Martín Lousteau, Argentine ambassador to the United States, handed Mauricio Macri his letter of resignation in person yesterday. The resignation might not come as a shock to those in the media, but the Macri administration says the resignation was “very surprising.” Macri appointed Lousteau as ambassador to the United States in December 2015, a move some say could have partially motivated as a means to delay another campaign run from Lousteau.
If that’s the case, Lousteau isn’t sticking to the “plan.” The former ambassador is back in Buenos Aires, saying “I want to be a candidate in the City.” Lousteau already held office as Argentina’s Economy minister during Cristina Kirchner’s first term, and nearly won the office as Mayor of Buenos Aires that Larreta ended up scooping in 2015.
In the letter of recognition, Lousteau writes that his vocation is here in Argentina, especially Buenos Aires, given the state of international and internal affairs: “I feel that, the bilateral relation [with the US is] on track and with challenges in the internal front, my contribution is greater today on Argentine soil than overseas.”
He addresses his goals as ambassador, as established by Macri, have been improved during his time as ambassador and that his replacement will continue to improve Argentina’s international role. Given his success, he feels “the successor that you designate will be able to initiate his [or her] tasks from a better place, grounding a process of institutional evolution.”
But what of Lousteau’s “institutional evolution?” Lousteau is seen as a leading opposition figure in the city of Buenos Aires and as someone who could potentially ruin mayor Rodríguez Larreta’s reelection plans in 2019. However, Congressional elections are just around the bend this October, so a hastier campaign could be on the way instead.
As of writing, there are no replacements suggested for Lousteau. He was originally in town to meet with Susana Malcorra to set plans for Macri’s meeting with Donald Trump later this month, as well as talk bilateral relation updates.