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ARGENTINA | 09-04-2020 23:27

Durán Barba praises Fernández's handling of coronavirus crisis

Political guru, who helped Macri to presidency in 2015, tells Juntos por el Cambio leaders to "think about the country" and "stand as Argentines, rather than as the opposition."

Ecuadorean spin-doctor Jaime Durán Barba, who helped win Mauricio Macri the presidency in 2015, has praised President Alberto Fernández's leadership of Argentina during the coronavirus pandemic, describing the country as "an example" for Latin America.

Quizzed about Fernández's handling of the crisis, Durán Barba – who is currently in Quito in isolation – said the Peronist leader had done "surprisingly well."

Speaking to Radio Con Vos in an interview, the political consultant described Argentina as "the most successful country in Latin America against the virus."

"It is an example," he added with a flourish.

Durán Barba also had a few choice words for his allies in the opposition, saying that they should back the government up rather than criticise.

"I don't know what Juntos por el Cambio is doing, but my suggestion would be: let's think about the country," he said.

"I believe that at this moment in history we must stand as Argentines, rather than as the opposition," saying such a move would be proof of "a healthy attitude."

The 72-year-old went on to praise Fernández's handling of the crisis, highlighting his decision to reach out to the opposition.

 "I honestly did not expect him to work so well. To skip la grietas and work together with [Axel] Kicillof, [Horacio] Rodríguez Larreta – that's what needs to be done right now," he said, referring to the governor of Buenos Aires Province and the mayor of Buenos Aires City.

Durán Barba contrasted President Fernández's approach to that of Jair Bolsonaro, branding the Brazilian far-right leader's handling of the pandemic a disaster.

"You cannot play with people's lives, it is stupid," he said, describing Bolsonaro as "very irresponsible."

"A bomb of such magnitude exploded in the world that, either we assimilate that we have to think differently, or if we continue to fight for little things, we will have more deaths," he concluded.

 

– TIMES/NA

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