The Vice President of Paraguay, Hugo Velázquez, announced this Friday that he will resign from his position and from the candidacy for the presidency of the country, after the US Department of State accused him of participating in “significant acts of corruption” and prohibited , therefore, their entry into that country.
“I, Hugo Velázquez, am going to make the decision that I think is most convenient for the country,” The official told ABC Cardinal radio, anticipating his resignation, which will take effect in the coming days.
Velazquez and the legal adviser of the binational entity Yacyretá (EBY), Juan Carlos Duarte, were included by the US in its list of corrupt persons, reported this Friday the Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken.
The official anticipated that on Monday or Tuesday of next week he will formalize his resignation to the Vice Presidency.
He also confirmed that he will withdraw from the race for the presidential candidacy for the ruling Colorado Party.
Similarly, he was in favor of his wife, Lourdes Samaniego González -whom the US prohibited from entering its territory-, who is deputy attorney general in the Public Ministry, leaving her post.
At a press conference in Asunción, the US ambassador to Paraguay, Marc Ostfield, stated that Duarte, at the request of Velázquez, “offered a bribe of more than a million dollars” to a public official, with the presumed intention of “obstructing an investigation that threatened the vice president and his financial interests”.
However, the official said he did not have “the palest idea” about that allegation, and denied being investigated.
In addition, he called “a big lie” the indication that he had offered a possible bribe.
“That never happened. I never ordered to offer absolutely anything, ” insisted.
Velazquezwho was a deputy and fiscal agent, said that he always considered himself an “ally of the Americans” and even recalled that he worked with different agencies in that country.
“I am going to find a way to have access, if I can, so that I can defend myself. I am leaving and as a common citizen, I am going to try to defend myself against this accusation.” held.
On January 22, the Paraguayan vice president had registered the Republican Force political faction for the internal elections of the Colorado Party, scheduled for December 18.
The appointment against Velazquez occurs after USA included former Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes (2008-2012) on his list of corrupt people on July 22.