May 19, 2013
'No impeachment proceedings can last two hours,' CFK defends Lugo at Mercosur summit
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner opened the second day at the Mercosur leaders summit being held in Mendoza province with a strong speach against the recent lightning-quick impeachment against Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo.
Likewise, the Head of State remarked that the suspension of the participation of any envoy and/or representative of Paraguay's new government "is not a passing fancy", and added, "We do understand that there were no warranties in the impeachment led in the neighbouring country, not even the chance for Lugo to defend himself."
Furthermore, Fernández de Kirchner indicated that the regional bloc will not ask for economic sanctions "as at the end, they [sanctions] only harm the people,th emasses, and not those in power."
During the afternoon, the Head of State called all regional countries to committ to the Latin American brotherhood.
Earlier today, the Head of State met with her Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff and Uruguay president José Mujica.
Later today, the three same leaders are to meet with Bolivia President Evo Morales and Chile's Sebastián Piñera.
The summit began yesterday afternoon with the meeting of foreign ministers for the member states in the regional bloc. The central issue under discussion is the political crisis in Paraguay.
It was strongly rumoured yesterday that Paraguay would suffer no economic sanctions, but would be suspended from the Mercosur until April, when the country will hold elections.
The key meeting of the three attending Mercosur presidents will happen today. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is expected to hold a joint press conference with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff close to midday.
Immediatly afterwards, all the presidents in the Unasur regional bloc will meet at lunch, and before 6pm, when Rousseff is expected to leave, the Unasur will present its conclusions.
In preparation for economic sanctions as a result of the Mercosur summit, Paraguay has sought alternative measures for foreign trade, including taxes on merchandise entering the country from its neighbours.
However, Mercosur yesterday transferred 60 million dollars to Paraguay through its Technical Fund for Structural Convergence, to allow the country to continue its engineering work in the construction project building a 500 kilowatt power line from the Paraguay-Brazil dam, Itaipú, to a town 60 kilometres to the north-east of Asunción.
In principle, Paraguay will finish its term as the leader of Unasur and handover to Peru in November, but due to regional discontent caused by the impeachment of Lugo, the Senate of States organized a special session to determine what will happen, to be held today from midday.
At the same time, the Paraguayan Foreign Ministry yesterday rejected the Unasur decision to exclude Paraguay from the extraordinary session in Mendoza, arguing that such sessions can only be convened through the in locum president of the Unasur, or in other words, Paraguay.
Fernández de Kirchner arrived in Mendoza at 5.30pm accompanied by cabinet ministers. Rousseff and Uruguay’s President José Mujica arrived later, as well as Bolivian President Evo Morales. They will be joined by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and Peru’s President Ollanta Humala this morning.