How coronavirus spread through South America

From his accommodation in Rio de Janeiro, the Guardian’s Latin America correspondent, Tom Phillips, can hear the nightly protests against Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, where cases are steadily rising. He discusses how Brazil and other South American countries are trying to deal with the pandemic

This episode first aired on Today in Focus, the Guardian’s global daily news podcast made by the Guardian team in London.

You can read more of Tom Phillips reporting on South America here.

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Covid-19’s continued spread into South America

From his temporary home in Rio de Janerio, the Guardian’s Latin America correspondent, Tom Phillips, can hear the nightly protests against Brazilian president Jair Bolsorano’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, where cases are steadily rising. He discusses how Brazil and other South American countries are trying to deal with the pandemic

The Guardian’s Latin America correspondent, Tom Phillips, talks to Anushka Asthana about the growing protests against the Brazil president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Medical experts fear Jair Bolsonaro could be hastening the country’s march towards a devastating public health crisis by undermining social distancing measures. Bolsonaro is one of just four world leaders still downplaying the threat of coronavirus to public health, alongside the authoritarian presidents of Nicaragua, Belarus and Turkmenistan.

Phillips also discusses the devastating impact the virus has had on Ecuador, in particular Guayaquil, the Latin American city hit hardest by the virus. Bodies have been kept in homes or dumped on roadsides as authorities and hospitals struggle to cope.

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Venezuela: allies of Maduro and Guaidó hold secret talks over coronavirus fears

Exploratory talks emerged from concerns over Covid-19 spread, hyperinflation and growing fuel shortages

Allies of the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, and his bitter foe, the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, have secretly begun exploratory talks as concerns grow about the possible impact of the spread of the coronavirus, according to sources on both sides.

The discussions emerged from concerns about Covid-19, hyperinflation and growing fuel shortages – as well as worries among some members of the ruling Socialist party about how to ensure their political survival under a possible change of government as Washington tightens sanctions, the sources said.

Related: ‘Mask, gown, gloves – none of that exists’: Venezuela’s coronavirus crisis

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Lockdowns leave poor Latin Americans with impossible choice: stay home or feed families

Families struggle to maintain coronavirus restrictions as they seek to stay afloat: ‘My fear is my children going hungry’

Leaders across Latin America have ordered their citizens indoors as they struggle to tame the coronavirus.

But for Liliana Pérez, an Argentinian single mother of six, staying at home is a pipe dream.

Related: ‘We’re abandoned to our own fate’: coronavirus menaces Brazil’s favelas

Related: Paraguayans go hungry as coronavirus lockdown ravages livelihoods

Related: Peru: riot police block highway as people attempt to flee amid lockdown

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Bluster, distraction, denial: Trump follows Chavez’s successful template

Coronavirus could be Trump’s downfall – but another bullying leader reminiscent of Trump won election after election

Donald Trump’s handling of coronavirus appears to be not so much a car wreck as a multiple pile-up, one vehicle slamming into another in a mound of twisted metal.

First denial and complacency that left hospitals and laboratories unprepared, then shouting matches with governors and the media, then peddling a dodgy remedy and conspiracy theories, and now scapegoating the World Health Organization. With November’s election approaching, Covid-19 may end up engraved on Trump’s political tombstone.

Related: Insult, provoke, repeat: how Donald Trump became America’s Hugo Chávez

Related: The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life

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Returning Venezuelans in squalid quarantine face uncertain future

Migrants who lost their jobs in Colombia’s pandemic lockdown have been shocked by their confinement in a border town

When Jhoel Brito headed back to Venezuela last week he sought safe haven from an epoch-making global health emergency that has paralyzed scores of countries and claimed more than 120,000 lives.

After losing his job as a butcher in Colombia, the 25-year-old Venezuelan migrant believed he would be safer waiting out the coronavirus storm back home.

Related: Venezuelans return home as coronavirus piles more misery on migrants

Related: ‘Mask, gown, gloves – none of that exists’: Venezuela’s coronavirus crisis

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Venezuelans return home as coronavirus piles more misery on migrants

With many South American countries under lockdown of some sort, exiles are taking to the road – but still only a fraction of the 4.5m who left Venezuela

Jenny Salazar fled her native Venezuela last year, trudging hundreds of miles down a motorway to Colombia’s capital with only a suitcase and her nine-year-old daughter in tow.

“It was tough, walking up and down those mountains. But it was the only way we could survive. Staying in Venezuela meant we would die,” the 34-year-old street vendor said of her economically ruined homeland.

Related: ‘Mask, gown, gloves – none of that exists’: Venezuela’s coronavirus crisis

Related: Ecuador: cardboard coffins distributed amid coronavirus fears

Related: ‘Coronavirus could wipe us out’: indigenous South Americans blockade villages

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Sanctions should not impede coronavirus fight, EU diplomat says

Josep Borrell backs UN call for global ceasefire to allow the world to focus on pandemic

Sanctions should not stop the delivery of medical equipment and supplies to countries trying to contain outbreaks of coronavirus, the EU’s top diplomat has said.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, made his comments in a declaration on Friday in which he backed the UN’s call for an immediate global ceasefire to allow the world to focus on the pandemic.

Related: Coronavirus world map: which countries have the most cases and deaths?

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US calls on Maduro and Guaidó to stand down in Venezuela transition plan

  • Plan includes five-member council and sanctions relief
  • Sceptics see little incentive for government leaders

The US has proposed a political transition plan for Venezuela, offering to lift sanctions if the president, Nicolás Maduro, and his opponent, Juan Guaidó, step aside and pass power to an interim government made up of their supporters.

Related: Coronavirus live news: rise in Italy, US and France deaths takes global confirmed toll past 40,000

Related: ‘It’s good timing’: US ignores global calls to suspend Iran and Venezuela sanctions

Related: US indicts Nicolás Maduro and other top Venezuelan leaders for drug trafficking

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US ignores calls to suspend Venezuela and Iran sanctions amid coronavirus pandemic

Spread of coronavirus has not slowed drumbeat of successive layers of punitive measures imposed by the state department

At a time when all of humanity is facing a common, invisible, enemy, world leaders have called for a suspension of economic sanctions that have increasingly become the pursuit of war by other means.

The Trump administration has responded so far by ignoring those appeals and intensifying punitive measures on the two nations it has identified as America’s greatest enemies: Iran and Venezuela.

Related: US indicts Nicolás Maduro and other top Venezuelan leaders for drug trafficking

Related: ‘Mask, gown, gloves – none of that exists’: Venezuela’s coronavirus crisis

Related: End US sanctions against Iran so that we can fight coronavirus with all our might | Azadeh Moaveni and Sussan Tahmasebi

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