Hugo Velazquez reverses his determination to resign after the US final week accused him of involvement in ‘important’ corruption.
The vice chairman of Paraguay has reversed a plan to resign this week, saying he won’t surrender his publish till he has particulars of america’s corruption claims in opposition to him.
Hugo Velazquez advised reporters on Thursday that he had initially provided to resign final week as he “assumed” there was a home investigation in opposition to him.
However on Wednesday, he acquired discover from the Paraguay prosecutor’s workplace stating “that there is no such thing as a case in opposition to me”, Velazquez mentioned.
“I had talked about once I spoke with you that I used to be going to resign from workplace … so as to go and defend myself as a standard citizen,” Velazquez advised an area radio station.
“Yesterday afternoon I came upon that the Public Ministry determined to ask america Embassy for the information in regards to the grievance in opposition to me. As we speak, I wouldn’t have a platform to defend myself as a result of there is no such thing as a investigation in america both,” he added.
Final Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned a Velazquez affiliate had provided a bribe to a Paraguayan public official to “impede an investigation that threatened the Vice President and his monetary pursuits”.
Blinken mentioned Velazquez can be barred from coming into the US attributable to his “involvement in important corruption, together with bribery of a public official and interference in public processes”.
As we speak the @StateDept designated Paraguayan Vice President Hugo Velazquez and affiliate Juan Carlos Duarte ineligible for entry to the U.S. for involvement in important corruption. We stand dedicated to supporting democracy and selling accountability for corrupt officers.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) August 12, 2022
“Corrupt acts comparable to these additionally contribute to diminished confidence within the authorities and public perceptions of corruption and impunity throughout the workplace of the Paraguayan Vice President,” the highest US diplomat mentioned in a statement.
The accusation unleashed a political earthquake in Paraguay, the place Velazquez was set to be the federal government’s presidential candidate in main elections for the conservative Colorado Occasion in December.
Velazquez, who has denied wrongdoing, nonetheless renounced his candidacy and mentioned he would go away the vice presidency this week.
However whereas the 54-year-old on Thursday mentioned he wouldn’t resign as vice chairman now, he additionally mentioned in an announcement that his determination to not be a presidential candidate is “immovable”.
In July, the US additionally introduced a ban on former Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, accusing the businessman-turned-politician of corruption and hyperlinks to “terrorist” teams.
Cartes’ political motion will face Velazquez’s within the primaries and the winner might be a candidate for the overall elections scheduled for April 2023. Cartes’ candidate, former minister Santiago Pena, continues to be within the operating.