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Argentine VP cleared in one of eight fraud cases

Buenos Aires - Argentina's top appeals court on Tuesday dismissed a fraud case against Vice President Cristina Kirchner.

Venezuela opposition accuses government of illegal gold sales

Caracas - Venezuela's opposition on Wednesday accused the government of President Nicolas Maduro of illegally selling the country's international gold reserves to access liquidity and elude international sanctions.

Coffee sector full of beans despite pandemic

Apo - As cafes and office canteens shuttered worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, coffee growers feared 2020 would be a bitter year for business.

Brazil's Bolsonaro increasingly isolated as Trump leaves

Bras - When Jair Bolsonaro became Brazil's president in January 2019 he nurtured relationships with other like-minded, far-right governments, but as the political tide turns he now finds himself and his country increasingly isolated.

Venezuela's new taxi drivers: moonlighting soldiers

San Crist - In crisis-hit Venezuela, even soldiers are struggling to make ends meet on meager salaries rendered practically worthless by the highest inflation in the world and have taken to moonlighting -- as taxi drivers.

Venezuelans risk lives to buy flour, rice from Trinidad and Tobago

Brisas De Londres - It is a short trip by sea from the once-prosperous port town of Guiria in northeast Venezuela to the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago.

Cuba to increase minimum salary fivefold

Havana - Cuba will increase its minimum wage fivefold as part of reforms due to come into effect on January 1 as it unifies its two official currencies, the official gazette said on Friday.

Arce assumes Bolivia presidency with Morales shadow looming large

La Paz - Leftist economist Luis Arce assumes the Bolivian presidency on Sunday facing the challenge of uniting a polarized society and reactivating an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bolsonaro faces growing pressure to green Brazil economy

S - As the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and Pantanal wetlands bruise Brazil's international image, bankers, business executives and even agribusiness firms are calling for a greener economy, adding to pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro.

Chile unemployment hits new record of 13%

Santiago - Unemployment in Chile has reached a new record high of 13.1 percent, the national statistics institute said Friday.Unemployment rose by 5.6 percentage points in the rolling May-July quarter compared to the same period in 2019.

Peru, Argentine economies post huge falls

- Peru's year-on-year GDP fell by 30 percent in the second quarter of 2020 as it was badly affected by coronavirus containment measures, the government said on Thursday.

Venezuela inflation accelerating, parliament says

Caracas - Crisis-wracked Venezuela's yearly inflation rate rose to over 4,000 percent in July, the opposition-controlled parliament said on Wednesday.

US sanctions London-based Cuban bank

Washington - The United States announced sanctions Thursday against Havin Bank LTD, a London-based Cuban entity also known as Havana International Bank, dealing a blow to the Cuban financial system.

Cuba will eliminate dollar tax to boost economy

Havana - Cuba will eliminate Monday the 10 percent tax it has previously levied on the use of the US dollar -- and widen the categories of products for which it can be used to pay -- in response to the country's economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemi...

Venezuela's fuel shortages persist despite Iran deliveries

Caracas - Long queues at gas stations around the country underscore Venezuela's continuing fuel shortages, despite Iran stepping in to help its Latin American ally with a major fuel shipment last month.

Virus-hit Peru GDP plummets 40%

- Peru, one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, has seen GDP plummet by more than 40 percent year on year in April, the government said Monday.

More than 20,000 shops reopen in Argentine capital

Buenos Aires - More than 20,000 clothes and shoe shops in Buenos Aires were allowed to open on Monday as Argentina began a gradual reopening following more than two months of coronavirus lockdown.Until now, only businesses deemed essential had been allowed to open.

IMF approves emergency loan for Ecuador

Washington - The International Monetary Fund has approved a $643 million emergency loan for Ecuador, as the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices hit the South American nation.

Mexico street artists and vendors worry about virus-hit future

Mexico - Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Luis Valdovinos was earning about $12 a day playing his barrel organ in the streets of Mexico City.Now, it's taking him a lot longer to make that much money.

Argentina agrees to IMF talks aimed at new financing program

Buenos Aires - Argentina and the IMF announced Saturday that they have agreed to start talks aimed at reaching a new financing agreement for the heavily indebted South American nation.

Argentine government struggling to reduce poverty and debt

Tigre - With Argentina suffocated by debt, the government has turned to food stamps, price controls and popular markets to alleviate the suffering of its 10 million poor, but there are no guarantees these measures will stem the ravages of recession.

Argentine Senate passes debt-restructuring bill

Buenos Aires - Argentina's Senate passed a bill on Wednesday granting the government wide powers in restructuring the country's colossal debt.

Chile's economy contracts 3.3% in November after unrest

Santiago - Chile's economy contracted by 3.3 percent in November compared to 12 months earlier, due to the impact of the South American country's worst social unrest in decades, the central bank said on Thursday.Gross domestic product had already fallen by 3.

Bitter start to Christmas for Argentina's middle class

Buenos Aires - Argentina's lurch to the left under new President Alberto Fernandez is proving a bitter pill to swallow for much of the middle class, with the wallet-draining Christmas season in full swing.

Drainage issues caused Brazil mining dam tragedy, say experts

Bras - The collapse of a massive tailings dam in Brazil was caused by the accumulation of water and lack of drainage, although the facilities did not previously show signs of instability, according to a report commissioned by the dam's owner and published Thu...

New president vows to put Argentines before debt repayments

Buenos Aires - Center-leftist Alberto Fernandez vowed to put his people first ahead of debt repayments after he was sworn in as Argentina's president Tuesday to singing and applause from lawmakers and supporters.

Fernandez takes office as Argentina shifts to the left

Buenos Aires - Argentina's incoming president Alberto Fernandez takes office Tuesday having pledged to put Argentina "back on its feet" but he faces a tough task due to recession, high inflation and rising unemployment and poverty.

Protesters clash with police as Chile unrest enters 50th day

Santiago - Protesters clashed with police as thousands took to the streets of Chile's capital Friday for a demonstration that marked 50 days since the outbreak of the country's worst civil unrest in decades.

Brazil's Bolsonaro urges Mercosur to push on with reforms

Bento Gon - Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday urged South America's four-nation trade bloc Mercosur to push ahead with reforms "without accepting ideological setbacks," in a swipe at Argentina's incoming leftist government.

'Serious' rights violations during Chile protests: Human Rights Watch

Santiago - Chile's national police committed "serious human rights violations" as weeks of violent demonstrations across the South American country claimed 25 lives, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday in a report calling for reform of the force.
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