Global Independent Analytics
Enric Ravello Barber
Enric Ravello Barber

Location: Spain

Specialization: History, Catalunya, Spain, Geopolitics, Nationalism in Europe, Islamization, Immigration

ARGENTINA’S NEW FOREIGN POLICY

Macri wants to play a multipolar role, after breaking the axis with Venezuela.

Days after the election of Mauricio Macri as president of Argentina, the Russian News Agency "Russia beyond the headlines" published an article in Spanish, in which they wondered what would be the new foreign policy[1] of La Casa Rosada.[2]

In the last period of her government, Cristina Kirchner had opened a phase of cooperation between Moscow and Buenos Aires, but as noted by several experts, it was more a diplomatic relationship than a really deep collaboration.

Russia didn’t make large investments in Argentina and because the preferential ally of Buenos Aires was Caracas, somehow Kirchner prioritized her external relations to the continent, giving top priority to the axis Caracas-Buenos Aires, with which it was intended to articulate a South American leftist block, in which the Kirchner intended to formulate: Correa´s Ecuador, Evo Morales's Bolivia together with the Mugica´s Uruguay and Brazil of Lula-Rousseff.

If something defined Kirchners’s international relation it was this unilateralism toward Venezuela. I remember the day that Hugo Chavez died, I was in Argentina, and the treatment that the Argentinian public television gave to the death of the Venezuelan leader reflected this situation. The alliance with Venezuela was as firm as before also when Nicolas Maduro came to the helm of state.

In the article mentioned earlier, the statements of Russian vice-premier Sergei Riabkov were noted, where he expressed his hope that Macri deepen relations with Russia.

The change of presidency in Argentina, also led to the direct call of Barack Obama[3] to Mauricio Macri, in order to recover relations between the two countries, broken in 2005 when Kirchner ended the Bush project for South America, known as ALCA.[4]  A project whose real meaning was perpetuating the submission of South America to Washington.

Relations between Argentina and the United States had worsened because of the attitude of the Argentine government to the still not clarified bombing in the AMIA in 1994,[5] and the signing of a protocol with Iran.

In that conversation, Obama asked Macri that Argentina return to the Argentinian "traditional" good relations with the United States. This is a historical memory failure of the US president, because just a few times these have been good.

The geopolitical constant of South America has been the permanent tension between the two largest countries in the region: Brazil and Argentina. The first one "atlantistic" in geopolitical terms and a docile instrument of the British and then American influence in South America, and the second one "continental" in the geopolitical point of view and with a proposal to create a South American continental block away from the domination of Washington. Peron was an example of this Argentinian policy, and the existence of Uruguay, as an independent country - it was a former province of Virreinato de la Plata[6]- an example of Brazilian political action against Argentina.

The first performances of Macri make clear the profound change from the previous government. Within days of being elected, Macri called for the expulsion of Venezuela from Mercosur and accused Maduro’s regime of having political prisoners; only the victory of the opposition in Venezuelan legislative elections, made Macri withdraw this request

Macri also traveled to Brazil to meet with Dilma Ruosseff and to Chile to see Michelle Bachelet, the two leftist presidents who are far from Macri’s political positions, but with whom Argentina wants to establish good relations especially in the field of trade. The economic relationship between Brazil and Argentina forces these two countries to keep friendly ties, especially for Brazil  since Argentina is one of the most important markets for its exports.

About Macri’s position on the world’s “big game,” the first action shows that Argentina will not fall back into a "unilateralism," nor will it become the second US ally in the region - the first one is Colombia- but Marci will defend a "multilateral" position, and a balance in his country’s relations with the three great powers: the United States, Russia and China.

 


[1] http://es.rbth.com/blogs/mirada_global/2015/11/25/el-nuevo-gobierno-de-macri-y-las-relaciones-ruso-argentinas_544205

[2] La Casa Rosada “The Pink House,” oficial residence of Argentinian President.

[3]http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2015/11/26/argentina/1448496724_992259.html

[4] ALCA stands for the Latin America Free Trade Area. A perspective on its true dynamics can be found here.

[6] The name of the Spanish province in this area.

 

EXPERT OPINION

Danny Haiphong

This article presents a balanced analysis of the geopolitical ramifications of Macri's election. My perspective is that Macri's election represents another blow to the left-wing movement in Latin America. This blow’s impact in the region was compounded by the recent election victory of the right wing opposition in Venezuela's National Assembly elections.

While Macri will undoubtedly act as if he and his party are balanced political actors willing to work with all global forces, he will undoubtedly work in the interests of the very same vulture capitalists that have decimated the country's economy and sabotaged the former Kirchner administration. His main policy line has been privatization. He has already presided over the firing of 10,000 public sector workers since his administration came to power. Macri is a representative of the Latin American oligarchy, which is completely aligned to Washington's political and economic priorities.

Both Venezuela and Argentina's right-wing shift present a challenge to the left in Latin America. The left in Latin America has inspired millions all over the world. The Bolivarian movement that started in Venezuela in 1999 has greatly integrated the entire continent and raised the living standards of the poor and working class. However, the movement is learning a hard lesson about social relations in a world dominated by US imperialism. Without complete independence from the dictates of Washington, the left in Latin America will find their victories over the last decade and a half in grave danger.

 

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