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The national survey, conducted in April, found 53 percent of Argentines hold a negative view of Brazil, an 18-percentage point drop since October.

“The Argentina-Brazil relationship, once a destabilizing rivalry, has been an anchor for South America for decades,” said Benjamin N. Gedan, the director of the Wilson Center’s Argentina Project and a former South America director on the National Security Council. “Now, ideological cleavages and a personality clash is imperiling diplomatic and economic ties.”

The ArgentinaPulse survey – a collaboration between the Wilson Center’s Argentina Project and Poliarquía Consultores, Argentina’s leading polling firm – found particular skepticism of Brazil among supporters of Argentina’s new leftist president, Alberto Fernández. Only 38 percent of Mr. Fernández’s supporters hold a positive view of Brazil. By contrast, 81 percent of Argentines have a positive opinion of Uruguay.

The change in public opinion in Argentina is a possible spillover from tensions between the leaders of the neighboring heavyweights. Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, had urged voters to reject Mr. Fernández in last year’s election. For his part, Mr. Fernández has championed Mr. Bolsonaro’s rival, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. There are significant policy differences too, as Argentina and Brazil clash over the future of the Mercosur customs union.

Though Brazil is Argentina’s top trading partner, the two presidents have not yet met.

“Since October, before Alberto Fernández became president, Brazil’s positive image has decreased by 18 percentage points, making it the least popular country in the survey after Venezuela,” Alejandro Catterberg, a leading Argentine political analyst and the president of Poliarquía Consultores, said.

“The Brazilian and Argentine economies are deeply intertwined, especially in terms of their supply chains and manufacturing sectors. That close connection remains important, but over the long term, it depends on a constructive relationship between the two countries,” Anya Prusa, a Brazil expert at the Wilson Center, said. “It will be important to see whether this decline in Argentine public opinion represents a trend or just a momentary reaction to current events.”

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ABOUT ARGENTINA PULSE

ArgentinaPulse is a joint undertaking of Poliarquía Consultores and the Argentina Project at the Wilson Center. The aim of ArgentinaPulse is to produce, scientifically and systematically, analysis and public opinion data on Argentines’ perceptions of the world order, international relations, and global issues. Poliarquía Consultores provides ArgentinaPulse with the technical capacity to produce high-quality social research, while the Wilson Center contributes its expertise studying international affairs.


Argentina Project

The Argentina Project of the Latin American Program, aspires to be the premiere institution for policy-relevant research on the political and economic reforms underway in Argentina. The project will be a valuable resource for senior officials in the U.S. and Argentine governments, lawmakers, investors, diplomats, and journalists.  Read more

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more