Sergio Massa has always been divisive in Argentina, especially in the ruling Frente de Todos coalition. Charismatic and energetic, he was accused of excessive opportunism and extreme ambition. He never made a secret of his intentions to become president, playing his cards in the 2015 elections, helping to divide the Peronist field by helping Mauricio Macri win over his nemesis Daniel Scioli. A fierce critic of Kirchnerism, like President Alberto Fernandez, he agreed to join the electoral coalition, along with Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and other Peronist circles, that toppled Macri but failed to create a cohesive and effective structure to run the government. Eager to gain influence, Cristina and Alberto distrusted him, blocking his access to key posts throughout the slow train wreck that was the Fernandez-Fernandez administration, but his persistence allowed him to create a “savior” persona. ”is the only one who is able to lead the country out of the critical confusion in which it finds itself. For some reason, he seems to have finally broken the psychological resistance of his fellow Frente de Todos “shareholders” and will now take the reins in his own hands, wanting to position himself for 2023.
Like Donald Trump, former Argentine President Mauricio Macri has a penchant for nicknames, perhaps a habit he picked up while running the popular football club Boca Juniors. In one of his longest running political acts, Macri referred to Massa as a “ventahita”, which roughly translates to “petty advantage”. This hurt Sergio, who to this day recognizes the political damage caused by this nickname. It’s painful in large part because it’s true, although that’s probably true of most politicians in Argentina and around the world. He was a shrewd politician who built a bastion of power in the municipality of Tigre on the outskirts of Buenos Aires and a strong presence in the national government thanks to Nestor and Cristina Kirchner. be the catalyst for Macri’s presidential victory in 2015, as mentioned above. He succeeded Alberto Fernandez as head of the cabinet in 2008. His stance on Kirchnerism hardened when he distanced himself from them, saying at campaign rallies that he would imprison corrupt officials and remove members of the political organization La Campora, which answers Maximo Kirchner, from official posts. .
Macri never formally entered into a political alliance with Massa in 2015, as his top political adviser Jaime Durán Barba convinced him he could take Casa Rosada on his own. However, he took it with him on one of his first trips abroad to the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, where the winner was hailed as the killer of left-wing populism in Latin America. He provided legislative support for Macri and the governor of the province of Buenos Aires, Maria Eugenia Vidal, until the 2017 election campaign. By then, united as one of the leaders of the opposition from his Renewal Front, he sought to create a moderate coalition in 2019 along with former Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna and others, but he was once again lured along with Cristina and the Kirchnerists into anti-Macri. a coalition that won under the guise of moderation. Thanks Alberto.
A pragmatist, Massa led the Chamber of Deputies alongside Maximo Kirchner and is known to have excellent relations with Cristian Ritondo, president of the Pro-Party bloc in Congress, and Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, mayor of the city of Buenos Aires and leading opposition candidate. for 2023. He has strong ties to the private sector that have been called bogus many times and a good network in Washington DC, including the disgraced Rudy Giuliani. Rumors had been circulating for quite some time that Massa was going to move from the legislature to the executive branch in order to gain prominence and demonstrate efficiency in a government that was criticized for its constant procrastination. He was a sharp critic of former Economy Minister Martín Guzmán, but helped broker the final deal with the International Monetary Fund. He eventually felt betrayed by Guzmán and blamed him for worsening the current economic malaise.
While the political class as a whole has lost the trust of the people – not just in Argentina – Massa shares an exorbitant level of public disapproval with the worst of the worst: Cristina, Macri, Alberto, Kichillof and Maximo C. Unfair or not, he also earned ventajita a nickname for the section of the public that celebrates his every move with a flood of social media memes. Distrustful of parts of the opposition, he recognizes that this is an important opportunity for his presidential aspirations. He seems to be well aware that Argentina is stuck in a fatal economic crisis in which inflation must be beaten at all costs, which means both cutting budget spending and restoring confidence. His experience has been in the public sector, where he has built a large network that will allow him to build consensus, and in the private sector, where he has the support of some of the country’s most powerful businessmen.
He recently turned 50, making Massa a relatively young politician running for president. His ambition is such that he is willing to take risks despite a phenomenal crisis that is both economic and political. Alberto and Cristina seemed to have no other choice as the peso/dollar exchange rate is out of control, inflation continues to rise and no one comes close to the plate. He gained control of several key areas and was initially well received by the market and several friendly media. Hold on to your seats, it’s Mass time.
This a piece originally published in Buenos Aires Timesthe only English-language newspaper in Argentina.