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Paraguayan president’s impeachment would have negative repercussions for Bolsonaro

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São Paulo – A possible dismissal of the president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, due to poor management in the face of the pandemic of the new coronavirus, would have negative consequences for the government of Jair Bolsonaro. This is what the professor professor at the Department of Political Science at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), André Káysel, analyzes.

In an interview with Marilu Cabañas, Current Brazil Newspaper, the expert estimates that the Brazilian president would lose a strategic ally at a time when progressive governments are gaining momentum in Latin America.

Paraguay completes on Friday (12) eight days in a row of street protests with flags and posters with messages against the government of the Colorado party. The wave of demonstrations broke out in the neighboring country after the increase in cases of covid-19, which exceeded the mark of more than a thousand contaminated per day. In terms of comparison, per million inhabitants, Brazil has twice as many infected and three times the number of deaths due to the disease. Even so, the escalation of the pandemic in the neighboring country was enough to collapse the public health system, where there is a lack of basic medicines to ICU beds.

Incuria and corruption

In addition, only 0.1% of Paraguayans were vaccinated, the lowest coverage in the region. And the Brazilian variant of the coronavirus has also arrived in the country. In the first months of the health crisis, last year, Paraguay came to be praised for the covid-19 control measures, by closing the borders and adopting a strict quarantine. This year, however, the president decided to relax the restrictive measures and the cases soon rose again.

The government of Abdo Benítez also came to be surrounded by denunciations of misappropriation of funds by the Ministry of Health. Parliament, in 2020, had released a credit of US $ 1.6 billion for the Executive to face the pandemic. But only 37% of that amount was spent. “The mood of citizenship exploded with the degree of neglect and corruption”, summarizes Káysel. The doctoral professor indicates that the Paraguayan government has gained a livelihood with a ministerial reform that tries to accommodate political interests. Mainly with names linked to the former president of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, from the same party. Even so, the opposition legends, Liberal Radical Autêntico (PLRA) and Frente Guasú (FG), have already decided to file an impeachment request.

Impact on Bolsonaro

In Brazil, interlocutors from the federal government already admit that the Paraguayan crisis worries Bolsonaro, who fears the fall of his ally. In 2019, in a negotiation by Brazil regarding the use of hydroelectric energy from Itaipu, Abdo Benítez came to be considered a “traitor” by the population, when he signed an agreement in which the country promised to resell the excess energy at a lower price to an Eletrobras intermediary. Historically, Paraguayans already feel hurt by the Itaipu agreement and the new negotiations have caused even more indignation among civilians, who have taken to the streets to ask for the removal of the president.

At the time, the Bolsonaro government did not object to the cancellation of the bilateral agreement to prevent the impeachment process from continuing. For the professor at Unicamp, this time, the new protests in Paraguay join the movements that broke out in the region in the last two years. As in Chile, which questioned the Constitution inherited from the period of the dictator Augusto Pinochet, and the acts against the right-wing governments of Lenin Moreno, in Ecuador, and Iván Duque Márquez, of Colombia.

There is, according to Káysel, an evident “wear and tear in South America with this new neoliberal wave that started five years ago, even more radical than in the 1990s, which only brings impoverishment and inequality. And that in the moment of a pandemic it ends up having truly genocidal consequences. These protests are part of this regional trend of the past two years ”, he observes. “In Brazil, even though it is an ethical and sanitaryly complicated issue to go to the street now, – it is not recommended at all -, it is necessary to increase the pressure on a government that in terms of pandemic has incomparably worse history”, points out the professor.

Check out the interview

Copywriting: Clara Assunção

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Economy

Argentine President contaminated by covid-19 and fulfills isolation

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São Paulo – The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, informed on social media that he tested positive for covid-19, after showing symptoms of the disease. He said he is in isolation and has warned people with whom he has had contact in the past 48 hours. And he also reported that he had 37.3ºC of fever, in addition to feeling a slight headache.

The announcement was made this Saturday (3), the day after Fernández turned 62. “For everyone’s information, I am physically well and, although I wanted to end my birthday without this news, I am also in a good mood,” said the president.

He received the first dose of the vaccine (Sputnik) in January. The second, the following month. “I’m fine, I don’t have any symptoms. Only this fever from yesterday that I reported ”, he declared to the newspaper Clarín. “It is a very complicated virus, and the demonstration is that I got infected, even though I was vaccinated with both doses and with extreme care,” he added.

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who received the second dose of the vaccine today, sent a message of support to “Daqui do Brasil I send good energy, hoping for its prompt recovery. May soon overcome this disease to continue caring for the Argentine people. Hugs, mate! ”He wrote.

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