Argentine Vice-President, Gabriela Michetti, was in Washington D.C yesterday at the National Prayer Breakfast, and apparently it’s good news – the United States is “interested” in Argentina (even if it doesn’t want her lemons for now.)
Not only did President Trump greet her in an “affectionate manner”, she even enjoyed a “cordial” encounter with Vice-President Mike Pence, according to a gushy argentine media.
Next stop: hand holding?
Michetti was at the annual interfaith event on Thursday morning, when, according to Clarin, President Trump approached her table and told her “it was a pleasure” to meet her. He also “took her hand and gave her a kiss.”
In an auditorium of 3,000 people, Michetti also enjoyed the opportunity to retire into a smaller room alongside twenty others, including five US congresspeople, to enjoy a group chat with Vice-President Pence. Apparently, the Indiana Governor come Veep even invited Michetti to return to Washington for further discussions. It didn’t come from Trump, but hey, better than nothing.
“It was a very cordial moment,” said Michetti to La Nacion, who was no doubt all aflutter to be at the massive yearly event that brings together world leaders, diplomats and businesspeople in the name of faith and friendly-relations. She is, after all, a staunch Catholic, known for her opposition to abortion and for voting against equal marriage (though she has said she regrets the latter action.)
Diplomacy is, of course, a curious and intrigue-filled affair, and the United States is hardly a reliable love-interest. Even though “Trump’s running mate showed interest in Argentina,” according to La Nacion’s sources, it’s not all moonlight and roses. Argentina is still a little bruised after the Trump Administration banned the importation of Argentine lemons for a period of sixty days (though they at least had the ‘decency’ or ‘diplomacy’ to couch it in terms of ‘food safety’ instead of outright rejection.) She suffered an additional rebuke when the United States made it more difficult for Argentines to obtain visas. Now, the Department of State will require interviews for all visa applicants except those under the age of 14 or over the age of 79. Previously, interviews were only required for those under 16 and over 66.
And all this after the two countries had only just started to rekindle their relationship, signing a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in March 2016, when Obama was President.
Perhaps hopeful this deal would go ahead, Michetti also used the opportunity to talk with US Senator, Chris Coons, one of a group of Democratic and Republican legislators who signed a bipartisan resolution in January calling for the United States to “continue to engage with” Argentina and build upon the work that Obama and Macri had done to “strengthen relations” between the two countries.
In what was no doubt a fun-filled day of hand-shaking at the famous Washington “Hinckley” Hilton hotel – where, 36 years ago, John Hinckley Jr. shot Ronald Reagan in a very confused attempt to win the love of Jodie Foster – Michetti enjoyed a photo with the Queen Rania of Jordan, which she promptly uploaded to her Facebook and Twitter accounts.