Paraguay VP to resign following U.S. corruption allegations
Paraguay Vice President Hugo Velázquez Moreno reportedly said Friday that he would resign next week after he was included on a U.S. corruption list for his alleged involvement in offering bribes to a public official.
Why it matters: Velázquez was seen as a leading contender to become a presidential candidate for the Colorado Party in next year’s elections, the AP reports.
- While he dropped out of the presidential race upon the U.S. designation, Velázquez has maintained his innocence, per the AP.
Driving the news: Marc Ostfield, the U.S. ambassador to Paraguay, announced Friday morning that Velázquez would be added to a U.S. corruption list for allegedly offering bribes to a public official, per the AP. His close associate Juan Carlos Duarte was also added to the U.S. corruption list.
- Velázquez and Duarte are barred from from entering the U.S. as a result of the designation.
What they're saying: "We stand committed to supporting democracy and promoting accountability for corrupt officials," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a tweet on Friday.
- "We will continue working with (President Mario Abdo Benítez) and his government, against corruption and impunity, while promoting the economic growth of both countries," Ostfield said in a tweet.