Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez said on Tuesday that the official trip that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make to Paraguay next Friday means that the country "regained confidence" and "is back on the radar of the powers of the world. "
The president made these statements to the media at the Government Palace of Asunción, where he will receive Pompeo on Saturday, with which he confirmed that he will address "mutual cooperation issues" in the "fight against organized crime and money laundering" , as well as about the situation in Venezuela.
Regarding the Venezuelan crisis, he said that the United States and Paraguay maintain a "shared vision on the defense of democracy and freedom in the region."
Abdo Benitez stressed that this is the first official visit made by a US diplomat to Paraguay in 53 years, since in 1965 he visited the country Dean Rusk, Secretary of State under the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, during the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner (1954-1959).
For that reason, the Paraguayan president described as "very important" the meeting with Pompeo and mentioned that it is a "great satisfaction" for his Government to receive him.
Pompeo will also meet with Paraguayan Foreign Minister Luis Alberto Castiglioni.
The visit of the US Secretary of State is part of a wider tour of several South American countries that will start next Friday in Chile, will continue on Saturday in Paraguay and Peru, and will conclude on Sunday in Cúcuta, a Colombian city bordering Venezuela.
In Chile, he will meet with President Sebastián Piñera and Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero to "underline Chile's regional leadership, the economic ties between both countries and their alliances in science, technology and security, including cybernetic issues," according to the report. the Department of State.
In Peru, he will deal with President Martín Vizcarra and Foreign Minister Néstor Popolizio with Peruvian support for Venezuelan refugees and the country's leadership role in the Lima Group, among other bilateral issues.
Finally, Pompeo will make a brief stop on Sunday, April 14, in the town of Cúcuta (Colombia), to "visit the entities that support the Venezuelan refugees and assess the challenges on the border," said the State Department spokesman.
The United States was the first country to recognize the head of the National Assembly (AN, Parliament) of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, as the legitimate Venezuelan president after he was proclaimed as the interim governor on January 23, when he considered the inauguration as an agent illegitimate. of Nicolás Maduro after his election in elections considered fraudulent by the opposition.