The President of Paraguay, Federico Franco, visited Coral Gables City Hall last week. President Franco met with Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason, a career diplomat who was a U.S. Foreign Services officer for more than 40 years, including serving as Chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba.
The South American dignitary was in town to meet with oil company officials and discuss ongoing oil exploration in his native country which currently does not produce petroleum. Both officials had lots to talk about: Mayor Cason served as United States Ambassador to Paraguay from 2006 to 2008. While in Paraguay, Mayor Cason learned the local language and recorded an album in which he sings Paraguayan folk songs in Guaraní. The United States and Paraguay have an extensive relationship and are united by common democratic values. In 2001, Paraguay was the United States’ 63rd largest goods export market.
From left to right: Paraguayan President Federico Franco receives the key to the city from Mayor Jim Cason.