During his tour of Mexico, Alberto Fernández held two key meetings to advance his bilateral relationship with Donald Trump. In those meetings, which happened at the Camino Real Polanco hotel, Fernández explained to the White House envoys his position on the crisis in Chile and Venezuela, in addition to analyzing the impact of the external debt on his future government program. They were two approach conclaves that left the president-elect expectant. Evo Morales had not yet resigned and Bolivia was one more piece in the complex regional board.
Fernandez acknowledged in Mexico that he had met Mauricio Claver, director of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council of the United States, but failed to mention that he drank coffee with Eliott Abrams, a Republican hawk convicted in the Iran-Contra affair that He now works in the State Department.
The meeting between Fernández and Abrams was less relaxed and also had the participation of Solá. Abrams tires the region since the illegal repression in El Salvador – he was one of his architects with Donald Reagan – and now proposes from the State Department different variables to end the populist leader Maduro.RELATED
“The position of Mexico and Uruguay on the subject of Venezuela is the correct position to face a problem that we all see. Nobody fails to notice that there has been complicated democratic coexistence. Argentina must be part of the countries that want to help Venezuelans find a way out. Being in the Lima Group is contradictory to this, ”said Fernández before defeating Macri in the presidential elections.
Lunch with Claver and coffee with Abrams served to mitigate this geopolitical position of the president-elect. Fernández now assesses that a way out of Venezuela can be found within the Lima Group – as Trump's special envoys suggested -, joining forces with Mexico and Uruguay if the Broad Front beats the conservatives on the ballot.
Fernández's predisposition to find a common regional agenda with the United States is threatened by the crisis in Bolivia. Trump's envoys recognized the president-elect that the variable Juan Guaidó to weaken Maduro had not worked, and that the White House was willing to listen to other diplomatic tactics to initiate a transition to democracy in Venezuela.
That confession of Claver and Abrams was important to Fernandez, who continues to think about how Trump's help to improve Argentina's strength against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be. For the president-elect there is no quid pro quo negotiation between the situation in Venezuela and the debt with the IMF.
Claver and Abrams took to Washington this basic concept explained by Fernández and Trump, and the intention was to advance in a common agenda that will respect the differences and consolidate the coincidences obtained in the two meetings that took place in Mexico City.
Now the two American envoys must pave the way to open a new chapter regarding Bolivia. Fernández believes that there was a coup, while Trump endorsed the Organization of American States (OAS) when he showed that there was fraud in the elections that Morales used to justify his new presidential term.
Given the facts, the White House will bet on new elections in Bolivia and it is not yet known if Morales will participate in the electoral process. Fernández does not want a timely confrontation with Trump, but is subject to pressure from the Puebla Group and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Morales' personal and political situation is a key piece in the bilateral relationship Fernandez designs with Trump. They had already made progress in Venezuela, and there is some expectation regarding foreign debt. The crisis in Bolivia has enough weight to bring bilateral positions even closer or put them in the freezer as happened in times of CFK.
Fernandez will wait until his assumption to move against Trump. Not a minute before, not a minute later.