“Imperial and Exploiter”: Wave of Criticism Welcomes Brazil’s Lula in Paraguay

Paraguayan president Duarte with Brazilian president Lula Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva one day visit to Paraguay to sign several bilateral agreements and officially inaugurate the expanded capacity of the huge binational Itaipu dam along the Paraná river was signaled by strong criticism from the local press.

Criticism is focused on Brazil's negative to redraft the agreement regulating the Itaipu dam 20 turbines production shared by both countries.

According to the decades old agreement Paraguay must sell to Brazil, at below market prices, all the surplus energy it does not consume which is almost 93% of its half share. Paraguay's main daily ABC Color in its main Monday editorial described Brazil as "an imperial neighbor and exploiter", and called for a renegotiation of the contract.

"We must work out a new political consensus to begin reviewing the terms of the agreement signed in 1973" said Paraguayan president Nicanor Duarte during a joint press conference in the capital Asunción.

Lula da Silva said there are "no banned issues to discussion in the treaty", and proposed Brazilian loans and investments to help develop Paraguay's economy and thus use more of the Itaipu generated energy.

Part of the investments would be in the biofuels sector, an issue which according to the Brazilian press dominated most of the talks at the presidential summit.

"I'm leaving Paraguay with great optimism because of the country's potential in ethanol and bio-diesel is extraordinary," remarked Lula.

President Duarte said that "if Brazil is to become the Saudi Arabia of biofuels, why can't Paraguay become the Kuwait of the XXI century?"

This was President Lula da Silva's first official visit to Paraguay since 2003.

On Monday afternoon both presidents inaugurated the 20th – and final – generating unit at the binational Itaipu hydro plant.

This means the total installed capacity of the scheme on the Paraná River is now 14GW.

Since 1991 the Itaipu has been operating with 18 units each, and in September 2006 the 19th unit went into commercial operation.

With the inauguration of the 20th unit by Lula and Duarte the project has achieved the planned capacity envisaged when the project was conceived decades ago.

In 2006, Itaipu produced almost 92,700GWh, and over the last five years produced an average of 90,000GWh. With 20 units in place, the plant should be able to average 95,000GWh.

Until the recent work to install the last two units, the plant generally operated with 16 out of 18 units. It is expected that the scheme will typically operate in future with 18 units running.
But the much praised capacity expansion also involves discussions with Argentina.

Itaipu Legal Department Director José Bonifácio Cabral Junior present at the ceremony revealed that Brazil and Paraguay are negotiating with Argentina the full advantage of the enlarged installed capacity of the hydro dam.

The original 1973 agreement included Argentina, since it also shares the Paraná River further down, and as part of the deal it was then agreed to build a second binational dam, to be shared by Paraguay and Argentina, the Corpus plant, as a form of ensuring a sufficient volume of water.

The additional capacity means Itaipu will be operating with 18 turbines simultaneously, instead of the normal 16, and a complicated equilibrium of water flows down river must be agreed with Argentina as to make the whole fluvial system sustainable.



  • Show Comments (5)

  • AES
  • AES

    I think the diffeence between a third world country and the U.S. is that the salaries of the police are paid by the people and in the third world the salaries are paid by the criminals.

    We need Paraguay. The triangle of espionage, terrorism, and smuggling could use some enforcement. Take the electrical surplus and run it through the fence they are building to deter trafficing of smuggling and political instibility.

  • AES

    Sounds like a bit of a muck up. Paraguay getting the short end of the economic stick and all. I mean it is not going to use 93%, it would seem fair that the bit about selling ‘at bellow market prices’, seems a bit vague. Well fair is fair and at the time I guess Paraguay thought it was a good deal. Apparently a contract is not a contract in S.A. Much like the American treaties with the Indians. But the price of oil which has gone from $16 to $67 so the equivalent value of the electricity, if it were produced by oil, is quite in need of re alignment. But a deal is a deal, and well a friend is a friend and I suppose that’s what the difference between an Imperialist, a rank opportunitst, or rather an Imerialist and a friend. It is better to help ones neighbor to becomes successful than to create emnity. Win win and all of that.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]We need Paraguay[/quote]

    Yes indeed.As a buffer zone?.A clever geopolitical thinking on your part.

    [quote]The triangle of espionage, terrorism, and smuggling could use some enforcement.[/quote]

    You better start writing a book about this and allow me to be your proof reader.

    [quote]Take the electrical surplus and run it through the fence they are building to deter trafficing of smuggling and political instibility.

    Excuse me AES, are the Paraguayans building a fence to prevent us from visiting their country? I didnt know about this fence and would appreciate your throwing more info.If they are doing it, the electrical surplus can easily be diverted to other productive usage East of their border.

  • João da Silva

    “Imperial and Exploiter”: Wave of Criticism Welcomes Brazil’s Lula in Paraguay
    [quote]This was President Lula da Silva’s first official visit to Paraguay since 2003.[/quote]

    Why would he go there often? He has better things to do.

    Yes, we are the Imperialists and Exploiters of the poor Paraguayos.Nobody raised a finger when Alfredo Stroesner was ruling the country for over 40 years and the elite of Paraguay was in cahoot with him until it got tired and exiled him to Brazil .Now the same elite is complaining that we are Imperial and Exploiters. It is a shame.Actually, the Paraguyans should have implored with Lula to annex their country .Ah, Paraguay,living in your past glory of StroessnerÀ‚´s era.

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