Nicolás Maduro

Likely top stories this week: the UN General Assembly kicks off in New York; Peru’s minister of mines is optimistic about controversial projects; Mexico assesses damage from Tropical Storm Manuel and Hurricane Ingrid; Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro travels to China after sparring with the U.S.; a Brazilian rancher is sentenced in the murder of American nun and activist Dorothy Stang.

Likely top stories this week: Venezuelan opposition agrees to participate in corruption debate; Chilean presidential candidate Evelyn Matthei registers her candidacy; Humala’s popularity reaches a new low; peace talks resume in Colombia; and environmental groups seek a referendum to prevent drilling in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Forest.

Venezuela’s electoral and governance quandary.

On Wednesday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro met with his French counterpart, François Hollande in Paris, on the second stop of his first official trip to Europe, to discuss forging a “strategic alliance” between the two countries.

Lorenzo Mendoza, head of Empresas Polar S.A., Venezuela’s largest privately-held food company, refuted government claims that his business is sabotaging the local food market. Mendoza’s comments came in response to President Nicolás Maduro’s accusations over the weekend that Polar is attempting to exacerbate food shortages and destabilize the economy by cutting output of staples like corn flour—which is used to make arepas, or patties, a staple in the Venezuelan diet.

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