Paraguay’s president-elect Santiago Peña will resume diplomatic relations with Venezuela after being sworn in in August.
Peña is on a Mercosur trip to meet with the heads of state who will soon become his counterparts.
After Brazil, he will meet with his counterparts in Uruguay and Argentina.
“Restoring relations with Venezuela is a decision I announced before the elections,” Peña said during a press conference in Brasilia with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
He added that Paraguay has always maintained relations with Venezuela and that the resumption of those relations does not prevent him from taking a critical position on possible human rights violations in the country or on the failure to hold elections.
“In this sense, we are not imposing conditions for the resumption of relations.”
“We will do it and want to be a voice in the integration process.”
“We also want to be a voice for the Venezuelan people, as Paraguay was in the past, hosting the leaders of the Venezuelan opposition, who often sought in friendly countries the opportunity to make their demands heard,” he stressed.
He also pointed out that he had already discussed the issue with Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro in a telephone conversation.
The Paraguayan leader stressed that his international policy would focus on the integration process of South American countries.
“Certainly, this issue (Venezuela) will come up at the next meeting of Mercosur heads of state, but today there is no condition,” Peña said.
“I don’t take office until Aug. 15, but I told Lula that I am a person who supports the integration process in all areas.”
“Be it Unasur, Prosur, Celac, or Mercosur, which is the closest to us,” he added.
In these processes, “we must respect the visions of the respective elected leaders. We cannot ideologize diplomatic relations and integration.”
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