Paraguay: Waiting For Mercosur, Waiting For OAS
While the US continues to ruminate about whether what happened in Paraguay is appropriately categorized as a coup, Mercosur is meeting in Mendoza, Argentina. And deposed President Lugo won't be there:
Paraguay’s former president again shifted course on Tuesday, saying he has decided not to attend a South American summit this week where he had planned to protest his dismissal by Congress.
Fernando Lugo has surprised Paraguayans with conflicting announcements since the Senate voted to remove him from office last week. At first, he said he would comply and leave office. Then, he said he would fight the decision and make his case to the region’s leaders.
After saying on Monday that he would travel to Mendoza, Argentina, for a summit of the Mercosur trade bloc, on Tuesday Lugo said he had decided against it.
“I don’t want the other presidents to feel pressured,” Lugo said on television.
South American leaders plan to discuss a regional response to Lugo’s dismissal at the meeting, and Mercosur has barred Paraguay’s new government from attending
Meanwhile, the OAS is in no enormous rush to sort things out:
In Washington, the Organization of American States Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza said Tuesday that he or his representatives will visit Paraguay and neighboring countries this weekend on a fact-finding mission.
So, of course, as I wrote yesterday, the US is still waiting and thinking and mulling over whether to say or do anything. It's obviously hard to be a beacon of democracy in his hemisphere if the US is waiting on Paraguay's neighbors to determine its views. And it remains a real disappointment.