead a high-level delegation to Paraguay to assess the situation on the ground and report back to the Permanent Council. We think that’s the appropriate course of action, and we are not at this stage planning to rush to judgment on the events in Paraguay until we have that report back”, said Ms Nuland.
Washington has yet to determine a position regarding events in Paraguay which ended with the removal of constitutional president Fernando Lugo following political impeachment.
Pressed about the word ‘coup’ used by many South American countries to describe the Paraguayan situation, Ms Nuland said “I was careful yesterday to say that we hadn’t used the word (coup). We will, again, let the OAS Secretary General go down, consult with all parties, and make his recommendations back to the OAS before we’ll…”
She added “we’re not judging this one way or the other until we see the OAS, so the answer to your (coup) question is no”.
When asked if the State Department didn’t have its own sources of information with no need to wait for the OAS report, Ms Nuland said that “of course, we do. But (Insulza) is going to go down on behalf of the OAS and get a full, comprehensive picture of how all parties view these events, and then we’ll go from there”.
The first reaction from the Obama administration was to express “great concern” regarding events and surprise at the quickness with which the impeachment was processed.
“We are concerned and we’re watching the situation closely. Obviously, we want to see any resolution of this matter be consistent with democracy in Paraguay and the Paraguayan constitution”.
In a situation that surfaced in Central America in 2009, Washington did refer to events as a coup following the forcible removal of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, which then led to the suspension of the country from OAS.