Paraguay Cancels Itaipu Dam Energy Agreement

Agreement between countries motivated threat of removal of Paraguayan president

SYLVIA COLOMBO Ricardo Della Coletta
Brasília and ASUNCIÓN

Paraguay signed on Thursday (1) a document that cancels the bilateral agreement that favored Brazil in the contraction of energy from the Itaipu dam, thereby saving Paraguay President Abdo Benitez from an impeachment process.  Now both countries must re-negotiate the power that Paraguay is expected to buy by 2022.

The Paraguayan government wanted Brazil to support the contract cancellation. The Brazilian government, however, did not accept this and wanted the cancellation to be solely from Paraguay. To support the action, government interlocutors say, would mean agreeing that the agreement negotiated in May is harmful to Paraguay.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 26, 2019 Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro (L) talks to Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benitez, during the inauguration of the new Director of the Brazilian side of Itaipu binational hydroelectric dam, former Brazilian Defense Minister and Army General Joaquim Silva e Luna in Itaipu, Paraguay. - Brazil and Paraguay canceled an energy agreement on August 1 related to the giant Itaipu hydroelectric plant, official sources reported. (Photo by Norberto DUARTE / AFP) - AFP
 

The assessment is that Paraguay's annulment of the minutes is sufficient to help Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez, the target of impeachment by the opposition since the document loses its validity only with the decision of one of the parties.

The cancellation caused an immediate reaction in the political trial process that Congress began to prepare against Abdo Benítez, in an extraordinary session that began at 10 am.

With the cancellation of the pact, the group of Senators headed by Horacio Cartes, Honor Colorado, withdrew its support for the removal process.

Without the votes of the current led by the former president of Paraguay, the opposition would not have the necessary number to approve the impeachment of the agent.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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