Chile’s Bachelet forced to reassess priorities

On 16 April Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet said in an interview with State TV that she was considering adjustments to the national budget, and re-evaluating the allocation of funds resulting from her proposed tax reform, to finance reconstruction efforts following the 1 April earthquake that hit the north of the country and the devastating 12 April fire which broke out in Valparaiso - the worst urban fire in the country's history.

For now Venezuelan ‘dialogue’ is little more than talks about talks

Protests are continuing in Venezuela, though with less intensity than in March and at least one radical opposition faction and the students are determined to keep them going. The much-trumpeted ‘dialogue’ between the government and the rest of the opposition has already held two sessions, the first not going beyond public restatements of known positions, the second a closed-door ‘preparatory’ event during which little of substance was agreed.

Cuba’s exchange rate unification: what will replace a flawed system?

Cuba’s government has confirmed that it plans to abolish the ‘convertible peso’ (CUC) and to revalue the Cuban peso (CUC). As yet, there has been no comment on a key question: what currency regime will replace the present system?

Two months on, the upheaval in Venezuela is still smouldering

Calm had not quite returned to Venezuela, after more than a month of riotous confrontations, when a delegation of foreign affairs ministers from Union of South American Nations (Unasur) turned up on 25 March in an ostensible attempt to broker a dialogue between government and opposition. By then at least 30 deaths were being attributed to the unrest, more than 300 people had been injured and more than 100 had been arrested and charged with criminal offences. The government says it is still facing an attempted ‘soft coup’ orchestrated from abroad, while the more militant wing of the opposition says it will continue to exercise its right to protest on the streets until the government steps down.

Election countdown begins, but without a ‘K’ candidate

With just sixteen months until Argentina's presidential elections, potential candidates are starting to emerge. Six contenders were identified by public consulting firm, Poliarquía, in a recent survey; but the firm acknowledged one glaring omission: President Cristina Fernández’s chosen candidate. With a seemingly indestructible core vote of between 20-25% of the electorate, whoever eventually earns Fernández’s blessing will be a serious contender.

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