High drama has always been a mainstay of Argentina’s politics. Sadly, although the country’s never-a-dull-moment political machinations provide entertainment value, they almost always unfold against the backdrop of a struggling population.
As political soap operas go, it would be hard to find anything more gripping than what has been unfolding in Buenos Aires in the past few days. Argentines have barely been able to take their eyes away from a pitched battle between President Alberto Fernandez and Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, exploding in full view on social media.
As you might recall, Cristina Fernandez, the former president and standard-bearer of the militant leftist wing of the Peronista political movement, shocked the country two years ago: Instead of running for president, she announced she would run for vice president, choosing the moderate Alberto Fernandez—no relation—to head the ticket. It was a stunning move that allowed the deeply divided Peronistas to join forces and win the presidency—and helped Cristina stay out of jail. She faces multiple criminal cases stemming from corruption charges brought during the presidency of Alberto’s predecessor, Mauricio Macri. She denies all wrongdoing.