“Speak no more of unity”. Several leaders of the inner circle of Cristina Kirchner received that instruction in recent weeks. With a declining governmentwhom Kirchnerism reproaches for a lack of social sensitivity, as it did the day before yesterday Andres “Crow” Larroque, the unit has become toxic. It does not facilitate access to power. On the contrary, it makes it difficult. The vice president moves the pieces to rebuild Citizen Unit. It was the political vehicle he turned to in 2017. It was not an instrument designed to succeed, but to resist. It is the realistic hypothesis with which she works for 2023.
Mrs. Kirchner’s strategy is projected on different planes. She had a demonstration, the day before yesterday, in the province of Buenos Aires, her main power base. Maximo Kirchner presented the new face of the Front of All, with an official address. A staging that was not intended to show the presences as much as the absences. Relevant figures of the Buenos Aires ruling party were not summoned. Gabriel Katopodis and Juan Zabaleta, for example. Leaders without a district, such as Victoria Tolosa Paz or Santiago Cafiero, were much less invited. Or to leaders of social movements such as Emilio Pérsico or Fernando “Chino” Navarro.
Deputy Kirchner may claim that these Peronist expressions are represented by him as president of the party. The breath of the voice. What was exhibited in La Plata is a new delimitation of the Frente de Todos that excludes those who respond to Alberto Fernández. The main axis of that force will now go through orthodox Kirchnerism, embodied in La Cámpora, the mayors who are subordinate to it, and the Renovation Front of Serge Massa. The presence of that force, represented by Malena Galmarini, was also a novelty: a month ago Massa had let it be known that, if there was no reconciliation between Mrs. Kirchner and the President, his Front would leave the coalition. He had even set a date for the breakup: the weekend that passed, at a congress to be held in Mar del Plata. There was no congress or rupture. It’s logical. Four weeks passed between the announcement and its supposed realization. An eternity during which Massa can change his mind a hundred times.
The Buenos Aires conglomerate that was presented the day before yesterday is of the utmost importance to Cristina Kirchner. It is worth noting a detail. The provincial senator for Together for Change Joaquin de la Torre Yesterday, he presented a project so that the district elections are separated from the national ones. The ruling party looks sympathetically at this initiative, because it hopes to negotiate a modification: that, within the limits of reason, the election for senator is also held separately from the presidential election. The vice president and her followers would have the opportunity to retreat to the province and ignore the fate of the national government. It is an alternative to discuss. She has not yet decided if she wants to be a candidate for senator or compete for the Presidency of the Nation. There are many differences between one activity and another. Among other, live with privileges or be outdoors.
The President responds to the contempt of his former promoters by organizing his own campaign in the suburbs. Last week he visited the José C. Paz University to teach a criminal law class in the chair of Dr. Luciana Seput, and joined a meeting of leaders of Mario Ishii, in which, by the way, there was a very conspicuous feminine absence. Florencio Varela visited yesterday. They are surprise incursions, about which the party authorities are not informed. Favor with favor it’s paid.
The presentation of the new Frente de Todos, from which the nucleus of the national government is segregated, matches other episodes. One of them is the accusation of Larroque, who pointed to Martin Guzman and its program of lacking social representation. The general argument is that Fernández makes decisions in an increasingly hermetic environment. They cite the document of the Buenos Aires mayors who, more than a month ago, asked to be added to the failed war against inflation. They had no answer. They also allege that several governors from within demand more openness. Among them, one closely linked to Cristina Kirchner, the man from Chaco Jorge Captainichwho fifteen days ago produced an exhibition similar to the one the day before yesterday in the province of Buenos Aires. There is no right to doubt the sincerity of these requests for participation, although they often pre-constitute proof of a divorce..
Another gesture by Cristina Kirchner goes in the same direction: create a new identity. It is the meeting with the general Laura Richardson, head of the Southern Command of the United States Defense System. The meeting was held in the presidency of the Senate. Like when the visit of the North American ambassador was received, Marc Stanley, the official photographic records failed to show the visitors’ flag. The ceremonial staff swears he was in the office. distractions.
The media related to Kirchnerism insisted on reporting that the interview had been requested by Richardson. However, from the Ministry of Defense it transpired that Mrs. Kirchner requested it, which forced her to overcome some protocol error by the disparity of hierarchies. Richardson’s counterpart is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lt. Gen. Juan Martin Paleo. Out of deference to the power of the United States, Minister Jorge Taiana also received it. It is logical that Richardson did not pretend to see the vice president.
Alberto Fernández, meanwhile, cultivates his own international agenda. He plans to visit Spain, Germany, France and Belgium between May 9 and 16. In the Argentine embassies before those countries they still lack an agenda to organize the eventual interviews. A tour that classic diplomacy qualifies as “I saw light and I entered”. Fernández plans to be accompanied by Santiago Cafiero, Matías Kulfas, Gustavo Beliz and Katopodis. It is not yet defined if Guzmán will travel. Hard Kirchnerists? Refrain.
