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LATAM POLITICS TODAY-Biden to focus on fentanyl in Mexico, Canada talks

Reuters · 01/06/2023 16:13
LATAM POLITICS TODAY-Biden to focus on fentanyl in Mexico, Canada talks

Lula seeks to calm market jitters

Venezuelan president head of PDVSA, foreign minister

- The latest in Latin American politics today:

Biden to focus on fentanyl in Mexico, Canada talks

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden hopes to focus on the flow of fentanyl into the United States during a Mexico City meeting with leaders from Mexico and Canada week, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters in the White House.

Biden's Mexico City agenda includes discussion of supply chains, fentanyl, climate change, immigration and drug cartels, Kirby said.

The comes after the arrest of Ovidio Guzman, son of captured kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, on Thursday, which has given Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador a rare crime-fighting victory as he prepares to host the summit.

Ovidio Guzman is a leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, which has been blamed for fueling a surge in U.S. opioid deaths.

The United States has sought Ovidio's extradition for years, but Lopez Obrador said there were immediate plans to extradite him.

Lula says Brazil will 'grow with responsibility' as markets recover

BRASILIA - Brazil's leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said it was possible for the country to develop responsibly, as he sought to calm market jitters about the potential for rampant social spending under his watch.

Lula's comments came as he kicked off his first Cabinet meeting in Brasilia aiming to instill discipline among the formed team after various communication hiccups drove Brazil's currency and stock index down 3.8% and 5%, respectively, in his first days in office.

"It is possible for us to grow again with responsibility and income distribution," said Lula, who assumed office on Jan. 1.

Venezuelan president head of PDVSA, foreign minister

CARACAS - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Pedro Rafael Tellechea as the head of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and said Yvan Gil Pinto would become the foreign minister.

Tellechea has "great experience" leading state chemical company Pequiven and will "consolidate the momentum of the oil industry," Maduro said on Twitter.

In a separate tweet, Maduro Gil Pinto, who had been serving as vice-minister for Europe, to head the country's diplomacy.

Venezuela is enjoying renewed ties with countries like Colombia after years of isolation, bolstered by the global for oil amid the conflict in Ukraine.

(Compiled by Brendan O'Boyle;
Editing by Sandra Maler)