SAN PABLO.– With the intention of relaunching from today the link with Brazil and putting an “end to hostilities”, Alberto Fernandez traveled to greet in person Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after yesterday’s electoral victory over Jair Bolsonaro. The Argentine president and the entourage landed at 11:35 a.m. in San Pablo and at 1:00 p.m. they arrived at the Intercontinental Hotel, where yesterday Lula and the leaders of the Workers’ Party (PT) waited the results of the ballot.
“I did not want to be absent today, knowing the difficult moments that he had to go through. It is a day of vindication,” said Alberto Fernández after meeting for two hours with the president-elect. He improvised a press conference in one of the hotel corridors.
“We were able to talk more about the future than about the past. With Lula we share the same look. We talked about the need for democracy to be consolidated throughout the continent and for electoral processes to be duly respected. He confirmed to me that he will come to Argentina before taking office. When Brazil is doing well, Argentina is doing well,” added the president. His message about the electoral processes comes amid internal turmoil in the Frente de Todos due to the eventual suspension of the primary elections (PASO), a measure for which Cristina Kirchner and Sergio Massa are pressing.
The first to arrive at the hotel were the ambassador Daniel Scioli and the interior minister, Edward DePeterwho confirmed to LN+ that there was an exchange between Cristina Kirchner and Lula after the victory was confirmed. Lula and Fernández met in a room on the first floor of the hotel. “We have a future that embraces us and summons us. I congratulate you, president,” Fernández told the Brazilian, before melting into a warm hug.
Lula was accompanied at times by his wife, Janja. He had previously been in the hotel with the former president of Uruguay Jose Pepe Mujicawho had accompanied the PT leader on the victory walk in downtown São Paulo last Saturday.
For Alberto Fernández it was the first time he had traveled to Brazil since he took office, in 2019, and he did not do so on an official state visit. The President never held a bilateral meeting with Bolsonaro, with whom he had strong disagreements. Bolsonaro and Alberto Fernández had held a brief dialogue during the Summit of the Americas, in Los Angeles, last June, where the leaders spoke about the energy situation.
The details of the meeting between Lula and Fernández were coordinated by Scioli and Celso Amorim, former Brazilian foreign minister and international adviser to the former president. Scioli, who has maintained good ties with the Bolsonarista government, handed him over a few weeks ago a roadmap of an integration plan to Amorim, who could once again have a weighty role in the Planalto.
Two weeks ago, Amorim supported an eventual entry of Argentina into the BRICS group, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. “It is good to have a balance within the BRICS, to have a bigger role for Latin America. I think the eventual inclusion of Argentina would be positive,” he said.
PT deputy Gleisi Hoffmann, from Lula’s small table, said that the president-elect has not yet defined what his first international trip will be. But she pointed out that Lula’s victory is a relief for Brazil’s relationship with other countries. And that, within this framework, integration with Latin America is essential.
Argentine diplomatic sources pointed out that Alberto’s visit generated a logistical challenge, since it is not officially a state visit, which requires certain guidelines from the Brazilian Foreign Ministry. At first, the sources added, Itamaraty was more rigid, but later made some concessions, such as taking care of the security operation. For example, the sources added, the hiring of armored cars for the delegation was in charge of the embassy in Brasília and the consulate in São Paulo.
The President traveled accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, santiago cafiero; the Secretary General of the Presidency, Julius Vitobello; the Legal and Technical Secretary, Vilma Ibarra; the spokesperson for the Presidency, Gabriela Ceruti; and national deputies Eduardo Valdés Y Charles Heller.