Mauricio Macri’s campaign for re-election has little to do with the achievements under his management. Together for Change, under the auspices of Miguel Ángel Pichetto, as the president’s running mate, appeals to the potential terror of many that Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s return to office would generate.
Macrismo is attempting to use the disaster caused by Chavismo in Venezuela to its full advantage: “If Cristina wins, we will be Venezuela”, is repeated as a mantra. In the electorate, some have accepted this allegation, so they will reluctantly turn out for Macri at the polls.
Although the last four years have been a failure in economic matters, Venezuela still looms large. Already in 2015 the Macri-Gabriela Michetti ticket triumphed over Daniel Scioli-Carlos Zannini, partly thanks to the fear generated by an influential Kirchner, with authoritarian dreams similar to those of Maduro.
Despite bad management with respect to inflation, unemployment, and poverty, Macri is once again positioned reasonably well in these elections. Not as a promising offer that has a great shot at reversing the current situation, but at least as someone who can make the guarantee of “not being Venezuela.”
The funny thing is that Macri no longer enjoys a monopoly on allegations of association with Chavismo. Kirchner herself, who in her time had a close relationship with Hugo Chavez and Nicolás Maduro, now says that the government in charge is responsible for taking the country down the path to that cursed destination: Venezuela.
At a stop on her book tour, which serves as an excuse to travel the country without making too many appearances at the side of her running mate, Alberto Fernández, Kirchner opened up that can of worms: “Well, sorry…today with respect to food we are in the same situation as Venezuela,” said the ex-president.
While several economic indices today show a more complex situation than when Kirchner abandoned power, the analogy is as excessive as it is outrageous.
Her words, however, were not overlooked by a group of Venezuelans, exiled in Argentina because of the dramatic catastrophe is currently enduring: “She is a lazy person,” “How dare she?” Compare the situation? ”and“ Don’t lie ”were some of the responses that Kirchner received for her comparison.
And thus, the Venezuelan theme has made its way into the campaign; but with a twist…now both candidates are accusing the other of leading Argentina down the path to the economic, social, and political chaos of Venezuela.