Mercosur four founding members meeting in Montevideo have been unable to reach a consensus on whether to transfer, for the next six months, the group's pro tempore presidency to Venezuela and decided on a new round of talks next Thursday. Uruguay insists in complying with the charter and calendar, but Paraguay and Brazil question the current government of Venezuela's credentials for the job, and Argentina has an ambiguous position.
Brazilian soldiers were on the streets last Saturday, checking out spots around the city that will get intense security when the Rio de Janeiro Olympics open in under four weeks. Armored vehicles and trucks carrying troops were accompanied by soldiers decked out in camouflage gear and matching helmets, with rifles slung over their shoulders. The soldiers covered the city, from Copacabana Beach to the central train station and the renovated port area.
A group of Brazilian scientists has just discovered a drug-resistant super-bacteria growing off some of Rio de Janeiro’s beaches, with less than a month to go until the 2016 Olympic Games officially commence, which will be hosted by the city from August 5.
Brazil set a smaller 2017 primary deficit target than initially envisioned, in an attempt to show greater austerity after an increase in spending raised doubts about the government's fiscal discipline. The central government primary deficit target was set at 139 billion Reais (US$41.32 billion) for 2017, a figure well below the 160 billion Reais it initially considered.
Inflation in Brazil fell in June by 0.35% to an annual rate of 8.84%, but remains almost double the government target, official figures showed. This was an improvement from May, when inflation hit 9.32%, temporarily reversing a three-month falling trend.
Jihad Ahmad Diyab, the ex Guantanamo Syrian inmate which was liberated and given refuge in Uruguay, and apparently recently crossed the border to neighboring Brazil has not infringed any law and is not on the run, according to Christian Mirza who acts as a link between the Uruguayan government and the ex Guantanamo prisoners accepted by Uruguay at the end of 2014.
Brazil suspended speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress resigned from his post on Thursday, saying the move was aimed at bringing stability to that legislative chamber. Eduardo Cunha still retains his seat in the Chamber of Deputies, although he could lose it as part of an internal legislative process.
Uruguay ratified on Thursday its willingness to transfer the Mercosur presidency to Venezuela despite objections from the other members, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. In a brief statement in its official site, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Uruguay, currently holding the Mercosur pro tempore chair reiterates its position to proceed to transfer the presidency, in abidance with what is established by the current Mercosur rules.
Brazil's suspended president Dilma Rousseff rejected attempts to impeach her as an injustice in a defense filing Wednesday, as a decision on her political fate moved a step closer. The affair has rocked Brazil as it struggles with a recession and corruption scandals ahead of next month's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The deep differences among Mercosur members as to who should hold the group's rotating chair this second half of the year surfaced openly in Montevideo with the surprise visit of Brazilian foreign minister Jose Serra and ex president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The Brazilin delegation formally requested Uruguay, which currently holds the six/month Mercosur chair to suspend the transfer to Venezuela until at least August.