Voters in Ecuador will be going to the polls on Sunday for the presidential runoff and a choice between a traditional South American leftist and a conservative ex-banker, that will steer the oil exporting country for the next four years. It will also show if South Americans are effectively abandoning populist ideas as happened in Argentina, Peru and Brazil.
A protester was killed in Paraguay after violent clashes overnight sparked by a secret Senate vote for a constitutional amendment that would allow conservative President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election. The political move also had the support and Senate votes from the left leaning former removed president Fernando Lugo, which polls show he has significant support ahead of the 2018 presidential election.
Protesters stormed and set fire to Paraguay's Congress on Friday after the Senate secretly voted for a constitutional amendment that would allow President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election, a change that will also require approval by the Lower House. The country's constitution has prohibited re-election since it was passed in 1992 after a brutal dictatorship fell in 1989.
Venezuela's chief prosecutor broke with the government on Friday and rebuked a Supreme Court decision stripping Congress of its last vestiges of power, showing a crack in the unity of the embattled populist government of President Nicolas Maduro as it came under a torrent of international condemnation over what many decried as a major step toward dictatorship.
The Venezuelan Supreme Court's decision late Wednesday to take control of the opposition-controlled legislature has set off a wave of outrage, with some hemispheric neighbors, including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Argentina, denouncing the measure as a threat to democracy.
The latest release of public opinion polls ahead of next Sunday's (April 2) presidential runoff in Ecuador show the ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno winning by a margin of 4.5 percentage points. The Cedatos poll conducted between March 18th and 21st, showed the ruling party candidate with 52.4% of the vote compared to opposition leader Guillermo Lasso‘s 47.6% (a 4.8% difference).
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said that if North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations don't benefit all parties involved, the country is willing to “step away” from it. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said pulling out of NAFTA would be a last resort.
United States oil giant Exxon Mobil Corporation is moving full steam ahead with plans to transform Guyana, in the north of South America, into a major oil producer. In what industry experts call a rare occurrence in the industry, Exxon Mobil has asked the David Granger administration for a production license to start pumping oil from the country’s seabed, less than five years after it discovered major oil finds.
Muddy water spilled onto streets and into homes on Thursday in a new round of unusually heavy rains that has killed at least a eighteen people in Peru and now threatens flooding in the capital Lima. The intense rains and mudslides over the past three days have wrought havoc around the Andean nation and caught residents in Lima, a desert city of 10 million where it almost never rains, by surprise.
On Monday, two US airlines announced that they have plans to cancel their flights to Cuba, one of which is Fort Lauderdale-based Silver Airways, whose representatives said they had made the “difficult but necessary” decision to cancel its services to Cuba from April 22.