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Mexico reproaches Alberto Fernández for supporting Brazil in the IDB presidency dispute

López Obrador expressed his anger that Argentina supported Bolsonaro’s candidate and not his. He considered that he did not respect an agreement. “I hope they comply with them,” he launched in reference to the alignment of the Casa Rosada with the United States in the election.

If something was made evident once again in the recent election of the new president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), it is the difficulty that Latin America has in forging lasting alliances.

The Brazilian Ilan Goldfjan -actually born in Israel- was elected this Sunday for the presidency of the IDB after the resounding dismissal of the Cuban American Mauricio Claver-Carone, last September. And he won the presidency of the largest inter-American bank by a strong push from the United StatesCanada and the International Monetary Fund, who was allied at the end Alberto Fernández.

This bare the first tension between the governments of Alberto Fernández and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who in the last hours insisted on highlighting their friendship despite this strong divergence. They did so after reports that the cancellation of the trip that Fernández planned to make to Mexico this Thursday the 24th was due to an anger between him and AMLO, who by the way have not spoken by phone at the end of the race for the IDB.

In the Presidency they said that Alberto will not go to Mexico for his medical license for gastritis that he was diagnosed and that he took him this Wednesday to go down his trip to Corrientes. And very close to the President they expressed themselves like this: “Zero whores with AMLO. They acted as it was convenient for them and it was not convenient for us to follow him. They are friends. Nothing has broken between us. You can write it so you will not be wrong.” The source insisted: “There were no differences. There were different views on how to resolve the IDB. The president privileged the relationship with Lula who supported Bolsonaro’s proposal“.

For his part, López Obrador spoke in public on Tuesday. “He is my friend. We’re classmates. (…) Yes, we were looking at the IDB, but there was no agreement. However, that does not mean any distancing; no difference,” he said. although part of his statements showed him somewhat furious with the United States and also with Argentina.

Alberto Fernández walks with Andrés Manuel López Obrador during his visit to Mexico in February 2021.

So who’s mad at whom? Alberto F. and López Obrador established a relationship in 2019 that they described as “perfect harmony”, when in fact, the Mexican embarked on regional crusades to the Argentine, who later abandoned (Beliz’s frustrated race for the IDB, erode the OAS or empower CELAC).

Now, after criticizing the loan that the IMF granted to Argentina under the government of Mauricio Macri and which he defined as a “political” gesture for the PRO leader to be re-elected, López Obrador remarked that Argentina was “completely in debt”. He also maintained that in the midst of the “aggravation” of the economic crisis and the “dissatisfied people” with the Fernández government, Argentina decided to support Goldfjan at the IDB. “because he is in a difficult situation.”

And questioned: “We respect that point of view, but we don’t want that anymore.”

In the press conference last Tuesday, the Mexican president was clearly angry with Washington and Buenos Aires, to the point that he ironically wanted, after Alberto Fernández’s support for Goldfajn: “I hope they comply” (to the Argentines), a country that lives “very difficult circumstances”.

After pointing out, very annoyed, that the Brazilian was “more of the same” -a candidate of the “liberal period”, he defined it-, López Obrador dispatched himself on Tuesday talking about Argentina before the press.

power alliances

The journalists asked López Obrador again about the reports that Alberto Fernández was upset with him because he did not want to support the Argentine candidate for the IDB, Cecilia Todesca, whom they finally dropped, when they saw that she did not have a chance. to negotiate with Goldfajn strategic positions in the Bank under the new leadership.

“Nope! We had our candidate, they had their candidate (Todesca), and it cannot be that the candidate proposed by the Government of Brazil and supported by Washington is the one that is imposed”, AMLO criticized. Goldfajn was proposed by Jair Bolsonaro, but the elected Lula da Silva did not speak out against his candidacy in a clever move.

“Later, they (the Argentines) reached an agreement with the candidate proposed by the Brazilian government and supported by Washington. And since Argentina is a sister nation and Alberto is a people very close to us, Well, this is going to help them, go ahead… and I hope they comply. I have already become very skeptical. But I can be wrong, of course. I’m wrong like everyone else. And what if the IDB’s first action to cover my mouth is special support for Argentina. And then they would tell me this ‘have to learn’, “he shot.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, this Wednesday at a press conference.  Photo EFE

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, this Wednesday at a press conference. Photo EFE

In reality, the economist Todesca Bocco was proposed as a candidate at the last moment, when Kirchnerism thought that she had a chance because she was a woman, a debate proposed by the United States -it is the strongest shareholder-, but it was not going to really materialize having Goldfajn as favourite.

Alberto F. and Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero proposed an alliance with Mexico and Chile to present a single candidate. But Lopez Obrador it cut itself by proposing Gerardo Esquivel, and Gabriel Boric, Nicolás Eyzaguirre. In turn, elected president of Brazil, Lula first he tried to postpone the vote at the IDB and since he could not “embrace” Goldfajn’s candidacy, proposed by Bolsonaro. And there they went with him Alberto and Cafiero.

Lula’s coming to power reconfigures the political “refuge” that Alberto Fernández had found in AMLO with a Brazil governed by Bolsonaro.

In the Government they affirm that by lowering the candidacy of Todesca Bocco, Argentina would have negotiated for itself in the IDB a vice presidency of Sectors and Knowledge; the Infrastructure and Energy Management, and a new Gender and Equality Institute. Massa intervened in that negotiation directly with Goldfajn.

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