Being a friend of Hugo isn’t all photo-ops, fun and games, and suitcases full of money:
Argentina is scaring off foreign investment by allying with leftist Venezuela at the expense of ties to its biggest export markets, the mayor of Buenos Aires said.
“Venezuela has one of the worst images in the world these days, but it appears to be the best friend of the government and of our country,” Mayor Mauricio Macri, a prominent opposition figure, told Reuters in a recent interview.
Macri said Argentina’s economic boom of the past five years cannot continue without major investment and he criticized President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner for failing to do more to lure foreign investors.
A center-leftist who succeeded her husband last year, Fernandez has maintained the close relationship with Venezuela. Chavez has met the Kirchners regularly, bought billions of dollars in Argentine debt and has pledged to supply oil and diesel to help the country deal with energy shortages.
But Macri said Fernandez’ friendship with the fiercely anti-U.S. Chavez is costly, and Argentina should instead be improving ties with China, India, Europe and the United States.
Which they badly need to do, because,
Direct foreign investment in Argentina grew 12 percent last year, compared with 84 percent in Brazil and 82 percent in Chile, La Nacion newspaper reported on Sunday, citing a preliminary report from a United Nations economic agency.
Of course the Kirchners blame the IMF, the US, and whatever. It’s a lot easier to create a distraction than it is to take responsibility for messing up BIG TIME:
But Kirchner angered Wall Street by browbeating investors into taking losses of some 70 cents on the dollar when Argentina halted payments on its sovereign debt.
It also defaulted on $6.3 billion in debt owed to the Paris Club, an informal group of wealthy creditor nations. No repayment deal has been reached and Fernandez, like her husband, is angling for lenient terms.
This time Hugo’s not coming to their rescue. He’s got his hands full as it is.
In other Venezuela-related news, Court releases Venezuelan assets
The High Court in London has suspended an order that froze $12bn (£6bn) of the assets of Venezuela’s state oil firm, PDVSA, in a dispute with ExxonMobil.
Last month we discussed the injunction in podcast with Alek Boyd of VCrisis. As you can hear in the podcast, Exxon was granted injuctions in the US, the Netherlands and the UK. The current release applies only to the UK courts. We’ll have to see if the other courts follow.