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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 24, 1996


All friends of democracy should be encouraged by the response to the recent threat to Paraguay's constitutional order. As the President told President Wasmosy yesterday, the United States fully supports him and the Paraguayan people in their courageous stand for democracy. With the support of the United States and other nations of the region, they have sent another strong message rejecting those who would turn back the clock on the democratic progress made in our hemisphere.

To achieve this end, the United States worked closely with the Organization of American States and strongly backed the efforts of the Mercosur countries to make clear that Paraguay's closest neighbors and trading partners would not accept any break with democratic governance. The President commends the efforts of OAS Secretary General Gaviria and the foreign ministers of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay who traveled to Paraguay to demonstrate the region's support for the principles of democratic rule and civilian authority over the military.

This marks the fourth time since 1991 that the democratic nations of this hemisphere have joined together in support of democracy and against those who would seek to undermine it. The commitment to democratic principles enshrined in the OAS Charter and reaffirmed at the Summit of the Americas remains the cornerstone of our regional partnership. We will continue to work with the government and people of Paraguay to ensure the integrity and continued development of that country's democracy.

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