Spanish – It is no secret that the Frente de Todos is dangerously divided for a government coalition. The vote at the United Nations on Venezuela made visible something that at heart is far more complicated. In the middle of the tug-of-war is Alberto Fernández- overrun and clearly exhausted. The opposition space is also broken, and the last declarations of the former president make it clear that the Juntos por el Cambio coalition no longer has the players it had until December 2019.
If anything is clear within this complex situation, it is the overlapping and implicit alliance between Mauricio Macri and Kirchnerism. The government needs the beaten up opponent, and the man in question, who does not want to retire, accepts the game and pretends to continue wearing the garb of the head of the opposition. Once again, the “crack” becomes a win-win for the opposing sides.
The return of Mauricio
A superficial reading indicates that the former president spoke again because the economic crisis gave him a new opportunity. Although the administration of Juntos por el Cambio failed in this sense, the total degradation of the last few months under the leadership of Peronism made it necessary for an opponent to propose a replacement.
The leader of Cambiemos achieved his goal and hogged the cameras and the news. But beyond the usual criticism of the government, what surprised his own and others were the “friendly fire” for the “Philo-Peronists” of his coalition. Or at least that they participated in it until some time ago. If Macri is firing in that direction, the link may be already broken.
“I delegated my most political wing with Philo-Peronists in both the Chamber of Deputies and the governors. I should have put the focus there because, clearly, there was a lot at stake in Argentina with the power to convince,” he said in an interview last week.
Following these statements, the press continued to dwell on Macri in the last few hours and asked if, for example, he would appoint certain officials in a possible second government. Regarding Marcos Peña, he said yes, but when asked about Rogelio Frigerio, his former Minister of the Interior, he asked to change the line of the interview. “That exercise does not suit me. It does not contribute to the future.” It is clear that his shots are against Emilio Monzó, former head of the Chamber of Deputies, and against Frigerio, but the truth is that he is wrong.
By acknowledging that, once again, he would name Peña, the standard-bearer of failed gradualism, the former president shows that he did not learn from his mistakes. “Pro-Peronism” at best gave him political sustainability. If he had faced up to the necessary economic reforms, his “Justicialist Party friendly” wing would have ensured dialogue with the opposition and governability. Probably his “Philo-Peronism” today wants to seek another destiny and no longer recognizes his leadership, but that is another debate, and the failure of his administration is not just.
The one who came out to answer, also distanced from Macrismo, was the former deputy Nicolás Massot, the dolphin of Monzó. “With all the mistakes we could have made, we understood that he was satisfied,” he said.
What is “Macrismo” today?
Today, although we continue to refer to “Cambiemos” or “Juntos por el Cambio,” the truth is that, in concrete terms, the coalition that governed from 2015 to 2019 seems to no longer exist. Radicalism disputes the leadership of the coalition, and one sector even pressures it with the entry of the liberal Ricardo López Murphy. On the other hand, his criticized “Philo-Peronist” soldiers seem to be more interested in thinking about a traditional Peronism that could be formed with an eventual explosion of the Frente de Todos and predictable Kirchnerist isolation. Elisa Carrió, the other leg of the front, has regained her lawyer’s license and is not playing politics.
Macri has leaned on a few trusted men like Hernan Lombardi, Guillermo Dietrich, and Fernando De Andreis, in addition to his former Security Minister, Patricia Bullrich. Paradoxically, his main allies to keep him in the role of “opposition leader” are Alberto Fernández and Kirchnerism. The government appeals to the classic strategy of a weakened enemy and puts him in the ring permanently for confrontation. But next year, there are legislative elections, and another leader may come out of them. Macri wants to let his turn pass and not play. He knows that it is a risk, but at this moment, he has no great cards to play.