Marc R. Stanley, the man chosen by US President Joseph Biden to become the next Ambassador to Buenos Aires, Tuesday said at his confirmation hearing before the Senate that the South American country needs an economic plan regarding its foreign debt.
The diplomat was also very critical of the country's human rights policy towards ongoing events in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
The Texas-born Stanley pointed out that the government of Alberto Fernández has not yet submitted a macroeconomic plan regarding the International Monetary Fund, criticized Argentina's stance on human rights in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua and also vowed to address China's increasing involvement in the local economy.
“Argentina is the third-largest economy in Latin America, but a long history of economic instability has affected its productivity and competitiveness. Argentina has been in recession since 2018, and its government must build a macroeconomic policy framework that puts it on the path to financial sustainability. If confirmed, I will work to support Argentina's efforts to address its economic challenges,” Stanley said.
Argentina is a beautiful tourist bus whose wheels are not working properly, he added.
“The IMF debt, 45 billion dollars, is huge. The problem, however, is that it is the responsibility of Argentine leaders to draw up a macroeconomic plan to repay it, and they have not yet done so. They say one is coming up, he went on.
Stanley said that embassy in Buenos Aires and the State Department was committed to working with the Argentine Government and mentioned meetings between Secretary of Strategic Affairs Gustavo Beliz and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Washington DC last week.
But he insisted the future depended above all on the plan presented by the Alberto Fernández government.
“The United States, the Biden administration, met with them even last week. The embassy in Buenos Aires and the State Department are committed to finding constructive ways to help. But it is ultimately up to them to come up with a plan to get them on their way. The Covid pandemic has not helped the situation at all. The good news is that they have recovered. But there is no more important problem than to get the economy back on its feet because it is a great bilateral partner for us, for trade and the economy, and we need a partner that is economically healthy,” Stanley said.
Stanley also addressed China's presence in the country and in the region and he pledged to put pressure when products like 5G technology are entering the country and allowing China to access all the data and information “among the people of Argentina.”
The future Ambassador also pointed out the issue of human rights: “Argentina and the United States have a long-standing relationship based on our fidelity to democracy, prosperity, security and freedom. protection of human rights in the Americas. But Argentina has yet to join the United States and others in pushing for meaningful reforms in countries like Venezuela and Cuba. If my nomination is confirmed, I plan to engage with the Argentine leadership at all levels to seek ways to achieve our mutual goal of a hemisphere that honors our highest ideals.
Stanley is an attorney who worked for Biden's presidential campaign and served for six years as head of the Jewish Democratic National Council, the predecessor body to the current Democratic Jewish Council of America. Stanley was also a board member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and previously served as a board member of the Israel Policy Forum.