The encounter with General Richardson is part of a larger game played by Mrs. Kirchner: she has given up relying on others to reconnect with subjects and places with which she has been estranged. The assignment to Fernández of that task did not work. And he was very expensive. She is in charge of repeating now what she said in 2020 during an act in the suburbs: “For me international relations are relations of interests. Not ideology. China and Russia are investors in Argentina. That is why you have to be in contact with them. But I have spent many years of my life visiting the United States.” These affirmations are not incidental in someone for whom the supposed lawfare is orchestrated from Washington.
Some novelties are presented here with a family resemblance to the strategy that Lula da Silva adopted for Brazil. Lula selected as his vice candidate a man from the São Paulo social democracy, Geraldo Alckmin, to give guarantees from the center-right to those who fear a radical radicalization. It seems a more effective model than Fernández’s ill-fated run for the presidency. What matters: Cristina Kirchner is reorganizing her entire power system.
This reorganization also corresponds to the division of the ruling party in the Senate, where now Unidad Ciudadana already has its own block. That segmentation, a ruse through which Kirchnerism adds one more representative to the Judicial Council, produced a small crisis in the opposition of Together for Change. The leadership of that force held a very unhappy meeting yesterday. In principle, because it issued a unusual statement whose central figure was Javier Milei. The most sensible criticism of that statement was raised by Mauricio Macri: “Why are we going to reject the incorporation of someone who does not want to join?”
The other episode that deserves to be forgotten is the long explanation of Gerardo Morales about the fact that he did not negotiate with Sergio Massto the integration of the Judicial Council. Again it was Macri who advised the obvious: “Gerardo, don’t get tangled up with Massa anymore”. The former president’s warning has a background in the background of Morales, who ordered that Jujuy deputies vote against their own bloc for the 2021 national budget or remove funds from the City of Buenos Aires, where the UCR co-governs.
Morales had to explain yesterday his negotiation with Massa around the Judicial Council. Several officials from the ruling party maintain that the president of the Chamber of Deputies was concerned about the pressure from Kirchnerism so that, imitating what had happened in the Senate, he divided the majority bloc to keep a councilor who would correspond to radicalism. These leaders maintain that, during a meeting held in Olivos and headed by the President, on which he reported at the time Paz Rodriguez Niell in THE NATION, Massa communicated a conversation with Morales. He explained that, if that chair was respected for the UCR, the governor of Jujuy promised to seek the votes to approve the reform law of the Council of the Magistracy that is being processed in Congress, with favorable sanction from the Senate.
Morales admits that negotiation. But clarifies that he promised to seek support for the reform of the Council, but voting in favor of the UCR project, which, among other requirements, grants the presidency to the Court. Massa, according to Morales, admitted that course of action. This version of the president of the UCR covers a very interesting piece of news: Massa would be willing to reject a proposal from the Executive Power, endorsed by Cristina Kirchner, who had it approved by the Senate, to favor an opposition project that maintains the power of the Court . If this were true, Morales would have to be sent to kyiv to negotiate with Vladimir Putin: he would get Ukraine to stay with Russia. Because in his dealings with the prodigal Massa, she would have achieved not only that the ruling party accept the Santa Cruz native as an adviser Roxanne Reyesbut also adhere to the design of the Council that devised the opposition.
To clarify, to use Macri’s words, the entanglement between Morales and Massa can be appealed to two hypotheses. Either it is about two rogues who promise each other things that they are not willing to fulfill, or the understanding passed through another meridian. For this second possibility, two details must be observed. The first: Morales said yesterday, in an interview with Jorge Lanata in Radio Mitrethat he would be willing to vote on a draft composition of the Judicial Council “where the Court is present”. He did not say “presided over by the Court”. It is possible that this project is in gestation. The one who maintains that the Court should be there but not preside, is the deputy Graciela Camaño. Will there be a new “entanglement” of Massa with Morales taking advantage of a Camaño project?
The versions of an agreement between Morales and the ruling party feed on another reason for negotiation. In Jujuy, the coveted federal court with electoral jurisdiction, key for any governor, remains vacant. In the contest held to fill the vacancy, the two candidates to whom Morales looks sympathetically, Mariano Zuruetawho is the attorney general of the province, and Esteban Hansen, which subrogates that court, were left behind. A speculation that circulates in these hours is that Morales negotiated the coverage of that strategic court. But there are independent voices that maintain that the contest in which Hansen and Zurueta were displaced should be annulled because it was manipulated to the detriment of those candidates. In any case, that explanation does not oblige us to rule out a negotiation, of course, unspeakable.
The interdict within Together for Change reverted to the ruling party. There, especially in the Government House, they reproach the leak of those conversations to the rector of the University of Lomas de Zamora, Diego Molea. He is an exradical, buddy of the bingo player Daniel Angeliwho militates with Massa, responds to Máximo Kirchner, and in the policy referred to the Council is aligned with the Court. All together, without getting tangled.