On Thursday (8), the Argentine government received the visit of American Admiral Craig Faller, head of the Southern Command of the United States, to donate three field hospitals in the country. Faller was received by Agustín Rossi, Minister of Defense and member of the circle of trust of Vice Cristina Kirchner.
The visit comes just over five months after the first phone call between then-president-elect Joe Biden and Argentine leader Alberto Fernández. On this occasion, Fernández said that the conversation had been “pleasant and productive” and that in addition to dealing with the bilateral relationship, the two discussed Argentina’s debt with the IMF (International Monetary Fund), which is ongoing. restructuring, and the problems in the region.
Thursday’s donation and the direct dialogue are signs that Argentina has a head start on Brazil in its relationship with the new US administration, as President Jair Bolsonaro has only exchanged letters with Biden – he There were also no representatives of the United States government.
Behind the cold relationship there is a series of feuds between the two leaders, as the Brazilian president has publicly stated during the campaign to support the re-election of Donald Trump, Biden’s rival in the 2020 election race to the United States. Bolsonaro was also angered by the Democrat’s criticism of increasing deforestation in the Amazon and classified it as a regrettable statement by the current US leader during the presidential debate. At the time, Biden said he would guarantee $ 20 billion for the preservation of the forest and threatened “ economic consequences ” if there was no environmental progress.
The meeting between Faller and Rossi was accompanied by the Minister of Health, Carla Vizzoti, and took place at the Buenos Aires naval base. The event took place on the day Argentina broke a new daily record for coronavirus infections – 23,683 – and recorded 290 more deaths, the highest figure since November, totaling 56,832 deaths since the start of the pandemic. On Wednesday evening (7), Fernández, criticized for the slowness of vaccination in the country, announced new restriction measures.
Alongside Faller, responsible for American interests in South America, Central America and the Caribbean, Rossi has confirmed the soon arrival of a batch of 9 million doses of vaccines by Covax, the WHO vaccine distribution mechanism. to developing countries.
He also said that “he is counting on the cooperation of the United States to obtain more doses” and has strengthened ties between countries in the field of defense. “More than 50% of Argentina’s spending on military equipment occurs in the United States, and there our country has the largest number of representatives in the world, with three military units for each force and two purchasing offices, l ‘one for the Navy and one for the Air Force. “
Faller, for his part, said that< depuis le début de la pandémie, notre commandement a travaillé en étroite collaboration avec ses partenaires argentins >> and << together, we made 15 humanitarian aid donations related to Covid-19 to help Argentina respond to this situation. crisis, the delivery of protective equipment, drugs and material for testing and detection in the country ".
US donations to Argentina amount to US $ 3.5 million (R $ 19.4 million). According to the government, the program also includes oxygen generators and training to deal with disaster and pandemic situations.