Washington coy on positioning on Venezuela’s Guaido

U.S. embassy in Cuba resumes full immigrant visa processing

Roughly a quarter of Chileans support Boric: poll

Short-lived ceasefire suspended between Colombia and ELN

Jan 4 (Reuters)The latest in Latin American politics today:

Biden to visit border with Mexico, speak on immigration

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden plans to give a speech on immigration on Thursday and intends to visit the U.S.-Mexico border next week, addressing an issue that has challenged the Democratic president during his first two years in office.

Biden told reporters at the White House after a visit to Kentucky that he wants to see “peace and security” at the border. He said earlier in the day that he intended to visit the Southwest border but that details were still being finalized.

Washington coy on Venezuela’s Guaido, still recognizes 2015 National Assembly

WASHINGTON – The United States still recognizes Venezuela’s 2015 National Assembly after a recent shakeup and will keep coordinating with its former leader Juan Guaido “and other like-minded individuals,” the White House said.

Last month, Venezuela’s opposition National Assembly stripped Guaido of the title of interim president, which the United States has recognized since 2019.

In a press call, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the United States still recognized that assembly, elected in 2015, as Venezuela’s “last remaining democratic institution.”

Asked whether Washington still recognized Guaido as interim president, Kirby said he did not want to “get into hypotheticals” and promised the United States would “coordinate with him and other like-minded members” of the opposition legislature.

U.S. embassy in Cuba resumes full immigrant visa processing for first time since 2017

HAVANA – The U.S. embassy in Havana resumed full immigrant visa processing and consular services for the first time since 2017 in a bid to stem the record-breaking flow of illegal migrants from Cuba north to the United States.

The embassy slashed services in 2017 after several of its staff were stricken with a still largely unexplained ailment dubbed “Havana Syndrome.”

Cubans were instead required to travel to Guyana for visa processing, a costly trip well out of reach for most on the island. The U.S. embassy in Havana began limited visa processing last year and in September announced the 2023 full reopening, to “ensure safe, legal, and orderly migration of Cubans,” it said.

Roughly a quarter of Chileans support Boric: poll

Support for Chilean President Gabriel Boric fell sharply in 2022, a biannual public opinion poll showed, amid a deteriorating economy and two months before the leader marks one year in office.

The Chilean Center for Public Studies’ November-December poll showed support for Boric falling to 24% from the 32% registered in its previous April-May poll.

Boric took office in March 2022 and his government has had to deal with a slowdown in economic activity, rising inflation, political instability resulting from a constitutional rewrite process, and an increase in violent crimes.

Colombia suspends brief ceasefire with ELN after rebels reject effort

BOGOTA – Colombia has called off a ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels, in an about-face after the left-wing guerrilla group said it had not agreed to halt fighting.

The reversal – less than four days after a 6-month ceasefire was announced – is a setback for plans by President Gustavo Petro to bring peace to the Andean country after nearly sixty years of conflict which has killed more than 450,000 people.

The government called on the ELN to declare a verifiable truce while the issue is discussed at negotiations, the next round of which are set to take place in Mexico.

(Compiled by Natalia Siniawski and Isabel Woodford Editing by Peter Graff)

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