Just the facts-The BL news-02-11-2019


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Pompeo Comments on Russia and China at a joint News conference in Budapest

Speaking at a joint news conference with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto in Budapest, Secretary of State Pompeo said: "Hungarians know all too well from their history that an authoritarian Russia will never be a friend to the freedom and sovereignty of smaller nations."

Ahead of his visits to Budapest and Bratislava, US officials said, Secretary Pompeo hoped to reverse what they called a decade of US disengagement in Central Europe that created a vacuum Russia and China have exploited.
Over the course of the past 10 years, the officials said, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leaders have become much more aggressive in the region and made inroads.

US Defense Secretary in Kabul for peace talks

The Pentagon's top official made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday to meet with US commanders and Afghan leaders amid a push for peace with the Taliban.

Pat Shanahan, the recently installed acting secretary of defense, was received in Kabul by Asadullah Khalid, Afghanistan's interim defense minister, and later held talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Shanahan said he has no orders to reduce the US troop presence, although officials say that is at the top of the Taliban's list of demands in exploratory peace negotiations.
He also said he is encouraged that US President Donald Trump's administration is exploring all possibilities for ending a 17-year war, the longest in American history.
But he stressed that peace terms are for the Afghans to decide.
Thus far the Taliban have refused to negotiate with Ghani's government, calling it illegitimate.
Washington is trying to break that impasse.

President Trump meets with law enforcement as Border negations stall

Trump spoke with reporters at an event at the White House, attended by local sheriffs, before leaving for a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas.
Border security negotiations stalled over the weekend on Democratic demands to limit the number of migrant’s authorities can detain.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging Democrats to resume border security talks as Congress races to avoid another government shutdown.
The two sides also remained separated over how much to spend on border security.
President Trump's Monday night rally is to take place just a few hundred yards from the El Paso border fence.

The BL news-across Latin America-02-11-2019

-US and Russia pressure the UN to declare its position on Venezuela.
-Cuba receives humanitarian aid ship from Venezuela
- Brazil announces the closing of "More Doctors" program
- Arrests of migrants in Mexico increase in remote places

US and Russia pressure the UN to declare its position on Venezuela.

U.S. and Russia, have officially asked the UN to pronounce itself on the crisis in Venezuela.
the United States presented a resolution to the UN to demand democratic elections and to recognize the legitimacy of the National Assembly led by the self-declared president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó.
In response, Russia, which last month already joined China, Equatorial Guinea, and South Africa in blocking a similar request, showed its opposition to what it described as foreign intervention and presented its own project.
Even if the Security Council approves some of the projects, both the United States and Russia could veto their opponent's plan by just voting against it.

Cuba receives humanitarian aid ship from Venezuela

Nicolás Maduro sent a humanitarian aid ship to help rebuild Havana, Cuba, which suffered the effects of a tornado on January 27.
The Venezuelan Navy vessel arrived at the coast of the Cuban capital transporting 100 tons of construction materials.
Meanwhile, President Maduro is blocking the entry of 100 tons of food and medicine donated by the United States and Colombia at the Venezuelan border, denouncing that it is part of a strategy to overthrow him.
For years Venezuela has suffered historical hyperinflation that, added to the shortage of essentials, has forced three million Venezuelans into exile.

Brazil announces the closing of "More Doctors" program.

The Brazilian government announced the definitive end of "More Doctors" program.

Mayra Pinheiro, a Brazilian Ministry of Health official in charge of the project, said President Jair Bolsonaro is finalizing a new program that he will present instead.
She indicated that the doctors who work in the program of sanitary assistance to vulnerable communities with difficult access will be able to complete their contracts.
Cuba asked the doctors it sent to the "More Doctors" program to return to the country in November after Bolsonaro denounced that his government was withholding 70 percent of their salaries.
After the incident, the new Brazilian president, who offered political asylum to Cuban professionals who decided to stay, issued a call for Brazilian doctors to fill the vacancies.

Arrests of migrants in Mexico increase in remote places

The number of migrants seeking to enter the United States through remote places in Mexico has increased.

The U.S. Border Patrol announced an increase in the number of migrants attempting to cross the southern border at unusual locations.
Officials denounced that this is a strategy that human traffickers use to consume police resources, abandoning groups in remote areas while passing drugs through other locations.
They indicated that the number of migrant groups arrested in January and February 2019 already accounts for more than half of those arrested in the whole of 2018.
The U.S. government, which recently closed for 35 days due to the lack of consensus between the Democratic and Republican sectors on border security, threatens to close again if no agreement is reached soon.

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