TO Pedro Sanchez the chinstrap saved him. His expression was hidden behind the white N-95 when he heard Alberto Fernandez explain in the Casa Rosada what “The Mexicans came out of the Indians” Y “The Brazilians came out of the jungle”. It was supposed to be a gesture of empathy with the Spanish visitor, to show chest with the commonplace that Argentines are Europeans who “We arrived on the boats”, but it unleashed an instantaneous wave of indignation in the two largest countries of the “Latin American brotherhood” that the President praised in the same speech.
Speaking without thinking is a dangerous exercise in diplomatic terms. It begins to be, however, the natural way in the relations of the current administration with the world. Few Argentine presidents have ventured so daily into free diplomatic frictionThe result of unfortunate expressions, frivolous comments or hateful comparisons.
In the background, a distorted conception of the role of Argentina in the concert of nations creeps in, inviting us to act without measuring the consequences. A mixture of navelism, creative improvisation and moral superiority, leading to lectures from the deck of the Titanic.
The true literary origin of Alberto Fernández’s phrase about Mexicans and Brazilians
Fernández is the president of a country that does not pay its debts, in chronic recession, unable to create genuine employment for years and that is fighting for the title in the inflation championship. From that altar, he declared the failure of capitalism, demanded financial aid without submitting to any creditors’ audit and demanded at the same time “to renew the international financial architecture.” He is an acid critic of the dominant trade policies, as he made it known to his colleagues in Uruguay and Brazil when they asked him to make Mercosur more flexible, and he replied that if they don’t like it, “take another boat”.
He celebrates the stimulus measures of the United States, which is growing at an unthinkable speed for Argentina and attributes it to a Peronist inspiration from the new president, whom he calls Juan Domingo Biden. The american dream it ends when they name the lab Pfizer, which he accuses of having put him in “a very violent situation of demands” during the frustrated negotiation to acquire vaccines. He never explained what they asked of Argentina that they had not demanded of the more than 100 countries in the world that did seal supply contracts.
The pandemic exposed Fernández to constant foreign complaints due to his passion to measure himself against others. He boasted of data – sometimes ephemeral, other downright false – that apparently showed us better than chili, what Sweden, what Spain, what Germany. The second wave finds us at the top of all rankings. Four million registered infections (ninth place in the world), more than 80,000 total deaths (12th) and extremely poor numbers of tests. But Fernández does not give up. In front of Sánchez, he vindicated without nuances his strategy against the virus, including the 2020 XL quarantine, and said that “he would act in the same way again.” He also explained to the world the duty of the global distribution of vaccines.
Spain will also donate millions of vaccines to Latin America: can Argentina receive them?
He presents himself as a crusader for human rights, though he stumbles over words, even in writing. His government condemns violence in the Middle East, but without naming Hamas, the Palestinian group that opened fire on Israel and provoked the phenomenal retaliation on Gaza. Alert on social networks about “institutional violence” of the right-wing Ivan Duque on Colombia, but perceives that humanitarian violations in the Venezuela from Nicolas Maduro “They are disappearing”. That is why he withdrew from the complaint against the regime before the UN. Without choking on the connotation of that word and as if a supposed improvement that no serious report describes merited pardoning the previous crimes.
Vladimir Putin collects complaints of persecution and imprisonment of opponents (poison included). But he sells us the Sputnik V. “Friends know each other in difficult moments,” Fernández spoiled him in the last Zoom they shared. As champion of gender policies and sexual diversity as he presented at the summit with Sánchez, the President does not seem to be uncomfortable with the fight against the LGTB collective that the Russian boss has been carrying out for years.
In order not to lose the habit, on Thursday Fernández claimed the right to testify to Pedro Castillo winner in the very close ballottage of Peru when votes are still being counted. An inexplicable anxiety that earned him a formal protest from the government that still holds the interim Francisco Sagasti.
We go like this around the world. Losing matches, but singing victory. So proud to carry a differential gene that it prevents us from even grasping the irony behind what Octavio Paz he meant by that that the Argentines “descend from the ships.” It was his way of commiserating with our arrogance.