Facing the election year, the design of Cristina Fernández’s strategy reveals a paradox. He continues his progress in areas of power, although not strictly in the team of ministers that, in his opinion, does not work. When he recapitulates, however, another flavor emerges. For what reason, to the same extent, have you failed to improve your judicial situation? Why did his great battles achieve small successes to manipulate Justice in the future, but did not modify his past? Questions that torment her.
The last week finished consolidating its hegemony in the energy sector. Months ago, he had appointed Rionegrino deputy Darío Martínez as secretary of the area. Known by the nickname “Energetic militant”. Enough to understand your resume. Almost simultaneously, he appointed Sergio Affronti as CEO of YPF ─in tune with Alberto Fernández─. He has just closed the circle with the announcement that Guillermo Nielsen will leave the presidency of the oil company. The deputy will call Pablo Gonzalez. Man from Santa Cruz aligned with the vice president and the Kirchner family.
The novelty occurs in a special moment, of extreme sensitivity. YPF is in the process of rescheduling its debt. It would be about US $ 7 billion. Nielsen is a specialist in the field and prepared before taking on a plan for the sector. He exhibited it in Vaca Muerta on the same day that Mauricio Macri launched Miguel Pichetto as a candidate for vice president in 2019. They say that Nielsen will continue to be involved in that management from the diplomatic headquarters of Saudi Arabia, which was offered to him by Alberto. Hard to understand then for what reason leaves the helm of YPF.
That movement cannot be fully understood without paying attention to the speech that Cristina gave in La Plata, along with Alberto and Governor Axel Kicillof. He anticipated what was to come when he exposed the regulatory desire of all markets. That of services, telecommunications, health. Also, it is clear, the energetic. Also, prices, wages and pensions. A corset to go through the electoral year in which something more important than Alberto’s stability plays: his personal destiny in Justice. To some extent, also, that of his family.
Nobody knows how much Martín Guzmán shares from that program. The Minister of Economy had been working on the possibility of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to renegotiate the debt of US $ 44 billion inherited from Macrismo. A way to gain confidence in international markets that are forbidden to Argentina. Despite that late but signed 2020 pact with external creditors.
The YPF strawberry would represent iron objective limits for Guzmán’s hopes. The regulatory imprint frightens and has its reflections. Wednesday was an auspicious day for the markets with Joe Biden’s inauguration in the White House. Also, due to the departure of Donald Trump. The oil company’s shares fell sharply and recovered. Saw that would show disorientation. The Minister of Economy must have dispelled rumors.
Official decisions always seem aimed at generating internal and external distrust in a nation that needs to be strengthened. They hit, on the other hand, the few sectors that are capable of bringing dollars closer to a dying economy that demands them like bread. A stocks were placed for the export of corn that at 48 hours was waived. Wheat is now in the sights of the authorities due to the increase in the price of bread. There is strong pressure on the meat packing industry after the President proclaimed that Argentines pay more for asado than Germans. Folly. Access to meat and other foods is surely more difficult now. By a simple equation: inflation gallops and wages lose value.
Cristina’s meddling in economic strategy is not just a nuisance for Guzmán. They come blurring too, almost to an extreme, the figures of Cecilia Todesca, the Deputy Chief of Cabinet and Matías Kulfas, Minister of Productive Development. But the President does not think about touching them. It is the tension that maintains in front of the admonitions of the vice president.
Alberto Fernández hugs Martín Guzmán during an official act.
Cristina said in her first letter that “there are officials who do not work.” In a later speech, he noted that “ministers who are afraid, look for another job.” Faced with such a storm, the only victim was the former Minister of Housing, Maria Eugenia Bielsa. He left with the same low profile that he came with. And he did not accept, that is known, any consolation prize. The others remain despite the undisguised Kirchner bombing.
The vice president wastes criticism of Ginés González García. It would not be so much for his disorder to manage the pandemic as for his affinity with the cegetista unions that resist modifications to the health system. They know that Cristina’s plan is based on a project by the Vice Minister of Health of Buenos Aires, Nicolás Kreplak, who advises transforming this private sector into a State appendix.
