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U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay Marc Osfield
Pictured: U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay Marc Osfield announcing corruption accusations. The U.S. State Department accused him of engaging in "significant acts of corruption" and banned his entry into the country. Photo: Getty Images

Paraguay's vice president to resign

Hugo Velázquez will also drop out of the presidential race after the U.S. State Department accused him of corruption.

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"I, Hugo Velázquez, am going to make the decision that I believe is most convenient for the country," the Paraguayan Vice President said to the Paraguayan radio station ABC Cardinal, announcing his resignation, effective in the next few days.

Velázquez was not the only one included on the list of corrupt people from the U.S. State Department. There is also the legal advisor of the binational entity Yacyretá (EBY), Juan Carlos Duarte, as reported by Antony Blinken, Secretary of State in the U.S., confirmed in a statement.

The President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez, from the department of Itapúa in the south of the country, thanked his vice president and admitted to the media that "it was already unacceptable" for him to continue in his official role.

He also announced Duarte's dismissal.

"We were all surprised," said Abdo Benítez about the U.S. announcement, which he considered "an allied country" and "a strategic partner of Paraguay."

The president indicated that Velázquez "is going to place himself at the disposal of the American government."

"This is a gesture — he added, regarding the resignation of his vice-president- where he demonstrates the importance of international cooperation, of the integration processes that the world requires. We cannot turn our backs on the whole world," said Abdo Benítez.

However, Velázquez had already announced that on Monday or Tuesday of next week he would officially step down as vice president and confirmed that he would not continue with his candidacy for the presidency as part of the Colorado Party.

Lourdes Samaniego González, wife of the official who is also deputy attorney general in the Public Prosecutor's Office, is another of those on the list and is prohibited from entering the country, which is why the Paraguayan president expects her to also leave the post.

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