Paraguayan isolation after president′s removal | News | DW | 25.06.2012
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Paraguayan isolation after president's removal

Paraguay’s neighbors have condemned the dismissal of President Fernando Lugo. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez went so far as to call his removal a coup.

In Paraguay ousted President Fernando Lugo has pledged to continue to work in government and attend the Mercosur summit starting on Monday in Mendoza, Argentina.

"I will not collaborate with Franco's government because it is bogus. It has no legitimacy," Mr Lugo said, denouncing his removal as a "parliamentary coup."

The Mercosur trade bloc had suspended Paraguay's membership and barred the country from taking part in the meeting.

Mercosur nations expressed "their most energetic condemnation of the rupture of democratic order" in Paraguay, in a joint statement issued by the Argentine Foreign Ministry.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said his government will cut off fuel sales to Paraguay, which had become a key supplier during Lugo's government.

"For us, the president of Paraguay is still Fernando Lugo. We do not recognize this government," Chavez said.

Newly sworn in President Federico Franco said his Foreign Minister Jose Felix Fernandez would represent Paraguay at the Mendoza summit.

Two of Lugo's Cabinet ministers said they would announce an alternative continuation government to attend to matters of state.

"President Lugo will be with his ministers to take decisions and then inform what those determinations were," said Augusto Dos Santos, Lugo's minister of social communication.

Lugo was elected four years ago, ending 61 years of rule by the conservative Colorado Party, on promises of agrarian reform. A deadly clash between police and landless protesters cost Lugo his parliamentary support.

jm/ccp (Reuters,AP)