NEWS IN ENGLISH – Paraguay is suspended from Mercosur and Unasur studies punishment

25/06/2012 10:53

Renata Giraldi     Special Envoy Agência Brasil

Asuncion – Paraguay has been suspended from the regional economic block, Mercosur. Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, member states, along with Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela, partner states, will probably maintain the suspension until April 2013, the date when the Fernando Lugo term of office was to have ended. The nine countries strongly condemned the impeachment of Lugo (it took only 30 hours from the moment the Chamber of Deputies voted to impeach until the Senate approved the motion). In a note from Mercosur, there was a reference to “…violation of the democratic order in Paraguay.” At the same time, the nine governments recalled their ambassadors from Asuncion.

It is probable that Paraguay will also be suspended from the Union of South American Nations (“Unisur”), which consists of the nine countries that signed the Mercosur note, plus Suriname and Guiana. At the moment, Paraguay is the pro tempore president of Unisur.

A Mercosur summit is scheduled for next week (June 28 and 29) in Mendoza, Argentina. The Argentine Foreign Ministry released a note saying that events in Paraguay will be at the top of the summit agenda, adding that based on the Ushuaia Portocol of 1998, in which Mercosur nations made a commitment to democratic governments (“Protocolo de Ushuaia sobre Compromisso Democrático no Mercosul, de 1998”), there was a rupture of the democratic order in Paraguay.

President Dilma Rousseff has confirmed presence at the Mercosur summit. The impeached president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, also says he is going. Officially, Paraguay will send a new Foreign Minister, José Felix Fernandez Estigarribia. It is not clear if the new president, Lugo’s vice president, Federico Franco, will attend.

Meanwhile, the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has gone further in protesting the impeachment of Lugo: besides recalling his ambassador, he announced the suspension of deliveries of petroleum to Paraguay. About 50% of the petroleum used in Paraguay comes from Venezuela.

Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English

Link - Paraguai é suspenso do Mercosul e pode também sofrer sanções na Unasul