Massa’s first campaign speech: “I will leave every drop of sweat to ensure victory”

The UxP presidential candidate participated in a rally with Buenos Aires province Governor Axel Kicillof

Sergio Massa gave his first speech as presidential candidate. Credit: Télam

Sergio Massa gave his first campaign speech as Unión por la Patria (UxP) presidential candidate Monday night in a rally in Buenos Aires province, where he appeared alongside Governor Axel Kicillof, who will be running for reelection, Interior minister Eduardo ‘Wado’ De Pedro, and national deputy Máximo Kirchner.

“We have a tough one ahead of us, but I will leave every drop of sweat, every cubic centimeter of blood to ensure victory,” said Massa, just a few hours after participating in his first appearance as presidential candidate alongside Vice President Cristina Kirchner at an event to repatriate an aircraft that was used to murder victims of state terrorism during Argentina’s last dictatorship. 

During his speech, Massa listed the list of obstacles the current government has faced, from the pandemic and IMF negotiations to the Ukraine war and the historic drought, which analysts say has clipped the country’s 2023 GDP by US$19 billion

“There are two different models, which come down to the idea of determining whether Argentina will have income distribution or not, whether there will be public investments or not, whether Argentina will have sovereignty and independence or be a country that depends on others,” said the current Economy minister, in reference to what he believes is at stake in the coming elections. 

“I know a lot of you are angry at us, at politicians, with the constant frustrations, with money running low, with insecurity,” he added, while also making a point of thanking De Pedro for withdrawing his candidacy, a step that was seen as necessary to ensure a UxP consensus candidate. 

Kicillof also spoke at the rally, telling the crowd that a “huge challenge” is approaching. “[The opposition] is telling the people of Argentina and of the province that the next president, whoever it is, will just propose austerity measures, and those measures will be accompanied by police repression.”

Kicillof will be the UxP’s sole candidate for governor of Buenos Aires province, a key electoral district that is home to over a third of the country’s population and an important political battleground. Juan Grabois and Massa, the two presidential candidates to compete in the coalition’s primaries, will both carry Kicillof and his national deputy and senator candidates on their ballots. 

Macri goes after Massa

Former president Mauricio Macri criticized Massa on Monday, saying Peronists idolize a person who has “left the country on the verge of hyperinflation.” Macri spoke to the press before taking part in an event at the Center for Macroeconomics Studies University (UCEMA, its Spanish acronym) alongside former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar. 

“We are living in a very sad time in Argentina, this government has led to a decadence never seen before,” he added, stating that “nothing can function in a country so close to hyperinflation.”

Macri avoided saying who he’ll support in the Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) primaries, where two PRO members, Buenos Aires city mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and former Security minister Patricia Bullrich, will compete for the opposition coalition’s presidential nomination, saying he’ll voice his opinion later. 

“You’ll see later [who I support],” were his words.  

-with information from Télam


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