For the most part, Malcorra was circumspect with her comments, maintaining that the unfolding events in Brazil was just that — a wait and see situation. As for how the downfall of the once favored economic child of Latin America would affect Argentina’s position as an emerging Latin American leader, again she commented with caution that the two countries’ fates were not inversely tied:
“It is very difficult for me to support the notion of Argentina winning from Brazil losing out. I believe that President Macri has an opportunity to present and represent a certain style of leadership and is going to do it by his own merit and not because Brazil is winning or losing. He’s going to succeed because he is going to transform Argentina into a reliable and mature colleague to the world.”
Her position on the legality of the impeachment proceedings was similar. As far as Argentina is concerned, technically the proceedings against Rousseff are legal, as Malcorra stated and tweeted last week. However — just as many international outlets have — she appeared to question the legitimacy of the proceedings.
“I differentiate between legality and legitimacy, which is a fine line. In a formal sense, I believe the institutions in Brazil have everything covered. We just have to see how this progresses and how it ends. But it’s definitely a very difficult situation.”
Malcorra is careful to speak in vagaries throughout most of the interview:
“The first thing is that we have been very close to this. We have been close to the President and this whole process. We have been very cautious… We have followed what our own government has indicated to us that it was the best way to work, without having large ringing declarations, or anything of the sort.”
But she remains emphatic that the economic and political stability of Brazil, one of Argentina’s main allies, is of critical importance:
“After [the legitimacy question] the political aspect is another question. So it is very difficult. Brazil is our principal ally. I always say that we need a strong Brazil, one that functions. If Brazil does not function and it doesn’t function, it makes us desperate because we are interdependent. So we will continue to follow [Brazil] closely and see how things go.”
Brazil currently faces its worst economic and political reality in many years. While inflation and other factors have been issues in the economy for a long time, last week’s suspension of President Dilma Rousseff has thrown the instability of the country into harsh relief. The proceedings of her impeachment process, while legal, have many questioning the culture of corruption in the nation as most of her detractors have faced worse scandals than the one for which she is under investigation. This hypocrisy has led to many journalists in the foreign press to label the proceedings a soft coup.