Alberto Fernández Proposes a Progressive Foreign Policy But Without Facing Donald Trump

Alberto Fernández ratified yesterday that his government will strengthen foreign policy with a strong progressive imprint although this will not imply a confrontation of Argentina with the United States of Donald Trump, and made it clear that Mexico will become a central ally to develop this regional plan .

After an hour and a half of a “very rewarding” meeting, as he described it, with the president of Mexico, Manuel López Obrador, Fernández stressed that since December 10, Argentina will take a Copernican turn in its diplomacy to embrace Regional organizations promoted by the Latin American left such as CELAC, UNASUR and the Puebla Group, among others.

However, the president-elect himself made it clear that this strategy will not imply a confrontation with Washington as there was during Cristina Kirchner's two terms of office. "We do not promote a progressive pole against," Fernandez said in open defiance to those who saw in his trip to Mexico a break with Trump.

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On the contrary, Fernández highlighted the telephone conversation he had with Trump on Friday afternoon and close friends of the president-elect confided to Infobae that there was a very good harmony between them. "I expect a good link with the United States and although I do not have a trip to the United States for now, I had a very good talk with Donald Trump," he said yesterday after his meeting with López Obrador so that there would be no doubt that relations with The United States will not return to the "era of Alicante," as an adviser to Fernandez described.

Although Fernández and part of his delegation that was yesterday at lunch with López Obrador reiterated that “there was very little talk about Venezuela”, the concrete thing is that the intention of the president-elect of Argentina to revitalize all progressive regional courts to find a way out of the Venezuelan crisis agreed with the regime of Nicolás Maduro.

As the central vertex of that diplomatic strategy that yesterday reiterated in Mexico, Fernández highlighted the need to strengthen the international weight of the Puebla Group. “That group encouraged him long before he was a candidate. With (Chilean leader Marco Enriquez) Ominami, ”said the future Argentine president.

Unlike these Latin American countries, and in the case of leaders without real power, the Puebla Group seeks a way out of the Venezuelan crisis without US interference and in dialogue with Maduro. There are representatives of Latin American left as Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), José Mujica (Uruguay), Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Ernesto Samper (Colombia), Álvaro García Linera (Vice President of Bolivia), José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (Spain) and Daniel Martínez (Broad Front candidate who will compete in the ballot in Uruguay).

During his visit to Uruguay to meet Mujica, Alberto Fernández had already slipped the idea of ​​reinforcing the progressive blocs in Latin America that had had a clear setback.

Fernández will host a second meeting of the Puebla Group to be held in Buenos Aires on November 8. Although the president-elect himself announced yesterday from Mexico that his government will not seek to make this group a tool to face Trump.

But there is a difference that Fernández marked beforehand with that goal that Samper and many of his progressive partners raise. “International ties are not governed by ideologies. We are not talking about generating an ideological reference that confronts anyone. It is a group of leaders from Latin America who propose alternatives such as those that occurred in Argentina. That he seeks the social equality lost in Latin America, ”he said when referring to the Puebla Group.

In fact, the president-elect also pointed out that this group implies the "integral search for communication and work with a progressive look in respect to institutionality and democracy." A wink of demand towards Maduro's Venezuela.

Worn Lima Group and other blocks

Fernández's decision to embrace the Puebla Group will not imply leaving the Lima Group. "What I think I can say in the Lima Group or anywhere else," said the president-elect in assessing the continuity or not of Argentina in that group of countries.

In this same line of analysis, a relative of Fernández stressed to Infobae what his diplomatic strategy holds: “The groups do not abandon themselves, they consume themselves as they have no activity or purpose. This is diplomacy, ”he said in open reference to the Lima Group.

That is, the intentionality of Fernandez is in sight. He will not leave the Lima Group and will not face the United States either, although he will reinforce Latin American progressive spaces at its best to counter them to the center-right scheme that has prevailed so far in Latin America.

The plans that Fernández designed for his foreign policy and that he reinforced yesterday after his lunch with López Obrador, will also be supported by a kind of revival of CELAC and UNASUR, two large blocks that were born 15 years ago in the heat of the Bolivarian axis of Chávez , Kirchner, Lula Da Silva, Correa and Evo Morales, among others.

"CELAC could be a space to revitalize Latin America and it is important that UNASUR returns, as it is a central issue," said Fernández as the focus of what would be his second stage of this plan of the new expansion of the Latin American progressive without facing to Washington.

UNASUR, which was born as an expression of South American union with its headquarters in Quito, was dismantled in recent years by Macri, Piñera, Lenin Moreno, Ivan Duque and Bolsonaro. In fact, Argentina decided to leave that space openly since, together with its regional allies, they reported that the Lima Group replaced UNASUR in time and needs. "We need more pragmatic and less ideological organizations," Macri used to say about UNASUR.

Something similar happened with CELAC, which was a creation of Hugo Chávez to bring the Caribbean and Central America as part of the progressive concert that took place between 2005 and 2007. In fact, one of the first presidential summits of this group took place in Venezuela. with Chavez in power and Correa even thought about replacing the OAS with that body.

Dialogue with Chile and the IMF

Fernández spoke in the last hours with the president of Chile and did not rule out visiting Piñera in the immediate future. There is still no date or details of that eventual meeting. But it is another gesture of the elected president of Argentina designed to avoid confrontation despite ideological differences and without abandoning the critical discourse towards the Chilean “neoliberal model”.

“We agree with the concern about what happens in Chile and Ecuador. Our communion of ideas has to do with how to see the world, ”said Fernández about his meeting with the president of Mexico yesterday.

Precisely, López Obrador was willing to work as a link with the IMF to help Argentina in its future debt rescheduling program. "Mexico has a place in the IMF board and a strong weight there," Fernandez said.

In this international gear López Obrador is not a simple actor. He is also the man who could facilitate his ties with the United States, since he has a good personal relationship with Trump despite diplomatic clashes in sight of the world.

This link between Mexico and Argentina will be reinforced with a new impulse of the commercial relations and of the exchange agreements that both countries have, but that due to open ideological differences with López Obrador, Macri had neglected in recent years.

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