Paraguay’s new government has called for the Venezuelan ambassador to return home. This follows accusations that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez coordinated an attempt to stop the impeachment of former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo last month.
Chávez ordered Venezuela’s ambassador to leave Paraguay and halted oil shipments in protest of the impeachment.
Paraguay’s new defense minister, Maria Liz Garcia, has accused Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Nicolas Maduro, of participating in a meeting with senior Paraguayan military officials during the two-day process that saw Lugo pushed out of office.
Garcia made a statement on Wednesday before a prosecutor who has opened an investigation.
She cited “… grave evidence of intervention by Venezuelan officials in the internal affairs of Paraguay,” as leading to the Foreign Ministry’s orders to bring the ambassador home.
The actions of the new Paraguayan government drew criticism across Latin America and the world.
Maduro traveled to Asuncion the day before Lugo was removed from the presidency after a hearing that lasted many hours regarding the impeachment process.
Maduro went along with a delegation of foreign ministers from countries belonging to UNASUR.
UNASUR and regional trade bloc Mercosur have suspended relations with Paraguay until elections are held next year.