Showing off new energy after cancer treatment, Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez hosted Latin American leaders on Friday to create a new regional body that pointedly excludes the United States and Canada.
Argentine and Brazilian presidents Cristina Fernandez and Dilma Rousseff agreed in Caracas the creation of a Productive Integration Mechanism, MIP, to deepen bilateral relations.
Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa again questioned the existence of the Organization of American States, OAS, which should have been disarticulated in 1982 during the Falklands/Malvinas war and insisted that the region’s problems “should be discussed in the region and not in Washington”.
Argentine Economy Minister Amado Boudou and Planning Minister Julio De Vido announced on Friday further subsidy eliminations for utility services particularly in the City of Buenos Aires, which follows on previous subsidy cuts to several sectors implemented last month by the government of Cristina Fernandez.
Brazil, plagued by delays and in-fighting in its preparations for the 2014 World Cup, could stage the event in two months' time if necessary, the country's sports minister said on Friday.
The US unemployment rate fell to a two and half year low of 8.6% in November and companies stepped up hiring, further evidence the economic recovery was gaining momentum.
A group from the Malvinas fallen soldiers next of kin Committee is travelling this Saturday to the Falkland Islands for the upkeep and maintenance of the monument at the Argentine cemetery in Darwin.