Pedro Sánchez supports the Peronist Sergio Massa in the Argentine elections: “In the face of stridency, he represents tolerance and dialogue”

Pedro Sánchez and Sergio Massa.
Pedro Sánchez and Sergio Massa.EFE / REUTERS

The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sanchezhas given his support to the Peronist Sergio Massa with a view to the presidential elections next Sunday in Argentina. Massa, current Minister of Economy of a country in crisiswill face the far-right Javier Miley in an unpredictable second round for the polls. Milei has set the pace of the campaign by attacking the Central Bank, public education and health, and the consensus of Argentine democracy, which turns 40 this year. Massa, who jumped from third place in the August primaries to be the most voted in the first round on October 22, has proposed leading a unity government. “In the face of stridency, Sergio Massa represents tolerance and dialogue to build an Argentina with inclusive development that leaves no one behind,” Sánchez stated in a video. “For this reason, dear Sergio, I send you all my support from Spain and my most sincere wishes for success for the next elections on November 19. Good luck winning.”

Sánchez He has thus joined other presidents and former presidents, such as José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Brazilian Lula da Silva, the Chilean Michelle Bachelet, the Colombian Ernesto Samper, the Uruguayan José Mujica or the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who in recent days have shown their public support for Massa. Many former presidents signed a manifesto this week against Milei’s “anti-democratic positions” and “neoliberal proposals”, and supported Massa as a representative of a “program for the defense of democracy and political and social renewal” that protects “the impulse of a progressive Euro-Latin American agenda.” Sánchez’s support for Massa, which the Argentine candidate published this Tuesday on his social networks, has been “spontaneous”, according to sources from his campaign.

The support, they say from Massa’s entourage, “has great significance, given that Spain is the second largest foreign investor in the Argentine economy.” Some 300 Spanish companies generate 100,000 jobs in Argentina, with an investment that in 2023 will reach 21 billion dollars. For Massa’s economic agenda, Spain represents a “reliable partner” that can open European markets to Argentina’s mining and energy resources.

In the other sideformer presidents such as Mariano Rajoy, the Colombian Iván Duque or the Chilean Sebastián Piñera, accompanied by the Nobel Prize in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa, have supported the candidacy of the far-right because “he believes in the ideas of freedom and has a very accurate diagnosis regarding the economic problem from the country”.

Support from Vox and Bolsonaro

They are not the only ones who have supported the Argentine ultra. An admirer of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and friend of the ultra-Spanish leader Santiago Abascal, Milei was embraced by the Ibero-American extreme right during the electoral process. Both Abascal’s party, Vox, and the Bolsonaro family accompanied him while waiting for the results of the first round on October 22. “Milei is the hope of a different Argentina,” Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of the former Brazilian president and deputy in his country, told EL PAÍS that day. A delegation from Vox, led by MEP Hermann Tertsch, also traveled to Buenos Aires “to closely follow the electoral process and support the presidential formula of La Libertad Avanza”, Milei’s party. The alliance has a long history: in 2021, Milei was one of the signatories of the “Madrid letter” that the Spanish ultra party promoted in 2021 to form an “anti-communist alliance” in Latin America.

After half a year of campaigning and three appointments with the polls, the election of a new Argentine president has reached its final week with rejection as the protagonist. Each one has his third assured -Massa got 37% of the votes on October 22 and Milei 30%-, and both have faced the final phase of the campaign seeking to convince the rest of the voters that the other is worse. .

Milei, the histrionic economist who denies climate change, the wage gap between men and women, and has even proposed the privatization of natural reserves, rivers and seas, rose up in the campaign criticizing the “political caste” and ended up allying himself with half of she. His conservatism, who wants to re-criminalize abortion or vindicates the military dictatorship, has not been a red line for many of the traditional right who have given him their support today. The Argentine political center has exploded in recent weeks: Macri, his former candidate Patricia Bullrich and part of his party have supported Milei, who changed the narrative from “kicking the ass of the usual politicians” to “ending Peronism.” Not all of the alliance that Macri was able to forge in 2015 to become president has supported him, but for many others Massa also represents a red line.

Politician with 30 years of career, Massa was neoliberal in the nineties, Kirchnerist with Néstor Kirchner after the 2001 crisis, and both ally and enemy of Macri and former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. In Argentina they usually call him “pancake” because of the laps he has taken in his career, but he has taken that resource to his advantage. Massa seems to have gotten more public support from foreign leaders than from Argentine center-right politicians, but the Peronist has stated that he will call on everyone to govern if he becomes president.

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