Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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In the spotlight: cabinet reshuffle in Brazil

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Not one, not two, but six ministers forced to leave the Brazilian government. The biggest reshuffle since President Jair Bolsonaro came to power. Renewing almost a quarter of your team is obviously a strategic choice one year before the elections. Exit therefore the ministers of justice, defense or foreign affairs.

The latter, Ernesto Araujo, was already in the hot seat, according to Capital Letter, in three years he has earned the reputation of “ worst foreign minister in Brazilian history ». For the far-right president, weakened by his management deemed calamitous of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was above all a question of securing the support of the informal parliamentary group of the centrists, writes Newspaper. Hence the appointment of the deputy Flavia Arruda to the secretariat of the Government, responsible for dialogue with the Parliament. This figure of the “Centrao” is only the third woman out of 22 ministers.

Vital support from centrists

Without this support, the president cannot govern, explains a centrist deputy to the newspaper Braziliense Mail. According to this elected official, it is also the pressure of the “Centrao”, therefore of the centrist bloc, which led Jair Bolsonaro to change his policy of management of the pandemic. According to an opposition MP, who also speaks in Correio Braziliense, the cabinet reshuffle does not respond to the major challenge facing the government, namely to curb the spread of the virus.

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« It does not help us to speed up the vaccination campaign Says Bohn Gass of the House Workers Party. The deputy also criticizes another choice of the game of musical chairs: by appointing the Minister of Justice to his former post of Advocate General of the Union, Jair Bolsonaro seeks above all to protect himself from possible prosecution.

Testing of a second vaccine “made in Cuba”

In the fight against Covid-19, Cuba is advancing at its own pace and with some success. On Monday, March 29, 2021, the country began vaccinating 124,000 healthcare workers with Abdala, its second anti-Covid vaccine candidate. It is a large-scale test with populations at risk, Cubans between the ages of 18 and 80, according to the Venezuelan newspaper The National, citing Cuban health officials.

According to the Cuban daily Rebel Youth, vaccination consists of administering 3 doses of this vaccine “made in Cuba”, with the objective of reducing the risk of infection by 60%. In addition to these tests, phase 3 clinical trials are being carried out with this vaccine on 48,000 volunteers.

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Mexican soldiers detained in Guatemala

Mexican soldiers are being held in Guatemala on charges of shooting a Guatemalan trucker. The Guatemalan authorities confirmed the death of the truck driver and also the fact that seven Mexican soldiers were being held across the border. What happened ? According to the Guatemalan newspaper Free Press, we do not know exactly.

According to witnesses, the Guatemalan van was attacked by Mexican soldiers. The driver allegedly brandished a gun and was shot dead. Residents of the border area between the two countries then arrived and detained 7 soldiers who were then taken to the Guatemalan side. They are guarded by the police. Negotiations for their release are ongoing.

Clashes between Venezuelan soldiers and Colombian ex-guerrillas

Another border, other violence… it happens between Venezuela and Colombia. For ten days, clashes have taken place between Venezuelan soldiers and armed groups, dissidents of the former Farc guerrillas, according to Colombian authorities. According to a specialist in military issues, Sebastiana Barraez, who speaks in the newspaper The viewer, the ex-guerillas seek to obtain the support of the population. This Farc dissident group operates in both Colombian and Venezuelan territory.

Activities formerly tolerated by the Chavist government but which now wishes to put an end to them. For the specialist, it is a struggle for power in this border region, and especially for the control of all kinds of traffic. According to a Venezuelan deputy, interviewed by Time, the guerrillas seek to obtain a political agreement with the government of Nicolas Maduro. A ceasefire meeting could take place in the coming days.

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