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Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner take office in Argentina

by Ace Damon

Kirchnerist Alberto Fernández took office as president of Argentina on Tuesday (10), along with his deputy, Cristina de Fernández Kirchner. The presidential banner was passed by now former president Mauricio Macri – a diplomatic act that was ignored by Kirchner in 2015 when Macri was elected. Prior to the change of office, both swore to the House of Representatives, where they were greeted with applause and Peronist chants from the Allies of the Front of All coalition.

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In opening his speech, Fernández committed himself to democracy and called for unity in a deeply divided country facing a serious economic crisis. "I come to call the unity of all Argentina in search of the construction of a new contract of social citizen," he said. "More than 15 million people suffer from food insecurity in a country that is one of the world's largest food producers. We need all of Argentina to end this social catastrophe."

In international politics, Fernández said that under his rule Argentina must integrate with globalization, but with "roots in our national interests, as in developed countries that promote the well-being of their citizens." It also announced that it intends to strengthen Mercosur and wants to build an ambitious agenda with Brazil – indicative of a pragmatic policy that must be adopted in relation to the government of Jair Bolsonaro, which refused to attend the inauguration of the Kirchnerist duo.

"We will strengthen Mercosur and regional integration. With the Federative Republic of Brazil, we have to build an ambitious agenda that goes beyond any personal differences between those currently governing."

Regarding the difficulties that the new government must face in the economy, Fernández stressed that Argentina wants to pay the debt with international creditors, including the IMF, but "lacks the capacity" to do so. "There is no debt payment that can be sustained if the country does not grow." Internally, its main focus will be a plan to reduce hunger in the country. As he had done on previous occasions, Fernández promised to "promote economic and social measures of a different nature that begin to reverse the structural course of social and productive backwardness." "We need to get out of the logic of more adjustments and more debt," he said.

The main surprise of his speech was the announcement of an intervention by the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) and a comprehensive reform of justice. Fernández criticized "undue harassment and arbitrary arrest" against former Kirchnerism officials – a gesture to his deputy, who is responsible for at least eight lawsuits, mostly for corruption. "Never again a Justice that chases according to political winds."

  • Playback / Youtube
  • Playback / Youtube
  • Alejandro PAGNI / AFP
  • Alejandro PAGNI / AFP
  • Luciano INGARAMO / Argentine Senate / AFP
  • Alejandro PAGNI / AFP

Mourão in possession

After much confusion about who would be the authority to represent Brazil in the inauguration of the new Argentine representative, President Jair Bolsonaro decided to send the deputy Hamilton Mourão. The decision was made at the last minute after Bolsonaro himself canceled the presence of Citizenship Minister Osmar Terra.

The president was advised by several ministers, including the military, that it would be important to nod to the neighboring country for the strategic and economic importance that unites the two countries. The attitude of not sending anyone in the first echelon was receiving criticism from even government officials, although President Bolsonaro insisted that trade with Argentina “remained the same, no problem at all” and that not sending a representative would not “interfere with anything”. However, he was convinced otherwise.

Already in Buenos Aires on Tuesday morning, Mourão said that Brazil and Argentina should help each other due to the importance of bilateral relations between the countries. "Many of the things we had this year in Brazil of not reaching certain levels we wanted in terms of growth are the result of the crisis that Argentina is going through. These are two countries that have to help each other," said Mourão, according to a newspaper report. The globe. The deputy also said that by sending it to Argentina, Bolsonaro "obviously must have considered" that Argentina is the third largest trading partner in the country.

Other guests

Also from Larina America were Tabaré Vázquez, president of Uruguay, and Luis Lacalle Pou, who will succeed him; Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benítez; and the leader of Cuba, Miguel Diaz Canel. Peru and Colombia sent representatives, as did Mexico.

Bolivian interim president Jeanine Añez was not invited because of the strong ties between Kirchnerism and former Bolivian President Evo Morales – it is speculated that after Fernández's inauguration, Morales leaves Mexico and seeks exile in Argentina.

Another absence was that of Nicolás Maduro. According to the Argentine website Infobae, Fernández did not invite the Venezuelan dictator, but invited his Information Minister Jorge Rodríguez, a person who is prevented from entering Argentine territory due to a decree signed by Macri. Rodriguez is one of the Chavistas who were sanctioned by the United States government for his relationship with the Maduro regime.

The new economy minister

Last week, Fernández announced the names that will make up his cabinet.

There were not many surprises. The most anticipated confirmation was from the head of the Ministry of Economy, who was in charge of 37-year-old Martín Guzmán, an IMF critic. The new minister is a Ph.D. economist at an elite US university, Brown University, is a visiting professor at the Universidad de La Plata and a researcher at Columbia University (USA). Therefore, it is currently divided between Buenos Aires and the US.

At Columbia University, Guzmán worked alongside Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics admired by Cristina Kirchner, and directs the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, founded in 2000 by Stiglitz. The economist has long-standing ties with the Frente de Todos party, according to the Argentine press, and specializes in macroeconomics and sovereign debt crises.

With little experience in public policy, Guzmán will assume one of the most important positions in the country, inheriting a government with shrinking reserves and about to default on $ 100 billion in foreign currency debt. His boss, Fernández, said his team had already opened a negotiation process with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The new foreign minister

The new foreign minister, Felipe Solá, 69, has a long history in the government. Peronist, Solá was governor of the province of Buenos Aires, the most important of the country, between 2002 and 2007.

In his first statement as nominee for the post, he said Argentina would stay in the Lima Group, a bloc made up of Brazil and 11 other countries on the continent to address the Venezuelan crisis, recognized for taking a tough stance against dictator Nicolás's government. Maduro and of whom Fernández had said that it would withdraw Argentina.

"The goals should be much bigger than you think about Venezuela. We'll be staying in the Lima group to have a place to talk. I'm not happy with what happens, but I would like a new unit based on stronger issues than the others." only ideological, "he said during a seminar at the Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires, according to the Argentine newspaper Clarín.

Check out how Alberto Fernández's office went

  • Chief of Staff: Santiago Cafiero
  • Economy: Martín Guzmán
  • Foreign Relations: Felipe Solá
  • Interior: Eduardo "Wado" by Pedro
  • Production: Matías Kulfas
  • Health: Ginés Gonzáles García
  • Defense: Agustín Rossi
  • Social Development: Daniel Arroyo
  • Equality: Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta
  • Housing: María Eugenia Bielsa
  • Work: Claudio Moroni
  • Justice: Marcela Losardo
  • Public Works: Gabriel Katopodis
  • Transportation: Mario Meoni
  • Education: Nicolás Trotta
  • Environment: Juan Cabandié
  • Science and Technology: Roberto Salvarezza
  • Agriculture: Luis Basterra
  • Culture: Tristán Bauer
  • Security: Sabrina Fréderic
  • Tourism and Sports: Matías Lammens

Content edited by: Isabella Mayer de Moura

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