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US to end TPS for Haiti

On 20 November, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti.

Venezuela’s Maduro prepares for rough ride

It would be going too far to say that the four meetings on Venezuela that took place in different forums in different countries on 13 November will shape the country’s political future, but taken together they testify to the severity of the challenge the government led by President Nicolás Maduro faces to navigate a course through to presidential elections just over one year from now. The Maduro administration, meanwhile, is battening down the hatches. In any other week, the approval of a ‘hate law’ designed to stamp out all opposition would have seized the headlines. Instead, much like the systematic purge of senior executives in the state-run oil company Pdvsa, it was consigned to the margins by a debt crisis of epic proportions.

Venezuela: Government makes latest debt payments, but may yet default

Venezuelan investors had long been focused on two large debt repayments, one at the end of October (for US$1bn) and one at the beginning of November (for US$1.2bn), as an indication of whether the Caracas government led by may default. The consensus view was that if the payments were made, the risk of default would ease, as the repayment schedule thereafter is relatively light until next April. Yet President Nicolás Maduro’s announcement, immediately after making the repayments, that he intended to restructure the country’s external debt burden has reignited concerns that this might mean an imminent default.

Is the Clan del Golfo ailing or fighting fit?

The organised crime chief of Colombia’s prosecutor general’s office, Claudia Carrasquilla, claimed on 30 September that the neo-paramilitary Clan del Golfo had “approximately 7,000 men throughout the country”. If accurate this is four times bigger than the figure put out by the authorities. It also flies in the face of the government’s claims that it has brought the Clan del Golfo to its knees, and raises questions about why the maximum leader of the illegal armed group, ‘Otoniel’ (Dairo Antonio Úsuga), is suing for peace [SSR-17-09].

Introduction

The Southern Cone is gearing up for electoral season, with Chile’s general election just around the corner and more to follow in Brazil and Paraguay next year. Our November 2017 issue of Latin American Regional Report: Brazil & Southern Cone explores some of the underlying political, economic and security concerns across the sub-region which could shape the presidential debates.

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