Argentina's President Mauricio Macri offers an interview to AFP at the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires on February 22, 2016. Macri won elections in November 2015, ending 12 years of leftist and crisis-ridden rule by the late Nestor Kirchner and his wife Cristina. US President Barack Obama will travel to Argentina next month, offering support to Macri's efforts to end a decade-and-a-half of financial isolation and political enmity with Washington. Macri "signaled that he'd like to have closer economic and diplomatic cooperation with the United States," said top Obama foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes, announcing Obama's visit. AFP PHOTO / JUAN MABROMATA / AFP / JUAN MABROMATA (Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)Photograph by Juan Mabromata — AFP/Getty Images
For decades fiscal mismanagement and corruption have made Argentina an economic backwater. But Macri, the new President, has foreigners and Argentines alike expressing optimism about the country again. Macri, the former governor of Buenos Aires, won a very close election last fall against a ruling party dominated by cronies of Argentina’s past leaders. Among his first acts: reintegrating Argentina in the global economy by pledging to repay debts on which it had defaulted. The country “is fast becoming a model to its neighbors,” says Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.