Brazil's incumbent President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and former Uruguayan head of state José Pepe Mujica called on Argentines to vote for Economy Minister Sergio Massa in Sunday's runoff with Libertarian Congressman Javier Milei.
Despite not mentioning Massa by name, Lula insisted on the importance of a president who likes democracy, who respects the institutions, who likes Mercosur, who likes South America, and who thinks about creating an important bloc.
On the other hand, Mujica released a video saying he would vote for Unión por la Patria's Massa with both my hands. He also underlined Argentina needed a government of national unity.
If I were an Argentine, who I feel more than a brother in my inner self, in view of the dilemma that the Argentine people have and not because Massa is my friend but because of the option that exists, I would vote for him because he is repeatedly raising the need for a national government, Mujica said from his farm in the outskirts of Montevideo.
It seems to me that he is aware that Argentina does not need cataclysms but a national unity because there he will have the strength to get out of the drama in which it is submerged, he added.
With the spotlight on bilateral trade, Lula insisted that Brazil needs Argentina and Argentina needs Brazil because of the jobs Brazil generates in Argentina and the jobs Argentina needs in Brazil, the trade flow between the two countries and how much we can grow together.
My example of friendship with Argentina comes from my first mandate. When I won in 2002, Argentina was the first country I visited before taking office. In 2023 as well. Argentina is very important for Brazil. We are the largest trading partners of the Argentines, Lula added on social media.
Addressing the Argentine people, Lula asked them to think a little bit about the kind of South America you want to create, the kind of Latin America you want to create and the Mercosur you want to create.
Together we will be strong, separated we are weak, warned Lula given statements by Milei, who would cut commerce with Brazil over his political discrepancies with the current Brazilian leader, whom he finds to be a socialist with a totalitarian vocation.”
While Milei also favors a departure from Mercosur, Massa is in favor of strengthening integration and promoting the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).
In addition to Mujica and Lula, also supporting Massa are Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, among other world leaders.
Standing behind Milei are Mariano Rajoy (Spain), Sebastián Piñeira (Chile), Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón (Mexico), Iván Duque and Andrés Pastrana (Colombia), Luis Fortuño (Puerto Rico), Jorge Quiroga (Bolivia), Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil) and former international footballer José Luis Félix Chilavert, who ran for president of Paraguay this year and finished seventh with less than 1% of the votes.