Hugo Velazquez reverses his determination to resign after the US final week accused him of involvement in ‘vital’ corruption.
The vice chairman of Paraguay has reversed a plan to resign this week, saying he is not going to surrender his submit till he has particulars of the USA’s corruption claims towards him.
Hugo Velazquez informed reporters on Thursday that he had initially supplied to resign final week as he “assumed” there was a home investigation towards him.
However on Wednesday, he obtained discover from the Paraguay prosecutor’s workplace stating “that there isn’t a case towards me”, Velazquez mentioned.
“I had talked about once I spoke with you that I used to be going to resign from workplace … with a purpose to go and defend myself as a standard citizen,” Velazquez informed a neighborhood radio station.
“Yesterday afternoon I discovered that the Public Ministry determined to ask the USA Embassy for the information in regards to the criticism towards me. Right now, I wouldn’t have a platform to defend myself as a result of there isn’t a investigation in the USA both,” he added.
Final Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned a Velazquez affiliate had supplied a bribe to a Paraguayan public official to “hinder an investigation that threatened the Vice President and his monetary pursuits”.
Blinken mentioned Velazquez can be barred from coming into the US as a consequence of his “involvement in vital corruption, together with bribery of a public official and interference in public processes”.
Right now the @StateDept designated Paraguayan Vice President Hugo Velazquez and affiliate Juan Carlos Duarte ineligible for entry to the U.S. for involvement in vital corruption. We stand dedicated to supporting democracy and selling accountability for corrupt officers.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) August 12, 2022
“Corrupt acts corresponding to these additionally contribute to diminished confidence within the authorities and public perceptions of corruption and impunity inside 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 major elections for the conservative Colorado Celebration 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 a press release 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 will probably be a candidate for the final elections scheduled for April 2023. Cartes’ candidate, former minister Santiago Pena, continues to be within the operating.