Alberto Fernández received in his offices in Puerto Madero the United States ambassador, Edward Prado, and all his diplomatic staff that Donald Trump sent to Buenos Aires to understand and evaluate what plans the president-elect will execute regarding the foreign debt and the crisis in Venezuela . It was a cordial, protocol meeting, but the differences began to emerge outside the smiles of Ambassador Prado and the empathy Alberto Fernández exhibited.
MaryKay Carlson, Minister Counselor of the American Embassy, writes to Washington the encrypted cables that arrive at the State Department explaining what happens in the presidential transition. He arrived in Buenos Aires from New Delhi (India) towards the end of September, and his articulation of Spanish still does not reveal his intelligence and his knowledge of geopolitics.
Carlson was key in the meeting with Alberto Fernández, although he spoke little about the language barrier. “Dialogue, we have to have dialogue. A lot of dialogue, ”said the minister adviser, putting the accent on the last o.RELATED
Alberto Fernández shares the premises of Minister Carlson, but has another perspective on bilateral relations between the two countries. The president-elect supports the integration between Buenos Aires and Washington, although discards the so-called automatic folding. He believes that Mauricio Macri made automatic folding, and has already announced that he will not repeat the road map of the leader of Cambiemos.
Carlson and Chris Andino, political advisor to the US embassy, explained the position of the White House on Venezuela and the Lima Group. And Alberto Fernández reiterated his position on the Venezuelan crisis: he will not endorse a transition without the presence of Nicolás Maduro, although he agreed to continue in that regional forum that recognizes Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela.
The White House has already proposed to the president-elect to create another multilateral agency with the participation of the United States and Canada to replace the Lima Group, but Alberto Fernández rejected that alternative as inconsistent. It happened in Mexico when he met Mauricio Claver, director of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council of the United States.
Alberto Fernández told Claver that the Lima Group had already completed its cycle and that the transition hypothesis with Guaidó was exhausted. Donald Trump's advisor requested that Argentina not leave the Lima Group, or if it decided to do so, that it was better to create a new multilateral forum. Alberto Fernández informed that lunch in Mexico City that he would stay in the Lima Group to find a consensual exit to the Venezuelan crisis from there.
But the differences between Alberto Fernández and Trump's regional agenda do not end in Venezuela. They extend to the political and economic compression of the stand-by credit granted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Argentina during the management of Macri.
Both at the meeting held in Puerto Madero, and at lunch in Mexico, the president-elect said that there is nothing to thank the IMF and that his adjustment plan accepted by Macri involved serious economic and social damage to Argentina. Alberto Fernández still cannot believe that Trump and his staff consider the 56,000 million dollars granted by the IMF as a wonderful gesture from Washington that must be recognized forever.
-I worked at the IMF and helped a lot to grant the credit to Macri-, Claver boasted in front of Alberto Fernández.
-It seems that you do not understand: there is nothing to celebrate with the IMF credit. We get into debt and we don't achieve any results, ”the president-elect replied.
Alberto Fernández repeated the same idea in front of Ambassador Prado and his American staff. The future president wants the help of the White House, but he already warned that this collaboration will not mean accepting new IMF impositions: Alberto Fernández proposes a long negotiation, without immediate payments, and much patience from Washington.
In DC, they don't rule out Trump calling Alberto Fernández again. He has already discovered that he is not equal to Macri.