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Weekly Report - 21 May 2020 (WR-20-20)

LEADER
If critics of Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador were restricted to isolating just one of his faults there is a strong chance they would settle on his inflexibility, a dogmatic determination to pursue his own ideologically infused agenda irrespective of the costs...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
“It’s as if a family has lost half of what it needs to live,” President Lenín Moreno said on 19 May while announcing sweeping cost-cutting measures in the face of US$8bn of lost income as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and a plunge in oil prices...
The addition of Cuba on 12 May to a US list of countries ‘not fully co-operating with counter-terrorism efforts’ represented a significant victory for the Colombian government, which had been lobbying for this for some time...
Such was the absurdity of the ‘Operation Gideon’ attack on Venezuela earlier in the month [WR-20-18] that several opposition figures initially speculated that the whole affair had been manufactured by Nicolás Maduro’s government to distract from its handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
Under considerable domestic and international pressure [WR-20-19], Bolivia’s interim government was forced on 14 May to annul provisions in various decrees deemed to have undermined freedom of expression, particularly in regard to criticisms of its management of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
PERU | Growth streak ends...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
“The health ministry is today a directionless ship,” former health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, who was fired by President Jair Bolsonaro on 16 April, told Brazilian daily Folha de São Paulo on 18 May...
The coronavirus (Covid-19) is not the only thing that has been quickly spreading in Chile this week...
President Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou celebrated the revision of the largest foreign investment project in Uruguay’s history this week, exceeding US$3bn...
ARGENTINA | Inflation continues to trend down but remains high...
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
In response to a question about El Salvador at a recent press briefing, Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, said the latter had “urged governments to implement emergency measures that are legal, proportionate, necessary”...
Amid concerns about the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, human rights groups are warning of another health-related crisis in Guatemala and beyond: a steep rise in those suffering from acute malnutrition linked to the impact of the outbreak...
COSTA RICA | Admission to OECD...
POSTSCRIPT
Suriname will stage general elections on 25 May with President Dési Bouterse the marginal favourite to extend his term in office in spite of facing three serious challenges, any one of which would hobble the chances of an ordinary incumbent seeking to retain power...
“If we fail to put [the energy sector] in order, the same thing will go on…they will continue to view Mexico as the land of conquest, foreign companies will come to plunder...

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