The return of Kirchnerism to Argentina's government means that tensions between Uruguay and Argentina are starting to ratchet up. I feel very comfortable taking Mircea Popescu's 2014 observation that:
and going further to say that Argentina, especially the Kirchner-Peronists, run a country in no sense friendly to the world. It's not just that the Argentines aren't friendly to the US government, it's not just that they aren't friendly to other governments generally. It's the full on Obamatard rejection that anyone outside their particular annoited socialist circle could possibly have anything to say about how the world works.
Despite the Macri administration creating a small window of opportunity for whatever wealth might have been left in Argentina to get out, some folks apparently made bold bets that the future would be brighter and they lost. The convertible peso historically endorsed by the USG.WorldBank as part of the "Washington consensus" is back, and USG affiliated "ratings agencies" aren't doing anything more than labeling Argentina's failure to service its debts a "limited default."
On the otherside of the river, Uruguay elected the National Party's Luis Lacalle Pou to get Uruguay back on the OECD tax shelter gray list after 15 years of Frente Amplio government hypertrophy left Uruguay in the sad position where Uruguay's economy stagnates despite rising prices for the commodities Uruguay sells. A major point of contrast between Argentine voters and Uruguayo voters is that there was a movement inside the winning Uruguayo coalition that wants to see the peso Uruguayo fall towards somewhere near 50 because they have peso denominated expenses and dollar denominated revenues. Argentines on the other hand whine about how unfair it is their peso doesn't have parity with the dollar and how they had to vote Kirchnerismo because when Macri finally let the market price the Peso Argentino, it kept falling.
The RioPlatense Dispute
Because the Frente Amplio's 15 years in government and Pepe Mujica's 2013 tax information sharing treaty in particular chased a lot of foreign money out of Uruguay's economy, Uruguay's incoming government would like to open Uruguay up to money again. Speaking to a gathering of real estate developer and buyers in Punta del Este, many of whom happened to be Argentine, the future president floated the idea of simplifying the tramités that lead to legal and tax residency in Uruguay. As long as other governments insist on being increasingly retarded, at least putting on the appearance of being less retarded in this one particular way might hook some new long stay visitors to inject some liquidity into the local economy.
Cristina's Argentine President Albert Fernandez1 reacted to this bit of sanity on the part of Uruguay's next president with outright hostility:
Hicieron un trabajo tan prolijo para que Uruguay deje de ser un paraíso fiscal y de favorecerse del dinero espurio que a mí me parece que, si yo fuera Luis o me preguntara, le diría: pensalo dos veces
Spurious Money! Think Twice! For the Christian National Socialist Kircher-Fernandez-Cristina-ists in Argentina, the fact that Uruguay's incoming government might drop writie off recent stupid experiments as failures repesents a killing blow. For the forces for Christendom y Perismo fault doesn't lie with Argentina for attaching a belt to the ceiling, climbing a chair to put their neck through the belt, and then thrashing about in an effort to get that pesky chair out from under their feet. Everything bad that follows has to be the fault of the neighbor that insists chairs are for sitting and the autoerotic choking thing is inferior to finding a girl to exhaust yourself to orgasm with. There's a fundamental impedance problem in the communication channel. Argentines view themselves as pursuing an end to their misery in a principled manner. Uruguayos see Argentina merely pursuing a self destructive kink. It's not the case that Cristina dies jail if she ever falls out of goverment driving Argentine insanity, it's that the Argentine population is willing to venture to ever further depths of hell for Cristina's continued freedom to trapped inside the walls of various government offices rather than structures explicitly named prisons.
Nevermind Latin America is a big place and there's nearly always a sufficiently sympathetic other country's government for disgraced members of former governments to do the exile thing, Argentines aren't portable like other Latinos.2
Whatever money that is left in Argentina that might make it to Uruguay is almost certain to do what it's always done and enter the real estate market. Argentine money, to the extent there's any left, will buy properties in Uruguay which they will absentee own all the way until the structure's failed. Among the uniformly high 10-12 floor residential structures lining the rambla, the majority are dark most of the year. Starting a mere one block behind the line of constipation, for sale signs come and go, and habitable structures show signs of actually being occupied.
Sometime after Luis Lacalle Pou takes office on March 1st, I expect Argentina will blockage the bridges again. I suspect loud comparisons to Macri will be made. It's not improbable Argentine makes "regime change" noises like the other. more northerly failed state in the Americas. I doubt Argentina will invade, especially seeing how Uruguay's fleet manages to accomplish basic tasks like floating that Argentina's struggles with, but embarassingly impotent noises suggesting Argentina might undertake a "humanitarian military intervention" could indeed flow from their side of the river. The future might not be set in stone, but Argentina seems terminally fucked.
- Fernandez bears a curious resemblance to Argentine clown Guillermo Francella who stared as Pepe Argento, the Al Bundy character in Argentina's telenovela remake of Married with Children that they very creatively named Casado Con Hijos. [↩]
- This is a major contrast between Argentinos and Uruguayos. Roughly as many Uruguayan nationals have settled in other countries as live in Uruguay despite sharing a common linguistic handicap with the Argentinos. [↩]