Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 6

Casto Ocando
Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Monday 18th, 2021

(Casto Ocando, Editor)

Peru

The expansion of coca cultivation is a serious risk to national stability, but Castillo does not seem overly concerned

El Comercio editorial board: “Some observers assure that Peru has become a narco-state for a time; In other words, in a country in which the main policy decisions are made based on the interests of drug traffickers (…). The statement may be exaggerated today, but it is undeniable that the path to a substantial expansion of the influence of drug trafficking is clear, and it leads to an unviable country.

(El Comercio in Spanish: https://elcomercio.pe/opinion/editorial/editorial-la-hoja-bendita-noticia/)

 

Castillo names new ambassador to Venezuela, “legitimizes Maduro’s dictatorship”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Óscar Maúrtua, appointed a new ambassador to Venezuela, reestablishing diplomatic ties that were suspended since 2017, making it clear that for Castillo’s government, Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship is a legitimate government. The new ambassador to the post is Richard Rojas Garcia, a TV repairman currently under investigation for money laundering. At the same time, Castillo welcomed the new Maduro’s ambassador to Lima, Alexander Gabriel Yánez Deleuze.

(Peru21, in Spanish: https://peru21.pe/politica/cancilleria-oscar-maurtua-venezuela-nicolas-maduro-castillo-legitima-a-la-dictadura-venezolana-noticia/)

 

 

Fitch downgrades Peru to ‘BBB’; outlook stable

Political volatility has become more pronounced in recent years, including the removal of the Congress in 2019 and the impeachment and rapid rotation of presidents amid civic mobilizations during November 2020, and ongoing polarization remains a risk. Policy changes advocated by the left-leaning Free Peru party, of which the president is a member, appear in conflict with the investment-driven and market-oriented, open economic model.

(Fitch Ratings: https://www.fitchratings.com/research/sovereigns/fitch-downgrades-peru-to-bbb-outlook-stable-15-10-2021)

 

Analysis: Can Pedro Castillo save his Presidency?

The peruvian president’s first months in office have been characterized by chaos, extremisms, and -critics say- sheer incompetence.

(Foreign Policy: https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/10/15/peru-president-pedro-castillo-left-extremism-impeachment/)

 

Argentina

Argentina touts economic ‘roadmap’ in meeting with private investors in New York; investors remain wary

Argentine senior officials met with private investors in New York on Friday, touting a much sought-after economic “roadmap” for the embattled country and playing up the chances of a positive deal with the International Monetary Fund. But investors remain wary of Fernandez’s government plans.

(Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/argentinas-guzman-pushes-economic-roadmap-investors-new-york-2021-10-15/)

 

President Alberto Fernandez harshly criticized by peronists in Plaza de Mayo massive event

Plaza de Mayo this Sunday was a sounding board for internal claims in the peronist Frente de Todos. President Alberto Fernández was the target of harsh criticism during an act to commemorate Peronist Loyalty Day. Most of the criticism was directed to the current negotiations to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. Peronist hard liner Hebe de Bonafini suggested Fernandez to not recognize Argentina’s debt with the IMF.

(La Nacion in Spanish: https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/duras-criticas-a-alberto-fernandez-en-el-acto-kirchnerista-por-el-dia-de-la-lealtad-nid17102021/)

 

Argentina inflation spikes sharply despite battle to curb prices

Argentina’s inflation rate spiked back up to a higher-than-expected 3.5% in September after months of declines, heaping pressure on the Peronist government as it looks to keep prices down ahead of key midterm elections in November.

(Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/argentina-inflation-spikes-sharply-despite-battle-curb-prices-2021-10-14/)

 

Cubana de Aviacion to resume flights Buenos Aires-Havana within a month

The Cuban Ministry of Tourism announced the total reopening of its tourism industry for travelers from all over the world as of November 15. And the novelty for Argentines is that Cubana de Aviación will resume its weekly direct flight to Havana from Buenos Aires from November 22nd.

(Pagina 12 in Spanish: https://www.pagina12.com.ar/375398-cuba-reabre-al-turismo-internacional-desde-el-15-de-noviembr)

 

 

Ecuador

Cost of living is becoming more expensive in Ecuador due to the rise in oil and the economic reactivation

Inflation in Ecuador had fallen for months and in negative until July of this year, when the consumer price index began to rebound, hitting the pockets of Ecuadorians, already weighed down by the crisis generated by the pandemic.

(Market Research Telecast: https://marketresearchtelecast.com/the-cost-of-living-is-becoming-more-expensive-in-ecuador-due-to-the-rise-in-oil-and-the-economic-reactivation-economy/180744/)

 

 

US Secretary of State Blinken to highlight democracy on Ecuador, Colombia trip

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Colombia and Ecuador next week as he seeks to showcase democracy in Latin America, the State Department said Friday. The State Department said that Blinken will begin the trip on October 19 in Quito where he will meet President Guillermo Lasso and deliver a speech on “the challenges facing democracies in the region.”

(France24: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211015-blinken-to-highlight-democracy-on-ecuador-colombia-trip

 

Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Ecuador is a relevant partner to US foreign policy”

Ecuador sees the visit of the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, as a “sequence” of events that reflect the rapprochement between the two countries, said Foreign Minister Mauricio Montalvo, who now hopes it will be completed with a trade agreement.

(La Republica in Spanish: https://www.larepublica.ec/blog/2021/10/17/montalvo-la-visita-de-blinken-es-un-mensaje-de-la-diplomacia-norteamericana/)

Ecuadorian police seized 5 tons of cocaine in Guayaquil

The anti-narcotics police seized 5 tones of cocain in two operations in the port of Guayaquil, and arrested three drug traffickers involved in the operations.

(La Republica in Spanish: https://www.larepublica.ec/blog/2021/10/17/capturan-otras-cinco-toneladas-de-cocaina-en-guayaquil/)

 

 

 

Bolivia

Bolivia’s ruling party sets up headquarters in Peru

Just a couple of days after Peru’s President Pedro Castillo Terrones lost support from his Marxist Peru Libre party, which decided not to support his new cabinet, press reports have come out indicating former Bolivian President Evo Morales’s Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) has set foot into the country and even has established its headquarters in Cusco.

(MercoPress: https://en.mercopress.com/2021/10/18/bolivia-s-ruling-party-sets-up-headquarters-in-peru)

 

 

 

Special report

Experts warn that advance of drug trafficking puts Latin American democracies in risk

The marriage of leftist regimes with drug trafficking and the growing irruption into the political system of drug money today constitute the greatest threat to Latin American democracies, experts warned. Latin American democracies, which were already threatened by the ideological ascent of 21st Century Socialism in the region, promoted by Venezuela and Cuba, are now increasingly cornered by the entry of drug trafficking onto the political arena, panelists warned in a forum held in Miami by the Inter-American Institute for Democracy.

(El Nuevo Herald, in Spanish: https://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/america-latina/venezuela-es/article255009582.html)