The United States imposed economic sanctions this Thursday on Paraguayan Vice President Hugo Velázquez and former President Horacio Cartes for “corruption”, after having banned them from entering the country months ago, reported the head of diplomacy Antony Blinken.
President Joe Biden’s administration also sanctioned four companies owned or controlled by Cartes, a wealthy tobacco businessman who ruled Paraguay from 2013 to 2018 for the conservative Colorado Party. The companies are Tobacco USA Inc., Beverages USA Inc., Dominican Acquisition SA Y Chajha SAE Refrigerator
Both politicians are accused of participating “on the systemic corruption that has undermined democratic institutions in Paraguay”, Blinken says in a statement.
Velazquez He was already sanctioned in August, preventing him from accessing a visa to enter the United States, after which he announced that he would resign but ended up backing down and continues to be the president’s vice president. Mario Abdo Benitez. He resigned, however, to appear in the presidential elections to be held in April.
Velazquez “has engaged extensively in corrupt practices, including influence peddling and bribery”it states blinken.
He accuses him of “interfere with legal processes to protect himself and his criminal associates from investigations” Y “of having threatened those who could expose their criminal activity.”
Velazquez said in Asunción that the accusation against him “It is an invention, a falsehood” what motivates him “More to not give up”.
As to lettersWashington accuses him of being involved in “corruption, including widespread bribery of government officials and legislators” both during his tenure and since leaving office.
“For more than a decade, cards leveraged his illicitly acquired wealth and influence to expand his political and economic power over Paraguayan institutions”, ensures the statement.
As a result of the sanctions, all assets and interests in assets of these individuals that are in the United States or that are in the possession or control of Americans are blocked.
With these measures the US governmentreinforces“the sanctions imposed in 2022 against both for”significant corruption“, it states blinkenwho sees it as proof of his country’s commitment to strengthening Paraguay’s democratic institutions and holding them accountable.
Ricardo is a renowned author and journalist, known for his exceptional writing on top-news stories. He currently works as a writer at the 247 News Agency, where he is known for his ability to deliver breaking news and insightful analysis on the most pressing issues of the day.