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Cartes thanks Brazil for support, but says Paraguay is not begging for favors

Criado em 01/10/13 11h04 e atualizado em 01/10/13 11h31
Por Danilo Macedo / Carolina Sarres Edição:s Fonte:Agência Brasil

Brasília – In his first state visit to Brazil, the president of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, thanked Brazil's Dilma Rousseff for supporting him since he took office on August 15. Following the two presidents' meeting on Monday (September 30), at Palácio do Planalto, the official presidential workplace in Brasília, Cartes recalled that the day after he was elected, he received a telephone call from Rousseff highlighting Paraguay's key role in the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and offering Brazil's expertise in anti-hunger programs:“I'll never forget receiving her call the day after my election, when she [Rousseff] told me how important it was for us all to be together in Mercosur, urging us all to stick together as a family.”

Cartes remarked how Brazil and Paraguay have succeeded in overcoming some historical adversities as neighbors. He believes that he and Rousseff will be remembered for keeping good bilateral relations, despite circumstantial divergences that may have arisen from time to time.

Paraguay was suspended from Mercosur from June 29, 2012 to July 12, 2013 over President Fernando Lugo's impeachment, which was strongly disapproved of by leaders in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Following the new elections and Cartes' inauguration on August 15, the suspension was revoked, yet the country has not returned to the bloc so far. Meanwhile, Venezuela and Bolivia joined, and Guyana and Suriname were admitted as associate members.

After the presidential meeting on Monday, Rousseff assured that Paraguay's suspension did not affect the relationship between the two countries. Cartes added that his country would not beg Brazil for favors, but rather negotiate for win-win solutions, knowing that Paraguay has natural resources that are appealing to Brazil. “In a time when Paraguay enjoys a new standing it did not use to have in recent times, we want to tell Brazil that we want to sit at this big table, once things are beneficial for both sides. We are convinced that we can reciprocate at least some of Brazil's generosity,” Cartes said.

Cartes went on to say that his country is indebted to Brazilians who went there decades ago to grow food and now claim title to their land. He emphasized Paraguay's poor infrastructure at that time, and how Brazilians showed it its own resources: “Those Brazilians who bet on my country, they did so because they believed it, and now they deserve my kind consideration and admiration. There were many of them at first, but not all remained. Only the bravest soldiered on, people who stood hardship 40 years ago when there were no roads, no water, anything, and they survived. Failing to recognize how much we learned from them in agriculture would be omitting the truth. I now feel I have enormous liability.”

President Cartes thanked Brazil's government for sharing expertise in the Bolsa Família and Brasil Sem Miséria antipoverty programs with Paraguay: “I want my government to be remembered for fighting hunger. Thank you for offering us your expertise and your efforts in this struggle. We are in a position to accept and do things together.”

Editors: Nádia Franco / Lícia Marques
Translator: Mayra Borges

Creative Commons - CC BY 3.0

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