Just five days ago, Gustavo Béliz resigned from the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs of the national government, the area that President Alberto Fernández created for his political friend to manage relations with international, bilateral and multilateral credit organizations. With no successes to show for his ambitious projects, Béliz drafted his resignation without acknowledgment and with a religious quote for those in the coalition who decided that his stage in management was over: “God save you.” It is not the first time that the Opus Dei member has tied his political performance to religious thought. Yesterday, the former official appeared again in the Basilica of Luján, along with the social movements aligned with the Government – known as “Los Cayetanos” – who will start their pilgrimage from there to downtown Buenos Aires to celebrate the patron saint of work under the raised slogan by Pope Francis from “Peace, Bread, Land, Roof and Work”.
Béliz arrived in Luján with his son, in slippers and carrying a backpack. He participated in the mass together with social leaders to ask against poverty and inflation that harass the Government. “Gustavo is a brother of the faith,” they said about the presence of the former official close to Esteban “El Gringo” Castro, the general secretary of the Workers’ Union of the Popular Economy (UTEP), the union that Los Cayetanos (the Evita Movement) forged , Somos Barrios de Pie and the Clasista and Combative Current) along with other territorial movements that joined the Frente de Todos.
As a “pilgrim” and with no management task to perform, Béliz would accompany the pilgrimage that will require five days from Luján to downtown Buenos Aires, with religious and political components. After mass in the Basilica, the pilgrims walked to the hermitage of Negro Manuel, a small chapel that venerates the African slave considered the “inseparable caretaker of the Virgin of Luján”. Tomorrow, the pilgrimage will continue to the San Martín de Tour Church, in General Rodríguez, where they will spend the night. On Thursday, it will arrive in Moreno –the municipality that governs the referent of the Evita Movement, Mariel Fernández–; and on Friday they will stop in Castelar and walk to Liniers, where they will rest in the Brick Makers union.
On Sunday the 7th (the day of the Patron Saint of Bread and Work), the social movements will join the pilgrims in the Church of San Cayetano, where they will undertake the last stage of 20 kilometers to the center of Buenos Aires, at the intersection of De May and July 9, and that could extend to Plaza de Mayo. The organizers estimate that they would bring together half a million people, to claim a greater and better distribution of the State’s investment in social policies and other demands such as lower inflation.
A long walk and an impoverished crowd, which will help Belize reflect on its opaque management in the national government, to which it came to design consensus and long-term policies for the country. Although one of his central desires -and perhaps prayers- was set on reaching the presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank on behalf of Argentina. With that objective and game of his own, he aligned himself with the wishes of the United States Department of State and stepped on the credit files negotiated with China, which blocked the development of the Atucha III power plant and the Néstor Kirchner hydroelectric dam.
But former President Donald Trump imposed as farewell to the American Mauricio Claver Carone as head of the IDB and frustrated the wishes of Béliz. As the aftermath of the dispute over that chair, Claver Carone stepped on the 500 million dollar loan that that multilateral entity had previously granted in the midst of the Central Bank’s foreign exchange drought.
One of his last acts of management, Béliz turned to the Chinese representative at the IDB to intercede for the release of that credit, but it was too late: his days in government were already numbered. Now, the former official of Carlos Menem, Néstor Kirchner and Alberto Fernández resumes his religious and political pilgrimage from the plain.