“Massa, a good medicine for serious illness,” says a poster of the official presidential candidate placed in the center of the Plaza de Mayo by a couple belonging to a group of mother of those who disappeared through the dictatorship. on Thursday of this week.
But this lawyer, born on April 28, 1972, is part of the “big disease”, because for almost two years he was the Minister of Economy and broke all the records of inflation in recent decades, which is not a little.
The government of which he is a part, led by President Alberto Fernández and Vice President Cristina Kirchner, also has the record as the largest producer of poor people in the Republic of Argentina: they reach 45 percent of the population.
Paradoxes in Argentine politics, Massa, the candidate of the poor, whose ‘little mother’ is Mrs. Fernández de Kirchner, who is now protected by the privilege of the vice president that exempts him from prison, has been detained for six years, according to the sentence for corruption.
The judges who ruled in favor of punishing him were subject to a complaint from the government and their intimate lives were spied on by Argentina’s intelligence apparatus, in what is one of the many scandals rocking the country these days . .
But even the findings of schemes to steal money from the State or the discovery of a spy network that the darkest forces of the government deployed against 1,300 opposition leaders, businessmen, journalists and some members of the ruling party seem to have an effect on the voters.
On Thursday night, in the bunker of Sergio Massa, it is said that in the debate he recovered and was ahead of his opponent Javier Milei by two or three points.
We will know the reality this Sunday, when 35 million 394 thousand 425 Argentines over 16 years of age go to vote in 104 thousand 520 voting stations located throughout the territory.
Voting is mandatory here, although with the devaluation of the currency the amount to be paid as a fine for those who do not vote is symbolic, as it reaches 50 pesos, which is between one or two Mexican pesos.
Like his challenger, Javier Milei, Massa has moved to the center in recent weeks, distancing himself from Cristina Kirchner and in a private meeting announcing to the powerful businessmen of the country that he is offering the Ministry of Economy in his next cabinet of a respected member of the PRO, who supports Javier Milei, the current mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
In public, he announced that the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office will hand it over to a member of the opposition. Therefore, the two weakest parts of the front that brought him as a candidate, the economy and corruption, will remain in power with his current opponents.
If he wins, Massa reserves the political positions on which the management is based, because the inevitable changes to avoid the collapse of the State require the support of the unions, businessmen (both with him), in addition to Congress and provincial governments.
Only in this way can he put together a government of national unity, as he proposed, and start the “horse” operation that the country must go through, without guaranteeing the release of the operating room.
Some believed in him and some did not.
That’s what Sunday’s election is about: who will be the surgeon to lead the “horse operation” and who has the best skills to keep the patient from dying: Massa or Milei. Milei or Massa.
And who is Sergio Massa?
As the president of the Chamber of Deputies, every week Sergio Massa takes out his cell phone and talks to an intense woman, who wants to know everything and control everything, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, whom he flirted with until no he vetoed him to become president. candidate of Peronism.
With the freshness of a professional politician, which he is, Massa has to swallow a serious toad every week because just a few years before he broke up with Cristina and challenged her: he presented his resignation to head of the Cabinet, of the Justicialist Party, he resigned. He declared himself a “dissident Peronist” and attacked his boss all when he announced that he would go for a third term as president of Argentina.
Massa launched his opposition candidacy with the promise to end Cristina: “With me the K era will end, no matter how much violence and checkbook they use. Today FPV stands for fraud, arrogance and violence.
That day, May 1, 2015, he said in his speech at the Vélez Sarsfield stadium, he assured that “I will be president because corruption annoys me, I will put them in prison, I will not be afraid of them.”
Later, the pancake (chapulín, in Argentine political slang), returned to the crowd because, he said, it was necessary to “end this government of the few and for the few.”
He pointed to the anti-Kirchnerist president Mauricio Macri, where – he said at the time – it is necessary to “build a broad, plural and federal opposition coalition.”
Jorge Lanata, the legendary Argentine journalist who exposed the corruption of the Kirchners, testified that “Massa is a very good candidate, because with 140 percent inflation, half of Argentines in poverty, he has the numbers that are there he (of the electoral preferences). The logical thing is that it has two percent.
In less than thirteen months, this lawyer who has absolutely no responsibility in the area he currently manages (he is the minister of Economy, as well as a candidate, the real president and the real head of his campaign), triggered inflation almost double and triple the Debt of the Central Bank.
He has a personal charm that makes him believable, with the image of a president, and he is the candidate of the establishment, despite the fact that he prints bills without support, spends money that nothing, distributes it in subsidies, and as a candidate he offers to solve everything It does not work in this government and must be corrected.
That is, the next president, Sergio Massa, will amend the plans of the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa.
A journalist who knows him well said that Massa’s ambitions are greater than those of Cristina and Néstor Kirchner. If he wins, he will remain in power for 30 years.
Even Jorge Lanata seems to have been seduced by Massa: “I will not vote for Javier Milei… Massa is a Peronist, he is not a Kirchnerist. There are many things about Kirchnerism that Massa does not share,” he said in an interview with an electronic media.
Always first in his class, Sergio Massa at the age of 15 was already hanging in the parades for the candidate of his party, the Democratic Center Union (liberal right). And suddenly, without warning or giving explanations, he left the government of Carlos Menem. He is an advisor to singer Palito Ortega in the Ministry of Social Development.
He became an angry Peronist with the same ease with which, after being a San Lorenzo fan, he became a Tigre fan overnight.
Of course, Tigre’s fans are his former boyfriend and future father-in-law, a former (Sports) minister Carlos Saúl Menem. And he always envisioned being the mayor of Tigre (an important town in the province of Buenos Aires), a position he reached and played a remarkable role.
“Sergio is very elusive in his loyalty. I consider him a reliable person, but from one day to the next he goes to join another party,” said Alejandro Keck, Massa’s political godfather, in an interview with Constanza Bengoechea of La Nación.
“He can embrace Trump today and Putin tomorrow, and sell the same thing to both,” he said.
He still appreciates it, but “if Sergio was a salesman, he would have sold the Obelisk to half of the Argentines.”
He took him to UCD, he saw that he went to the Justicialista Party without saying goodbye, then he left the PJ and created the Frente Renovador to finish Cristina -his former boss-, then he watched him ally with Kirchnerism and now . he is a presidential candidate for Unión por la Patria , with promises of “a great change in Argentina”, national unity, and overcoming this crisis “that touches us.”
Sergio is “a beacon of his loyalty.”
The polls are still a week later, when the legal deadline for announcing the polls closes, although in Milei’s circle they say they have a slight advantage, and in Massa’s circle they point out that they have a couple of points.
José Mujica, former president of Uruguay, said in articles published in Montevideo that he believed Massa would win because “Argentina’s history, in its capacity to mobilize its unions, counts and will count again -well on Sunday.
What Massa’s team observed was not victory, nor optimism, nor pessimism, but I saw their inscrutable faces, very similar to the poker players of the Palermo Hippodrome casino, where Carlos Gardel goes to see well the legendary rider Irineo. Leguisamo.
True, or at least what the former president of Uruguay thought sounded reasonable. Political history is very important in countries like Argentina, as is its soccer jersey.
And guys like Massa have the aura of the predestined to win. They are inevitable. Or they usually are.