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LatinNews Daily - 22 December 2020

Main Briefing
On 21 December Nicaragua’s unicameral national legislature, which is controlled by the ruling Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), held an extraordinary session in which it approved a legislative bill that the political opposition warns could prevent it from participating in the November 2021 general election...
Andean
On 21 December, protesters in Peru reinstalled roadblocks at several points along the Pan-American Highway, after the country’s congress failed to pass the agrarian reform demanded in recent demonstrations...
* Felipe Capozzolo, the president of Venezuela’s national council of retailers (Consecomercio), has reported that between 70%-80% of transactions carried out in Venezuela are made using US dollars, as continued inflation and the loosening of restrictions on foreign currencies have furthered ‘de facto dollarisation’ in the country...
Brazil
In the early hours of 22 December the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, was arrested in a joint operation by the police and the state public prosecutor’s office (MP-RJ)...
* Local economists have warned that while Brazil’s inflation rate is currently under control, the central bank (BCB) will have to take decisive measures in the first months of 2021 to contain it...
Central America & Caribbean
* US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has announced that the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has added three Cuban military-owned companies - Grupo de Administración Empresarial (Gaesa), Fincimex, and Kave Coffee - to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List)...
Mexico
On 21 December the Mexican government led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador questioned the integrity of a New York Times (NYT) report which claimed it had hidden the extent of the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in order to keep businesses open in Mexico City (CDMX)...
* The Centro de Estudios Económicos del Sector Privado (CEESP), a Mexican private sector think-tank, has warned that the country’s economy is likely to face a difficult start to 2021, and is unlikely to see any substantial recovery until the middle of the year, at the earliest...
Southern Cone
On 21 December, new legislation that imposes tough temporary restrictions on the freedom of movement and of assembly to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) came into force in Uruguay...
* Argentina has recorded a primary fiscal deficit in November of Ar$58.69bn (US$706m) - the lowest level since the start of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, according to the country’s economy ministry...

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