Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro claims Argentines have taken money out of banks “en masse” in fear of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner returning to power as vice-president in October’s general election.
“With the possible return of the flag of the São Paulo forum [a collective of leftist forces in Latin America and the Caribbean] in Argentina, now the people took out, en masse, their money from the banks,” Bolsonaro posted on his Twitter feed this Sunday. “Argentina, through populism, his each time turning more into Venezuela.”
Bolsonaro has kept up a war of rhetoric with the Argentine opposition since presidential candidate Alberto Fernández and his Kirchnerite party won a surprise 47 percent of the vote in the August 11 primaries.
The Brazilian leader has made similar comments since the Peronist victory earlier this month, claiming that “Argentina is sinking into chaos [and] begins to follow the course of Venezuela because, in the primaries, leftist bandits began to return to power.”
Fernández, the favourite to become president of Argentina in October, told local newspaper Clarín this Sunday that the country is “virtually” in default. He then criticised Bolsonaro’s “prepotency.”
“It bothers me the way and the prepotency with which he talks, along with other things. But the truth is that Brazil is much more important than Bolsonaro.”
Bolsonaro as also said that he doesn’t want “Argentina brothers” fleeing to Brazil upon a victory by the Fernández-Fernández ticket, comparing the hypothetical situation to Venezuelan refugees that have inundated Brazil’s border.
A cloud hangs over the Mercosur bloc's free-trade deal with the European Union at present, after Fernández indicated a desire to review the accord.