Sergio Massa infantilized the role of Montevideo in the Common Market of the South, in a conference prior to the VII Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou responded to controversial statements by Argentina’s Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who called Uruguay the “little brother” of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), an alliance in which the two nations participate. , in addition to Brazil and Paraguay.
“That looks like Disneyland“, replied the president at the conference held on Tuesday in Buenos Aires, within the framework of the VII Summit of leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac).
On Monday, the head of Argentina’s economic portfolio was asked about the idea of strengthening Mercosur in other Latin American countries and about Uruguay’s intention to agree to a trade agreement with China outside the economic alliance.
In response, the official replied that Uruguay was “one of Mercosur’s younger brothers” and that Brazil and Argentina had “the responsibility of taking care of it.”
The minister’s statements quickly aroused controversy in the political scene of both countries. One of the first to speak out on the matter was Sebastian Da Silva, senator Uruguayan from the ruling party, who alluded to the volatility of the Argentine currency.
“I don’t think any Uruguayan wants to be careful with a Minister of the Economy who has a dollar trading at 350 pesos,” the parliamentarian wrote on Twitter. And by the way, he ironically offered Massa the number of Uruguay’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Azucena Arbeleche, so that he could give him “sensible advice.”
Thanks @SergioMassa. But I don’t think any Uruguayan wants to be careful with an economy minister who has a dollar trading at 350 pesos. I’ll give you the phone number of Azucena Arbeleche privately. Call her and she will give you some sensible advice pic.twitter.com/vAGLPo65AM
—Sebastian Da Silva (@camboue) January 24, 2023
In a similar sense, the pro-government deputy Juan Rodriguez, asked to the Argentine official who would take care of “complying with the obligation to care for his compatriots”. And he added: “Uruguayans have been taking care of ourselves for almost 200 years.”
Within Argentina, the former Minister of Culture (2015-2018) Pablo Avelluto qualified The official’s expressions were “shameful” and considered that no nation “is the inferior sister of any other.” “And much less Uruguay, which has a lot to teach Argentines about democracy, the Republic and freedom,” added the also journalist.
Conflicts in Mercosur
Tensions between the Mercosur countries with Uruguay have grown in recent months due to Montevideo’s intention to reach a free trade agreement with China.
In this regard, Lacalle Pou indicated on Tuesday that Uruguay is about to start bilateral negotiations with China, without ruling out the possibility that the other member states of the South American alliance join.
“At that time, we have said it in the Mercosur summits themselves, we will look to the side and tell Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay if they agree to advance in that negotiation, if there is a superior or better proposal from any of the countries of the blocks, welcome,” the president explained, according to local media.
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