February 25, 2021

The Paraguayan president suspends a trip to Turkey amid internal crisis

The Government of Paraguay announced today the suspension of the trip of the president, Mario Abdo Benítez, to Turkey in the middle of the internal crisis that the Paraguayan Executive lives by the subscription of a bilateral act with Brazil of contracting of energy to that country.

"The General Directorate of Presidential Information communicates that the official trip of the President of the Republic, Mario Abdo Benítez, to Turkey is suspended until a new date, to be duly informed," the Presidency said late this afternoon.

Abdo Benítez's trip was postponed, initially, on schedule, to leave for Turkey on Monday night, after the extraordinary appearance before the Congress of members of his Executive, including the chancellor, Luis Alberto Castiglioni, who was in Lebanon on an official trip and was to accompany Abdo Benítez to Turkey.

The crisis was known on Wednesday afternoon, when an act was issued with a schedule for the purchase of energy from Itaipu until 2022, a year before Brazil and Paraguay sit down to negotiate Agreement C of the 1973 Itaipu Treaty.

The disclosure of that document, signed in May, coincided with the resignation of the president of the National Energy Administration (Ande), Pedro Ferreira, for refusing to sign that document, according to his account.

The Paraguayan government had to go out to explain the signing of the agreement on Thursday and assured that diplomatic instances had been reached after unresolved technical disagreements.

Paraguay, so far, had contracted the power of the plant year after year, but on this occasion Brazil demanded that it comply with the Treaty and submit a schedule until 2022 with a power appropriate to its consumption and not below.

The acceptance of these requirements was interpreted by the Paraguayan opposition as an assignment of energy sovereignty of the Government of Abdo Benítez.

The Chamber of Senators convened an extraordinary session last Friday in which it resolved to request the appearance of the chancellor, Luis Alberto Castiglioni; the Minister of Public Works and Communications, Arnoldo Wiens; the director of the Paraguayan side of Itaipú Binacional, José Alberto Alderete; and the new head of the Ande, Alcides Jiménez.

In addition, they also gave the Government a period of 72 hours to send documents related to that act and approved the formation of a Bicameral Investigation Commission to analyze the case.

Likewise, several opposition legislators have begun to raise the possibility of a political trial.

That was the shout most heard on Saturday in a demonstration in Asunción against the bilateral act.

(tagsToTranslate) Paraguayan president (t) (t) suspends (t) Turkey (t) internal

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