By Peter Tase
On March 2nd, 2013, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota arrived in the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia to discuss with his Bolivian Counterparts the bilateral agenda.
Bolivian Foreign Minister Choquehuanca, stated in a press conference that part of the discussions were “Paraguay’s next general elections, and [both ministers] want to ensure fair elections, transparent and a democratic process.”
The electoral commission of Paraguay have called general elections for next April 21st, in which will be voted for president, vice president, senators and members of the national Congress, members of MERCOSUR Parliament and election of 17 new Governors.
MERCOSUR and UNASUR await patiently to see the process of these elections in Paraguay, in order to make a decision and lift the political sanctions against Asuncion. After the abrupt political impeachment against Former President Fernando Lugo, regional organizations such as UNASUR and MERCOSUR have decided to isolate Paraguay and suspend its participation in the XXII Ibero-American Summit, in Cadiz, Spain (November 2012), CELAC – EU Summit, in Santiago Chile (January, 2013), and the 3rd, South America – Arab Countries Summit, in Lima, Peru (September, 2012).
These extreme actions taken by UNASUR and MERCOSUR, against Paraguay, are righteously considered as an extension of Argentina’s and Brazil’s decades old policies of constant animosity towards their landlocked neighbor, dating since the Triple Alliance War of 1865-1870.
About the author: Peter Tase
Peter Tase is a contributor, freelance journalist and a research scholar of Paraguayan Studies and Latin American Affairs in the United States; he is the founder of Paraguay Economic Forum in Milwaukee, United States. Educated at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and Marquette University, Tase is the author of "Simultaneous Dictionary in Five Languages: Guarani, English, Italian, Albanian and Spanish" and "El Dr. FEDERICO FRANCO y Su Mandato Presidencial en la Historia del Paraguay."
Tase has written many articles on Paraguay's current Foreign Policy, Latin American Affairs and MERCOSUR regional trade issues for Eurasia Review and the Council on Hemispheric Affairs in Washington, D.C.. Peter has appeared on SNT Cerro Cora, Asuncion and appeared in “Tribuna Pública” in TV Publica Paraguay, as well as given interviews for Diario 5 Dias in Paraguay, ABC Color, Ultima Hora, IP Paraguay, Revista PLUS+, Radio Ñandutí, Radio Nacional del Paraguay, www.datamyne.com and Spero News.
Tase completed a Congressional Internship in the Office of Congressman Richard Pombo (CA-11), U.S. House of Representatives, and studied U.S. Government and International Affairs at the Les Aspin Center for Government in Washington, D.C.. In 2012 he was an adviser of Foreign Affairs and International trade Issues to the Chairman of the Committee on Trade, Tourism and Industry in the National Congress of Paraguay. Peter Tase is fluent in Guarani, Italian, Spanish, Albanian and mainly writes in English and Spanish.