Tiny and impoverished Paraguay has found itself in the middle of a great geopolitical game for influence over the South American continent.
Located at its core, and bordering its strongest economies, Brazil and Argentina, it is in a prime position for either aiding or hindering continental-wide integration efforts. In the past year, the latter appears to be the case, as it is now being pulled in different directions by South America’s two main trading blocs, Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance.
The country’s political pivot happened after the 2012 one-day constitutional coup that led to its suspension from Mercosur and the beginning of its flirtation with the Pacific Alliance. Paraguay’s future orientation has enormous implications, in that it can either cement Mercosur’s integrationist efforts or it can fracture the entire organization and deal a serious blow to multipolarity.