February 13th, 2020.
Today, Brazilian Economy minister Paulo Guedes defended the high dollar Exchange rate, claiming that, before, “even housemaids were going to Disney World”, and said that the current rate might encourage people to travel more within Brazil; his statement has been widely criticized on the internet. President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed he will meet his Argentinian counterpart, Alberto Fernández, during their trip to Uruguay to attend the inauguration ceremony of Luis Lacalle Pou. Army general Walter Souza Braga Netto has allegedly been appointed by president Bolsonaro to replace Onyx Lorenzoni as the president’s new Chief of Staff; Lorenzoni will be the new Minister of Citizenship, replacing Osmar Terra. The government of China has ousted several high-ranking Communist Party officials as a response to recent criticism it had been facing due to the way it has been handling the coronavirus epidemic, especially after the death of whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang. Finally, Mexican Foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard has announced a 74.5 percent drop in the number of illegal immigrants trying to cross the US-Mexico border.
Take a look at our highlights.
With lower dollar exchange rate, even housemaids were going to Disney World, says Guedes
Today, Brazilian Economy minister Paulo Guedes defended the current dollar exchange rate, claiming that “there’s no such thing as a R$ 1.80 exchange rate,” which he claims would discourage domestic tourism. “Everybody is going to Disney World. Housemaids are going to Disney World. One hell of a party. Wait a minute. Go to Foz do Iguaçu, travel to the Northeast, it’s full of nice beaches. Go to Cachoeiro do Itapemirim, where Roberto Carlos was born. Travel around Brazil, it’s full of nice things to see,” he said during an event in Brasília. The statement was classified as “elitist” and sparked fierce criticism from the press and all over the social media.
Bolsonaro confirms meeting with Argentinian president Fernández
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro will meet his Argentinian counterpart, Alberto Fernández, for the first time, on March 1st. The meeting is scheduled to happen during a trip to Uruguay for the inauguration ceremony of that country’s newly elected president, Luiz Lacalle Pou. “I am interested in talking to Fernández. Ambassador [Felipe Solá] brought me good news yesterday. He will make an effort to get the Mercosur-European Union deal approved,” said Bolsonaro during an interview. The Brazilian president criticized Fernández after his election due to his association with former president Cristina Kirchner, his current vice president.
Army general to replace Onyx Lorenzoni as Bolsonaro’s chief of staff
Brazilian Army general Walter Souza Braga Netto has been appointed by president Jair Bolsonaro to be his new chief of staff. Braga Netto, who headed the military intervention in the state of Rio de Janeiro, is currently the Brazilian Army’s Chief of Staff, and holds 23 national decorations and four foreign ones. The appointment is yet to be confirmed by the Planalto Palace. Lorenzoni, however, will not be let go from the government; he is scheduled to replace Osmar Terra at the Ministry of Citizenship, responsible for social welfare programs such as Bolsa Família.
China ousts officials to counter criticism and changes victim-counting method
In an answer to internal criticism on the way it has been dealing with the coronavirus epidemic, the Chinese central government fired on Thursday another high-ranking officer of the Communist Party. This time, it was Jiang Chaoliang, party secretary in the province of Hubei, epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak. He was replaced by Ying Yong, a close ally of president Xi Jinping. Several high-ranking officers were relieved from duty this week, including the mayor of Wuhan, capital of Hubei. The move aims at countering protests made by hundreds of Chinese people on the country’s social media after the death of doctor Li Wenliang, one of the first to warn about the beginning of the epidemic, who was subsequently repressed by local authorities.
Number of migrants crossing US-Mexico border drops by almost 75 percent
Mexican Foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard announced this week that the number of illegal immigrants crossing the United States-Mexico border has dropped by 74.5 percent over the past eight months since his country implemented its migration and development plan. During Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s daily press conference, Ebrard said that “the number of US border crossings has gone down by 74.5 percent, and the number of people detained by the migration control officers has dropped too,” adding that Mexico now has “positive results” since people in its territory are “safer”.