December 20, 2012
Dear Ambassador Argüello,
We never met personally, but over the past year we feel like we got to know you well. For better or worse, you were a consistent fixture in our work. This is why we are somewhat saddened to see you go.
We’ve heard you were replaced because your PR battle in the US and DC was too aggressive and did little to restore U.S. confidence in your country. President Kirchner’s disastrous reception at Georgetown and Harvard University this past fall may have also been a factor.
We read the nice things Clarín wrote about you, including the fact you were a “very good political ambassador who vigorously defended Cristina’s policies.” For better or worse, we think your replacement, Ms. Cecilia Nahón, will face similar hurdles in Washington, despite her reputation as a diehard Kirchner operative. We know your task to restore US-Argentine relations was a challenge, and the inane political decisions from Buenos Aires – including the introduction of exchange restrictions, the nationalization of YPF, and the curtailment of media freedoms – did not make your job in Washington an easy one.
That said, adiós, Argüello! We suspect you, too, will miss us in Portugal.