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Weekly Report - 28 January 2021 (WR-21-04)

LEADER
Now that former US president Donald Trump (2017-2021) has left the White House, and an era of more measured US politics is expected under his successor Joe Biden, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro could head off in one of three foreign policy directions, Thiago Amparo, a professor at the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) university, wrote on 24 January in his weekly column for national daily Folha de São Paulo...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
The electoral backdrop was inescapable when President Lenín Moreno met the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, at Ecuador’s embassy in Washington on 26 January to discuss the US$6.5bn programme agreed by his government in 2020...
President Luis Arce presided over his first ‘day of the plurinational state’ on 22 January...
Last week’s speech to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) by Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the UN special representative in Colombia, struck something of a familiar note...
The complexity and sensitivity of Venezuela’s long-running political crisis is such that every international intervention is immediately analysed in great detail, in search of implicit clues as to which way the wind is blowing...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
Argentina’s political opposition has moved on various fronts to take the government to task as it prepares for the start of campaigning for October’s midterm elections...
Under continued pressure to replace some of the questioned members of his ministerial cabinet even after last year’s changes [WR-20-41], Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benítez has conducted another mini cabinet reshuffle...
MEXICO
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador dropped a bombshell on Twitter on 24 January by announcing that he had tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19)...
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
“A historic milestone”...
With the highest number of coronavirus (Covid-19) infections in Central America, Panama is the second country in the sub-region to have a national vaccination plan in place, after Costa Rica...
POSTSCRIPT
Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera was compelled to make yet another high-profile cabinet reshuffle on 26 January after his finance minister, Ignacio Briones, tendered his resignation in order to participate in November’s presidential elections...
“With the money [President Jair] Bolsonaro spent on condensed milk, 8,000 cylinders of oxygen could have been bought to stop Brazilians suffocating to death.”..

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