Reality knocks on Mr. Fernández’s little doors


Understand the actions and narratives of the government of Alberto Fernández, in particular, and of the ruling party, in general, it is not an easy task. Too quickly contradictions and inconsistencies appear (real or apparent), promises of doubtful realization and objectives of complicated scope that the passage of time weakens or forcing adaptations and corrections.

Decrypting this factual-dialectical framework is simple when it is noticed that everything that the ruling party does or says is not conceived in the same dimension (or universe). The Albercristikirchnerism it is multidimensional in every way. Its different versions run many times in parallel. The last few weeks offer good examples of the coexistence between progressive splendor, essays in economic orthodoxy and constructions of international leadership in limestone.

The combination exposes the three dimensions in which the President, his administration and the governing coalition run: one is the concrete reality; another, the universe of abstractions (or statements), and a third, oneiric in nature.

The code to decipher it must be found in Las puertitas del Sr, López, that masterful comic born at the end of 1979, in which a gray and obedient office worker suffered the despotism of his bosses and his wife as well as the mistreatment of neighbors and colleagues. job. But López managed to escape from that reality. When passing through the doors of any bathroom, he entered a world in which he found his greatest pleasures, but also terrifying visions. The allegory of dictatorial oppression that he expressed at the time did not condemn the comic strip to temporal or political limits. Its a classic. As you can see.

The harsh reality Fernández faces is almost as overwhelming. The pandemic only made it worse. In addition to the economic-financial restrictions of the Treasury, the recession, inflation (which is taking hold), growing poverty, rising unemployment and wages in reverse are added some almost daily imbalance in the ruling coalition, which forces it to rebuild relationships, explain singular initiatives and articulate reunions, with not a few over-acting. Not counting epistolary arrests (and of the others) of his vice president, who put him out of bed (literally). Like Mr. López’s wife.

Faced with these misadventures, the three official universes appear. The concrete reality that translates into adjustment measures. Such as that suffered by retirees who are above the minimum wage, or the rate increases, the new tax burdens for the productive sectors and the delay in wages in the face of inflation.

The compensation is provided by the dream narrative: creative accounting for the passive sector, solidarity contribution from those who have the most, understanding of the unions, sovereignty against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and extension of rights (abortion).

The limitation of the compensatory dialectic is that it only finds an echo in its own platform and does not change the perceptions of those affected. Or makes them worse. Retirees, middle class, agricultural producers, businessmen, investors, creditors and religious begin to accumulate claims, doubts, uncertainties and anger. The return of the protests and marches to downtown Buenos Aires confirms this. Sometimes the parallels collide.

A good part of foreign policy is also inscribed in the universe of daydreams, where deeds are recited for a different (and better) world from the existing one. Authorship should not be sought in the Foreign Ministry, but in the Presidency. Radiality is synonymous with concentration.


Evo Morales and Alberto Fernández Credit: Presidency

The recent trip to Bolivia to accompany Evo Morales and attending the presidential inauguration of his candidate, Luis Arce, became the last door of Mr. Fernández. The satisfaction of having evacuated and sheltered Morales after the civic-police coup and the gratification for Arce’s triumph reached the climax with the cheers that the MAS supporters dedicated to him.

Those close to the President give testimonies of the energy burden that this journey meant. As much as to begin to cradle the dream of seeing him become the leader of the Patria Grande 4.0 or of the fourth Bolivarian wave. The construction of an identity along these lines is a deficit attributed to Fernández by his friend and Sherpa between continental and extracontinental progress, the Chilean Marco Enríquez Ominami.

Fourth generation Bolivarianism is the dream that MEO (as it is known in its country) has been coining from the Puebla Group. Fernández is the first of that association of politicians in active retirement to come to power. A hinge for the wave of the right and center-right that had displaced the dominant left and center-left governments (populist or not) in the region during the first three decades of the 21st century.

Now the new Bolivarians are not the charismatic and flamboyant leaders of then. They are replaced by politicians with a bureaucratic past and devoid of sharp edges, in keeping with these times of various shortages and little and nothing to share. Fernández and Arce are almost a stereotype of this stage, which will have the next step in the Ecuador elections. But they are not alone. The shadow of the ruling sphinxes is always projected on them. Cristina Kirchner, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa are still there. For the good and the bad.

The first, surprising and delayed meeting of Fernández with his counterpart Luis Lacalle Pou, held yesterday, in no way contradicts those plans. On the contrary, it should be seen as a continuity, a product of the sense of empowerment acquired in Bolivia. In the dream world the planes are not sequential, they can be superimposed and juxtaposed, without the dreamer noticing contradictions.


Alberto Fernández and his Uruguayan for Lacalle Pou

Alberto Fernández and his Uruguayan for Lacalle Pou Credit: Presidency

The fact that the Uruguayan politician of the center-right has replaced the left of the Frente Amplio does not alter the forecast of regional climate change with which Fernández is excited. The Argentine president is betting that this reality facilitates coexistence (in his favor) and does not alter his dreams.

Dreaming and concrete reality are complemented by the dimension of abstractions or statements. Parallel universes serve to resolve contradictions. The productive decalogue launched four months ago by Minister Matías Kulfas is a good example. It bets, among other things, on export growth, improved productivity and macroeconomic stability. In all three items there are public policies that conspire against these objectives.

The same can be said with respect to the sectors on which the recovery is to be leveraged: agribusiness, knowledge industry and energy. Export withholdings, the tax on large estates, Nine months without energy policy and a distorted telework law are seen as hammering on the lever.

The declarations of purpose on a quick agreement with the IMF should also be inscribed in this dimension. The specifications set by the pro-government senators, under the inspiration of Cristina Kirchner, has all the conditions to operate as a retarder, according to various economists and financial experts. More after Fernández endorsed it. Internal peace costs a lot.

Politics is not exempt from this three-dimensional reality of the ruling party. This is also the understanding of the pulls, by the cabinet, by the electoral calendar or by the distribution of works and funds. Nothing that does not have consequences on public accounts, finances and the real economy.

In the presidential circle, they minimize the adverse effects of conflicts and contradictions, as well as the consequences of the existence of parallel universes. They attribute them to the characteristics of a broad spectrum coalition such as the Frente de Todos. The argument is that Fernández synthesizes the singularities.

The constant balancing act of the President forces us to review this hypothesis. Autonomy arrests are usually relativized by Fernández himself sooner rather than later. And no one is aware that his recent gestures of independence (relative) were forced by the vice president with the letter in which he left him solely responsible for the drift of the national ship.

In politics, the big computers are leaderships and economic successes. Its absence is always a source of disorder. For this reason, the doors of Mr. Fernández are hit with reality.

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