Alberto Fernández no longer trusts Felipe Solá’s geopolitical perspective as much and decided to exclude the chancellor from his diplomatic agenda related to Latin America and the European Union. The President does not invite Solá to any of the phone calls that he crosses with world leaders and designs his international strategy with the advice of Gustavo Béliz, secretary of Strategic Affairs, and Jorge Arguello, Argentine ambassador to the United States.
In the meantime, The Foreign Minister is dedicated to organizing the trips of those stranded by the pandemic and to leading institutional events that are far from Olivos and the global agenda.
Alberto Fernández distanced himself from the chancellor after the Mercosur affair. The President and Solá had discussed the differences that Argentina had with Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay regarding the possibility of closing free trade agreements with South Korea, Lebanon, India and Canada. But the foreign minister was never ordered to bring the regional forum to the brink of institutional breakdown.
Alberto Fernández considers that Mercosur is more than an imperfect customs union. The head of state assumes that it is a multilateral institution that ended Brazil as a hypothesis of conflict in Argentina and that it marked a sequence of regional cooperation and integration that ratifies the importance of democracy as a system of government in the Southern Cone.
In this context, the President was surprised when the Foreign Ministry decided that Argentina was leaving the Mercosur negotiating table for an eventual free trade agreement with South Korea. Alberto Fernández swore that he will never say in public what he said to Solá e the Palacio San Martín intervened.
On April 18, Alberto Fernández had a long conversation with Emmanuel Macron to analyze the global agenda and request the collaboration of France in the Paris Club, which is a former creditor of Argentina. The call was not surprising and the President’s line of argument was designed with the collaboration of his Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, and Gustavo Beliz, Secretary for Strategic Affairs.
Solá was not called to the previous meeting nor was he in Olivos during the telephone communication between the head of state and his French colleague.
A few days later, on Tuesday, April 28, Alberto Fernández spoke with Alberto Luis Lacalle Pou, President of Uruguay. The night before, Lacalle Pou had started an informal chat with Alberto Fernández, and There they agreed to telephone communication to straighten out the Mercosur situation and discuss the bilateral agenda between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Solá was not with the President during the call to Montevideo. He was at the Ministry of Foreign Relations coordinating the trips of the stranded Argentines around the world. In the official photo, distributed after diplomatic contact, the Chief of Staff, Santiago Cafiero, and Julio Vitobello, Secretary General of the Presidency appear.
Yesterday around noon, Alberto Fernández contacted Ángela Merkel, who attended her office in Berlin. The communication was planned in time, and the President and the German Chancellor discussed the world situation and the post-pandemic economic and social future COVID 19. In this context, the head of state asked Merkel for her support to postpone an imminent payment of two a billion dollars to the Paris Club.
Although he does not appear in the photo with the president, Gustavo Béliz was in Olivos when he began the cordial dialogue with Chancellor Merkel. Minister Solá, as happened with Sebastián Piñera, Macron and Lacalle Pou, was left out on the direct order of Alberto Fernández.
The President does not have a bad relationship with the chancellor. But he already assumed that his personality – explosive and unexpected – conspires with the slow execution of the national diplomatic agenda.
Among other diplomatic errors, Alberto Fernández still remembers with regret the photo of Solá smiling next to Jair Bolsonaro. Not forgetting the Mercosur affair that left him in an awkward situation vis-à-vis its regional partners and global allies.
Yesterday afternoon, when Enrique Vanoli was no longer the head of ANSES, he asked himself in Olivos what could happen to Chancellor Solá. The answer was bounded and elliptical: “Alberto Fernández manages the political times. And anyone else”An official who knows the fifth presidential by heart told Infobae.