The greatest offense is accumulated against the Ministry of Justice. In such anger, arbitrariness prevails, as always. He attacks Minister Marcela Losardo, the most trusted presidential official. The question would be: Why do you ignore the second, Juan Martin Mena, former man of the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI)? True walker from Comodoro Py.
Cristina is unhappy with the balance of her first judicial year. His situation improved little. Although there is another reason that dislodges it. He supposed that, at this point, Macri would be parading through the courts. It doesn’t happen yet. “They persecute me and Macri lives very calm”, He complained in an interim of that act at ESMA on December 11th.
The former president accumulated during the four years of management 144 legal complaints. But he is not prosecuted for any of them. The most delicate is that of the Argentine Mail. Anomalies are being investigated in the agreement to pay the debt of the Argentine Mail. SA (Grupo Socma) to the State within the framework of the bankruptcy of that company. Then there is that of the judicial table, which allegedly orchestrated cases against Cristina. And that of the illegal espionage that Alejo Ramos Padilla spurs, who was awarded the nomination as electoral judge of La Plata.
In this case, Gustavo Arribas, a friend of Macri and former head of the AFI, were prosecuted. Also his second, Silvia Majdalani. Darío Nieto was tainted, private secretary of the former president. It was the bridge to move the engineer. But the prosecutors Santiago Eyherabide and Cecilia Incardona resolved to untie him. Bad news for the vice president.
Judicial sources aware of the cases involving former macrismo officials mark a difference with the past K. “There are things to investigate, no doubt”, they affirm. But there are no tests like the bags with millions of dollars of the former Secretary of Public Works, José López. Not the 51 killed by the tragedy of Once that was worth a sentence to Julio De Vido. Nor the gifts that the jailed Ricardo Jaime claimed to have accepted from businessmen. Just a few examples.
Cristina had, on the other hand, few joys. Perhaps the most important is in the judgment for the sale of dollars in the future. An expert opinion of the Supreme Court ruled that in said maneuver there would have been no harm against the State. It is likely that a dismissal before the beginning of the process.
In the route of money K there is a request for conviction for Lázaro Báez. It constitutes the preceding offense of the cause of the public work in which Cristina declared. It continued to develop despite the pandemic. The date remains for Los Sauces and Hotesur and the Cuadernos de las bribes. But they are still active. The same is true of the Memorandum of Understanding with Iran.
In this case, former Interpol chief Ronald Noble was cleared as a witness. He always maintained that with the signing of the Pact with Iran, the arrest warrants against the Iranians suspected of the attack against the AMIA, which produced 85 deaths, were never at risk. That story has a twist that the vice president would like to avoid: that the decisive participation of Venezuela (Hugo Chávez) in the Argentine diplomatic turn.
The situation is delicate. Biden took office without giving any clues about his foreign policy. Less towards Latin America. But there was a sign. To the inauguration ceremony, the ambassador in Washington of the president in charge Juan Guaidó was invited as the diplomatic representative of Venezuela. The strongest opponent of the Nicolás Maduro regime.
Biden probably has a less arrogant style towards Caracas than Trump’s. But the interpretation that Washington has of the Venezuelan military government will not change. You cannot forget a detail. The new US president was the vice of Barack Obama twice. The democrat suffered Cristina’s run over when a military plane from that nation was delayed in Ezeiza in 2011. And seized a suitcase with secret keys.
Alberto is offering himself to Washington as a mediator in Caracas to find a consensual solution to the tragic Venezuelan crisis. The former Spanish prime minister José Rodríguez Zapatero tried it. Failure. The President bets a lot on his relationship with Biden which he reflected in a very cordial greeting. And a personal letter.
That objective need collided with the statement from the Foreign Ministry. He warned, untimely, “not to bet on the disunity of our nations as in the previous stage.”
Fertile land for Cristina’s words about what “There are officials who do not work.”
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