Macri is saying the right things in Argentina
We mentioned last week that Argentina has a new president. He is already sounding very different from the incumbent. President-elect Mauricio Macri of Argentina sent a message to Venezuela and Iran:
Only a day later, Mr. Macri moved quickly to strike a different tone from that of the departing president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who — along with her late husband, Néstor Kirchner — had controlled the presidency for the last 12 years.
At a news conference on Monday, Mr. Macri emphasized how his administration would differ from that of Mrs. Kirchner on foreign policy. He announced an effort to get Venezuela — a close ally of Argentina under the Kirchners — suspended from the Mercosur regional trade bloc over claims of the infringement of civil liberties there.
And he made clear his desire to revoke an agreement struck under Mrs. Kirchner with Iran to jointly investigate the 1994 bombing here of a Jewish center, which killed 85 people. Some investigators have accused senior Iranian officials, including a former Iranian president, of planning and financing the attack, making the agreement to give Iran a direct role in the investigation a political lightning rod.
Mr. Macri has also announced plans to improve diplomatic ties with the United States, which became strained in recent years over Argentina’s international debts and Washington’s sway in the hemisphere.
“There is little doubt that Argentina’s relations with the U.S. under a Macri administration will become friendlier,” said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy group in Washington.
Mr. Macri understands how the Kirchner regime has hurt Argentina, from a relationship with Iran to demonizing foreign investors to distract the people from the failures of crony capitalism.
Let's hope that President-elect Macri will also restart the investigation into the death (or murder) of Mr. Nisman, the prosecutor who was killed in his apartment the day before he was to appear in Congress.
It will take time, and patience, but Argentina has a chance to turn itself around and become a vibrant economy and U.S. trade partner.
Singing a different tune with Iran and Venezuela is the right "tango" for the moment!