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Unveiling the foreign policy agenda of Paraguay’s President-elect

In a recent interview with Sputnik, Julieta Heduvan, a foreign policy analyst, shares her insights about the new international agenda of Paraguay’s President-elect Santiago Peña, who is seeking to secure a seat in regional discussions and negotiations.

Paraguay’s recently elected president, Santiago Peña, has started outlining his foreign policy directives. In the last few weeks, key priorities of his administration, set to take office on August 15, have been revealed.

In discussion with Sputnik, foreign policy expert Julieta Heduvan pointed out the possible changes and continuities in foreign relations under Peña’s regime.

Santiago Peña. (Photo Internet reproduction)
Santiago Peña. (Photo Internet reproduction)

De-ideologization and Venezuela’s Role

Heduvan identified two major trends to define the new direction Peña’s government intends to take in international affairs.

Firstly, she mentioned the de-ideologization of foreign policy, which leans towards the defense of sovereignty, respect for each nation’s decisions, and international inter-state relations with minimal interference in each state’s internal politics.

The second trend focuses on South American relations, especially with Argentina and Brazil, and betting on regional integration mechanisms.

Peña’s potential de-ideologization of Paraguay’s foreign policy correlates directly to restoring diplomatic relations with Venezuela, in line with Peña’s plans to reopen the Paraguayan Embassy in Caracas.

Heduvan explained that Peña had adopted a pragmatic approach towards Venezuela and President Nicolás Maduro and seeks to be part of regional discussions and negotiations.

Regional Integration and the Role of Brazil and Argentina

Regarding regional integration, Peña has prioritized relationships with neighboring Mercosur partners, Argentina and Brazil.

Heduvan noted that Peña had already expressed his intentions to have strong ties with Lula da Silva during his presidential campaign.

During a recent meeting between Peña and Argentine President Alberto Fernández in Buenos Aires, Peña’s intention to maintain and strengthen this relationship was evident.

Peña’s primary focus will be on common interests like the Yaciretá dam and the Paraná River waterway.

When it comes to regional integration, Peña is favoring Mercosur and Unasur with an intention to strengthen ties with Lula da Silva.

Heduvan mentioned that Peña’s interest in CELAC and Prosur was evident, while the Organization of American States (OAS) was noticeably absent, hinting at a search for a counterbalance to the US influence in Paraguay.

Moving the Paraguayan Embassy in Israel

One of Peña’s first policy announcements was the relocation of the Paraguayan Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

This proposal, which was first introduced during the last months of the Cartes administration, reversed under the leadership of Mario Abdo Benítez, and is now up for consideration again, according to Heduvan.

However, Heduvan warns that this decision could negatively impact the commercial interests Paraguay has established with the region over the past few years, as it might result in a controversial and conflict-ridden situation.

She believes this policy decision lacks sufficient justification and should not be made hastily.

With information from Sputnik

Paraguay news, English news Paraguay, foreign policy Santiago Peña,

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