U.S. Army General Laura J. Richardson, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), visited Paraguay December 11-14, and met with President Santiago Peña and other senior leaders to discuss the United States’ longstanding defense partnership with the Paraguayan Armed Forces.
Gen. Richardson’s trip to Paraguay was her first as SOUTHCOM commander. The visit coincided with the 80th anniversary of the start of U.S.-Paraguay military cooperation – a partnership that reflects both nations’ commitment to regional security and democracy.
During the bilateral meeting with President Peña and Gen. Richardson on December 12, both leaders discussed strengthening defense cooperation and joint efforts to combat transnational criminal organizations and cyberthreats.
Later, Gen. Richardson met with Minister of Defense Oscar Gonzalez and discussed regional security and efforts to deepen defense cooperation. Also on December 12, Gen. Richardson met with Paraguay’s Commander of the Military Forces, General EJ César Augusto Moreno Landaira, and senior defense leaders to discuss the enduring defense partnership between the United States and Paraguay and continued military-to-military cooperation.
On December 13, Gen. Richardson attended Paraguay-hosted events focused on the growing contributions of women to peace, defense, and security missions worldwide. She also joined Minister Gonzalez, U.S. Ambassador Marc Ostfield, and other senior leaders and dignitaries to commemorate the 80-year history of U.S.-Paraguay defense cooperation.
A key objective during Gen. Richardson’s visit was to expand her knowledge of the Paraguayan Armed Forces and their important contributions to regional security and global peace.
U.S.-Paraguay bilateral defense cooperation activities focus on areas of mutual interest, including capacity-building exercises, disaster preparedness, humanitarian assistance, cyber security, and human rights.