Brazil considers “important” that the Organization of American States, OAS, takes into consideration the decisions from Mercosur and Unasur relative to the suspension of Paraguay from the two regional groupings.
“We expect OAS members to take into consideration the statements from Mercosur and Unasur, which are democratic countries and committed to promoting democracy” said Brazilian Foreign minister Antonio Patriota on receiving his peer from the Caribbean island of Santa Lucia, Alva Baptiste.
Patriota said OAS was still deliberating about the possible suspension of Paraguay because of the removal from office, following impeachment, of President Fernando Lugo last June 22. The two houses of Paraguay’s congress overwhelmingly voted to have Lugo removed and succeeded by Vice president Federico Franco.
The Brazilian official said he had been in contact with US State Secretary Hillary Clinton over the issue, who stated her deep concern about the “absence of an ample right to defence” for former president Lugo during the impeachment process.
On Wednesday Washington opposed the idea of suspending Paraguay from the OAS and supported a proposal from Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza following his in-situ report of events which led to the political and institutional changes.
“There does not seem to be a reason to suspend Paraguay from OAS”, said Assistant Secretary of State for Latinamerican affairs Roberta Jacobson, during a press conference.
Both Unasur and Mercosur have suspended Paraguay until next year’s election scheduled for April 2013. Mercosur not only suspended the landlocked country but also took advantage and incorporated Venezuela as full member of the group, a request pending since 2006 and only blocked by the Paraguayan Senate, despite the fact all decisions must be taken by consensus from the four full members Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.
The new Paraguayan authorities have also presented a demand before the Mercosur Standing Tribunal for the reestablishment of its full rights in the block and objecting the incorporation of Venezuela.