Paraguay

Acting Paraguayan President Federico Franco has met with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Madrid to discuss the current political situation in Paraguay. Paraguay was suspended from the South American Trade blocs, Mercosur and Unasur, after Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo’s impeachment in 2012, which has been described as a ‘congressional coup’. This invitation appears to be a in reparations to the exclusion of Paraguay from the South American trade blocs, and from the Ibero-American summit in Cadiz, which the rest of Mercosur has threatened to boycott if Paraguay attended. Amidst the political turmoil of the impeachment European Union nations have shown support for the interim government of President Franco. After his trip to Madrid, President Franco intends to travel to the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. to speak on the current political situation in Paraguay. This all occurs while the Paraguayan presidential campaign continues toward the April 21 election day which will mark Paraguay’s return to Unasur and Mercosur. Independent election surveys show that the Colorado Party candidate Horacio Cartes holds a lead in the polls which may lead him to victory in this month’s elections; marking the conservative party’s return to power.(April 1, 2013, MercoPress; April, 2013, Reuters)