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LatinNews Daily - 03 February 2021

Main Briefing
On 2 February, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) lifted restrictions on “transactions and activities involving the government of Venezuela … that are ordinarily incident and necessary to operations or use of ports and airports”...
Andean
* Colombia’s pension fund administrators’ association (Asofondos) has reported that private pension contributions fell by 12.9% in 2020, down to Col$20.6trn (US$5.8bn), from Col$23.7trn in 2019...
Brazil
On 2 February, Brazil’s federal police (PF) launched operation ‘Quinta Coluna’ (‘fifth column’), part of an investigation into the use of aircraft belonging to the Brazilian air force (FAB) to traffic drugs internationally...
* Brazil’s national statistics institute (Ibge) has released its latest figures on industrial production, according to which industrial production expanded by 0.9% month-on-month in December 2020, the eighth consecutive positive monthly result after the sharp drop in activity caused by the onset of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in March-April...
Central America & Caribbean
On 2 February Haiti’s Episcopal Conference (CEH) issued a statement warning that the country is on “the verge of explosion” and calling on President Jovenel Moïse to apply the law “to himself”...
* Honduras’s deputy tourism minister, Selvin Barralaga, has said that Honduras’s tourism sector lost over US$1.3bn and some 100,000 jobs in 2020, due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the damages caused by the hurricanes 'Eta' and 'Iota', which struck the country in November 2020...
Mexico
On 2 February Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, expressed concerns regarding a new transparency and authorisation mechanism adopted by the European Union (EU) for exports of vaccines against the coronavirus (Covid-19)...
* Mexico’s central bank (Banxico) has released its latest monthly survey of private sector economists and analysts, whose predictions for GDP growth in Mexico this year have improved compared with December 2020...
Southern Cone
On 2 February Argentina’s secretary for access to health, Carla Vizzotti, said that the government is working hard to secure supplies of vaccines against the coronavirus (Covid-19) other than the Russian-made Sputnik V to advance its national immunisation campaign...
* Paraguay’s finance minister, Óscar Llamosas, has announced that G$43bn (US$6.2m) in priority funds will be transferred from the treasury to the education ministry (MEC), to guarantee the safe re-opening of schools for in-person classes, which have been suspended for the past year due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...

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