The Minister of Industry and Commerce of Paraguay: “I would like to build a wall on the border with Argentina”
The Minister of Industry and Commerce of Paraguay, Luis Castiglioni, came out this Monday in the face of criticism for a statement in which he proposed building a “wall” on the border with Argentina, and indicated that he appealed to “symbolic language” to alert on the effect of the economic policies of the neighboring country.
“What I did was use symbolic language. In other words, I used a symbology to reflect the enormous damage that it causes us Paraguayans and I also understand that the unilateral measures of the Argentine economic policy affect Brazilians and those who border Argentina,” Castiglioni told Radio Monumental and the channel NPY.
In an interview from Brussels, where he is attending the III Summit between the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), the official referred specifically to monetary and subsidy policies, which he considered do ” suffer a lot” to their neighbors.
Castiglioni argued that he tried to “draw attention” to what the “unilateral, totally uncoordinated within the Mercosur” measures mean, which make the other members of that integration mechanism “suffer the consequences of smuggling.”
In this sense, he suggested that a “sort of articulation” could be achieved “minimally” in macroeconomic policies or in agreements to facilitate trade and preferential treatment for common trade.
In any case, he apologized if his words could hurt “feelings.”
The head of Industry and Commerce, who also served as Minister of Foreign Affairs between 2018 and 2019, appealed to the term wall in a statement he gave to local media on Saturday during a visit to the Expo International Fair of Livestock, Industry, Agriculture, Business and services.
The Minister of Industry and Trade of Paraguay, Luis Castiglioni (EFE/Noelia Aceituno/Archive)
“I would like to build a wall on the border with Argentina, as Mr. (former US President Donald) Trump had proposed on the occasion of his Presidency, to build a wall on the border with Mexico given the impotence he had from the passage of the illegal migrants,” he said.
In that statement, he complained about the “totally differentiated and uncoordinated macroeconomic policies” of the neighboring nation and indicated that his situation makes “all neighboring countries suffer.”
Reacting to the minister’s words, the Argentine ambassador to Paraguay, Domingo Peppo, called for building “more bridges, not walls.”
“The expressions of Minister Luis Castiglioni of the Paraguayan Ministry of Industry and Commerce about building a wall between Argentina and Paraguay are striking and I regret,” the diplomat wrote on his Twitter account.
“On the contrary,” he added, “our peoples are brothers and seek to be closer and more connected, we must build more bridges, not walls.”
In this context, he indicated that during the time that the common border was closed due to the pandemic, the opening “was requested, due to the economic damage that it generated to the border towns of Paraguay.”
Asked about Castiglioni’s statements, the future Paraguayan foreign minister, Rubén Ramírez, clarified that they are “trying to build bridges” with Argentina.
Ramírez will take office on August 15, the date on which Santiago Peña will be sworn in as the new president of Paraguay for the period 2023-2028.
(With information from EFE)
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