Argentina's central bank surprised markets at the end of the week by jolting its key interest rate up to 30.25% from 27.25%, citing weakness of the local peso against the US dollar and vowing to act again if high inflation persists.
While Chilean President Sebastián Piñera started a commercial tour in Brazil last Thursday, in which he avoids Uruguay because the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Chile is blocked in the Uruguayan Parliament since 2016, ex-president José Mujica explained that he supports the FTA with Chile in order to look for “the best incentives to ensure commercial stability.” The bench of former president Mujica and the communist party refuse to approve the commercial agreement.
European Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan insisted there would be no deal with Mercosur unless negotiators are fully satisfied strong standards will apply to all produce. It comes as another round of the negotiations on Mercosur got under way in Brussels this week.
The Falklands population is crucial for any solution to the Argentine claim over the Islands given their overwhelming support from British public opinion (and political system), and its full integration with the 53-nation Commonwealth, according to Argentine ex diplomat Jorge Lidio Viñuela, considered an expert and militant on the issue of South Atlantic insular claims.
Paraguay's Mario Abdo Benitez, “Marito”, who represents the country's long-dominant Colorado Party, was elected as president on Sunday, landing the top job in the country with the smallest economy in Mercosur. The US-educated son of a senior aide to the country's late dictator, Abdo Benitez won slightly more than 46% of the vote, with his centrist opponent Efrain Alegre taking almost 43% in a race that was far closer than expected.
China and South Korea are seeking to establish free trade agreements with Mercosur in a strategic response to Washington's increasingly protectionist stance. The East Asian initiatives have resonated well in a region where Washington is keeping its distance. U.S. President Donald Trump has not visited a single Latin American country since taking office in January 2017, and chose not to attend the Summit of the Americas, which recently concluded in Peru.
Starbucks has opened with great success its first store in Uruguay at the Montevideo Shopping mall in the capital city Montevideo. The store has a unique design and offers a wide range of Starbucks beverages and food, including Starbucks 100% arabica coffees from Latin America and around the world.
Justices from the First Panel of the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court (STF) voted, on Tuesday (17), accepting the charges filed by the Prosecutor General's Office against senator Aécio Neves (PSDB-MG), and former presidential candidate, accused of passive corruption and obstruction of justice.
The Economist recently published an extremely laudatory article on the performance of the Uruguayan economy in the last fifteen years, much of which can be supported but even more needs to be rectified, quite a surprise coming from a publication known for its research rigor. The piece was titled “Uruguay’s record-setting economic growth streak; How a small country outperforms its neighbors” and was published in the March 28th edition.
Brazil's leftist icon Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva turned himself in Saturday to start a 12-year sentence for corruption after a chaotic attempt by supporters to stop him from surrendering. Surrounded by bodyguards, Lula had to push through a seething throng of supporters to get into a police vehicle outside the metalworkers' union building in Sao Bernardo do Campo, where he had been holed up for two days and nights.