Hugo Velazquez, the vice president of Paraguay, made his resignation and decision to withdraw from the race for president of the country public on Friday, August 12, following a punishment from Washington for “serious corruption.”
Velazquez claimed his resignation will be submitted to “defend” his party even if he refuted the US accusation.
“I speak with the calm that my behavior gives me, because I did not do what they are accusing me of.
“I am speaking with a clear conscience.”
Velazquez was hoping to stand for election next year as Paraguay’s Presidents, including the current leader Mario Abdo Benitez are limited to a single five-year term.
“The decision to step aside is to not affect the president.
“I am retiring from politics. It was the last stage of my career. If it couldn’t happen, what are we to do?”
AFP reported that several family members were also sanctioned, as well as Juan Carlos Duarte, a close friend, and legal adviser to the company that runs the major Yacyreta hydroelectric power station.
Velazquez denied the US allegations and insisted he has “a clean conscience.” He had been a candidate for the ruling Colorado Party’s December primaries ahead of next year’s election.
The US sanctions relate to Duarte offering “a bribe to a Paraguayan public official in order to obstruct an investigation that threatened the vice president and his financial interests,” said Blinken.