By Peter M. Tase
Sunday, November 11, 2012
On November 9th, the Colombian government confirmed its diplomatic presence in Asuncion. Ambassador AlbertoBarrantes, has returned to his post in Paraguay since the democratic political impeachment of the former President, Fernando Lugo, on June 22nd.
According to Paraguayan Foreign Minister FernándezEstigarriba, this decision taken by Bogota is “a positive unilateral decision” that displays a rift between Colombia and other members of the UNASUR regional organization. With this unilateral action by Colombia, it is unlikely that other UNASUR countries will make the same decision to send their representatives in Asuncion.
Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Uruguay, Chile, and Peru withdrew or recalled their ambassadors for consultations following the dismissal of former presidentLugo, a decision that is likely to change only when the new president of Paraguay begins a new term in August 2013.
On the other hand, the Mexican government has demonstrated a leadership role in bringing Paraguay closer to the Pacific Alliance, a regional trade block that was created recently by Chile, Mexico, Peru and Colombia. Mexican Ambassador Fernando EstradaSamano emphasized the “highly valued the bilateral relations” between Paraguay and Mexico and was open to help President Federico Franco’s government in fulfilling its obligations before the OAS and international Community.