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‘Brazil, a brother country’- Cartes
April 22, 2013, 1:43 pm


President Cartes said he and his countrymen want to work with Brazil [AP]

Paraguay’s newly elected President Horacio Cartes has reached out to neighbour and Latin America’s economic giant Brazil shortly after the poll results were announced.

President Cartes said he and his countrymen want to work with Brazil.

“People want to work with Brazil. Paraguay has everything to sit at the table next to Brazil, a brother country to work together”, said Cartes.

Cartes won a five-year term with 46 per cent of the vote over 37 per cent for Efrain Alegre of the ruling Liberal party, the Electoral Court announced after most votes were counted.

“We have the world’s largest hydroelectric complex (Itaipú) with Brazil, we have many Brazilian industries here which I think is very useful for Brazil because they are producing with the energy cost of Paraguay”, noted the president-elect.

Relations with Brazil have been strained since the removal of Fernando Lugo following the impeachment by the Paraguayan Senate.

Congress removed Lugo, a leftist and former Roman Catholic bishop, after finding him guilty of mishandling a botched land eviction in which 17 police officers and peasant farmers were killed.

Some of Paraguay’s neighbours compared the two-day trial to a coup and imposed diplomatic sanctions on the South American nation.

Paraguay is South America’s third-biggest producer of soy, corn and sunflower seeds.

“Nowadays borders are falling and we need all countries to be integrated, in Mercosur, in Unasur. Paraguay, my government for all Paraguayans is ready for that”, concluded Cartes.

Paraguay’s place “is in Mercosur next to all of us (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay) as always,” tweeted Argentine president Cristina Fernandez.

Source: Agencies