Miguel Del Sel, the comedian, cattle producer and politician (possibly in that order) from the province of Santa Fe, has formally resigned from his post as Argentine ambassador to Panama.
According to Clarin, he decided to return to Argentina because he was offered 1 million dollars to perform with his old comedy trio, Midachi. However, in an interview with TN, he said he was homesick and missed his daughters.
Del Sel reassured those concerned that his resignation would not distance him from Cambiemos, to whose political project he was very “committed.”
“I’m leaving the embassy because I miss Santa Fe. Cambiemos hasn’t lost me one bit. I believe I contributed to change and there’s still many problems to solve,” he said, according to La Nacion, before assuring that “I have huge confidence in Mauricio, and that he speaks the truth.”
It’s a slightly less newsworthy resignation than that of former ambassador to the United States, Martín Lousteau, but intriguing because it offers the opportunity to reflect on Del Sel’s public persona as a bawdy comedian, former deputy and faithful Macrista.
Del Sel entered politics in 2013 as a national deputy. He ran for governor of Santa Fe in 2011 and 2015, though failed to win by a narrow margin on both occasions. He was a very active supporter of Macri during his 2015 campaign, and in December of 2015, was rewarded (from the view of many) with a posting to Panama.
In his time as ambassador, he managed to convince Copa airlines to authorise flights from Rosario to Panama.
He also created controversy when photos appeared of him enjoying the more luxurious side of Panaman life. #Pigandspa.
His political style was characterised by his blunt and ribald (and most likely offensive) sense of humor. On former President, Cristina Kirchner, he said, she’s a “vieja chota hija de pu…” (difficult to translate, but something like ‘old fart bitch’), and when visiting a factory, he reportedly said to a worker “what do you want? For me to pay for the whores?” Diplomacy in action people.
Earlier comments he made suggested that politics was a passing phase on a larger spiritual journey: “[Macri] said an impressive phrase to me once: ‘First there’s you and then politics.’ So as once called on me, I gave him my support and accompanied him, today I also have the right to say: ‘I’m taking time for me’, and ‘I’m going back to acting’.
For those who have missed him, he will be back home on March 31st.
Del Sel came to fame in the comedy trio, which he formed with Rubén Enrique “Dady” Brieva and Darío “Chino” Volpato in the 80s in Santa Fe. Much of their humor is characterised by dressing-up, ribaldry, and mostly naked women.
Here’s a joke from Miguel that English speakers can appreciate (cringe at.)
In a rather inexplicable comedy skit, in which a bewigged Miguel talks is called to the teachers office, the following takes place.
Doctor: How do you heat water?
Miguel: With a naked woman
Doctor: I’m asking how you heat water, I’m referring to the calefón (water heater).
Miguel: Ah, ah, ah…No, no, no, it doesn’t really ring any bells. Calefón?
Doctor: I’m saying it correctly, calefón.
Miguel: In reality, you guys are ignorant. You don’t know how to speak english. It’s “Call phone”. An english word, “call phone.”