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LatinNews Daily - 04 January 2021

Main Briefing
On 1 January a new reform took effect which ends Cuba’s dual currency system, which had been split between a convertible peso (CUC, pegged to the US dollar) and a domestic peso (CUP – with an exchange rate of 24 to the CUC)...
Andean
On 1 January, protesters in Peru lifted roadblocks along the Pan-American Highway, to begin negotiations with the government led by interim president Francisco Sagasti...
* Bolivia’s President Luis Arce has announced the discovery of an estimated 1trn cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas at the Boicobo Sur well in Chuquisaca department...
Brazil
On 3 January, a justice in Brazil’s supreme court (STF), Gilmar Mendes, condemned the “delays and recalcitrance in importing vaccines” against the coronavirus (Covid-19) as intolerable, and called for the “urgent” establishment of a vaccination schedule in the country...
* Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has sanctioned an increase to the 2021 monthly minimum wage, which is now set at R$1,100 (US$212)...
Central America & Caribbean
* Panama’s leading private sector lobby, Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá (CCIAP), has urged the government led by President Laurentino Cortizo to take urgent action to “protect, create, and generate jobs”, in order to address the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
Mexico
On 3 January Mexico's main right-wing opposition Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) called for the head of the state-owned electricity firm Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), Manuel Bartlett, to resign after a major power outage affected millions of Mexicans...
* Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has reported that some 277,000 formal jobs were lost in the country in December 2020, a disappointing performance following several months of recovery from the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on employment in Mexico...
Southern Cone
On 3 January Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández promulgated into law a pension reform bill recently approved by the national congress...
*Argentina’s central bank (BCRA) has warned of the risk that the expected economic recovery this year could be weaker than anticipated...

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