A summit of foreign ministers from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will convene today in Buenos Aires.
The ministers will likely choose Argentine President Alberto Fernandez to be the group’s President pro tempore, who will represent the organization at international events. This comes after Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced that he would not block Fernandez’s candidacy.
In November, Fernandez’s Front for Everyone party lost its majority in the Argentine Senate and returned a reduced majority in the Chamber of Deputies. He also faces ongoing protests over his handling of the country’s economic downturn and over continued negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restructure $44 billion in debt.
Expect Fernandez to use his new position and involvement in CELAC as a campaign plank going into presidential elections in 2023. If Fernandez’s domestic legislative agenda stalls, expect him to increase Argentina’s involvement in foreign affairs to blunt perceptions of weakness and domestic gridlock. Fernandez may try to use Argentina’s leadership in CELAC to increase its leverage in IMF negotiations, although whether this works depends on his ability to persuade other CELAC members to support Argentina’s position.
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Kyle is a Publisher and Analyst on the Analysis team. He specializes in foreign policy and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a particular focus on Mexico and Central America.