Sen. Hernán Larraín and Guillermo Ramirez, President and Secretary General of the Democratic Independent Union, the first opposition party, analyzed the results achieved in 2016 by the government of Michelle Bachelet. The Independent Democratic Union leaders have strongly criticized the current cabinet, remembering how this has been overwhelmed by judicial scandals of various kinds and that they have prevented the holding of effective and consistent government action. The analysis concluded with the hope that next year, the last government for Michelle Bachelet before the elections, will be a year of cooperation between the opposition and government, the two leaders underlined that the low propensity to dialogue shown by cabinet has greatly helped to cripple the economy.
Walter Alban, President of the NGO Proetica, hoped that the majority party in Parliament, Fuerza Popular, participates in the National Accord forum, sponsored by the President of the Council of Ministers Zavala. According Albán this forum is the only hope to draw up a medium to long-term government strategy that is shared by all political forces, whether Fuerza Popular does not take part, according to Alban, the party of Fujimori would lose many votes in elections 2018.
Bolivian President Evo Morales, during a rally in the Ivirgarzama Stadium, said he was ready to run for the elections of 2019 and have already a government plan for the years ’20 -’25. Despite the Bolivian people in a referendum in February voted against the renomination of Morales, for his fourth consecutive term, the current President and the MAS leader said that he was ready to continue to be the President, proposing various ways to modify the Article 168 of the Constitution, which prevents from doing more than two consecutive terms. In fact, according to many experts, including the lawyer Williams Bascopé Laruta, the only system that Morales has to get around at the same time both Article 168 of the Constitution and the popular vote of February is to convocate a Costitutional Assembly that would have to modify the biggest part of actual Costitution.
Pope Francis met this morning at the Vatican Colombian President Santos and the leader of the opposition Uribe, it was the Pope to give a mandate to his Secretary of State, mons.Parolin, to approach Santos and Uribe and to propose a clarifying meeting in Rome. Uribe was the main detractor of the peace agreement signed by Santos with the rebels of the FARC. The Pope invited the two leaders to put aside their divisions and to work together to prosper Colombia. At the end of the interview with the Pope neither Santos neither Uribe spoke about each other, but they emphasized the pleasure of the meeting with Francis.
Yesterday officially ended the final deadline for change banknotes of 100 Bolivar in Venezuela, many citizens of different provinces far from the major centers of the country, Caracas and Maracaibo, have encountered enormous difficulties in change due to the lack of cash at the disposal of the local branches of the CBV . Obviously there have been several protests across the country, also the lack of cash is fueling the affairs of the smugglers, José Vielma Mora, governor of the Federal state of Táchira, on the border with Colombia, told to the press that the security forces arrested 82 people linked to the smuggling of bank notes.
Eamon Gilmore, special envoy of the EU for the peace process in Colombia, has released an interview with the newspaper El Tiempo in which he assured that the EU will not fail to Colombia’s support, both political and economic, not only for the period of peace negotiations with the FARC but also in the future. Gilmore also said because this time, namely the implementation of the negotiations, will be the hardest but once completed the negotiations will need to carefully think about an economic recovery plan for the most disadvantaged areas of the country to prevent the guerrillas that not accepted the agreement with Bogota do not put in charge of a new revolutionary movement.
Álvaro García Linera, Vice President of Bolivia, has suggested a possible nomination of the current President Evo Morales as Vice President for the 2019 elections. Morales has been in office since 2006 and is in his third term, for which it was necessary to change the Constitution, that would mean that it would be possible to see again Morales as President between 2024 and 2034, although Garcia Linera has not ruled out the possibility of a new constitutional reform to allow Morales to already run for president in 2019.
Venezuela has closed the border with Brazil for the next three days. Maduro had already ordered the closure of the border with Colombia to prevent the smuggling of 100 bills Bolivar. The Venezuelan government has also ordered the withdrawal of the existing banknotes of 100 Bolivar to prevent “American conspiracy” against the Venezuelan economy. The Brazilian Foreign Ministry, Itamaraty, said to the press that the measures taken by Caracas concern only the internal affairs of Venezuela.
The Colombian Constitutional Court has decided that the shortened legislative process, if it is used limited to applicative laws of the peace agreement between the government and the FARC, is not unconstitutional. This means that even now the government can push through laws related to the peace agreement in mid of the time that’s constitutionally scheduled, the President may adopt acts with force of law on the subject, the Court has nevertheless left the role of final decision-maker and he made it clear that as far as the “Fast Track” increases the powers of government and the President they can not replace the Parliament.
Sen. Jacqueline van Rysselberghe is the new President of the UDI ( Independent Democratic Union) the rightwing conservative party and main opponent of the current President Michelle Bachelet. van Rysselberghe defeated with almost 63% of the votes the Congressman Jaime Bellolio, the first to congratulate for the victory, Sen. is the first woman to guide the party, will retain the post for two years,until the next presidential elections even if is no guarantee that she will be the candidate of the UDI, is not excluded that the UDI support as a candidate the former president Juan Sebastián Piñera.