A photo of National Party presidential candidate Luis Lacalle Pou performing the acrobatic movement known as the human flag in Cardona city, Soriano has sparked controversy in Uruguay ahead of elections at the end of October.
The nationalist candidate, who is looking to unseat the ruling left-wing Broad Front party, spontaneously posed for photographer Maria Inés Hiriart from El País Journal, telling her that he performs the show of strength in every city he goes to. With the photo, 41-year-old Lacalle Pou intended to challenge the Broad Front candidate Tabaré Vázquez to imitate him, in a clear reference to his opponent's age (74).
— Subrayado (@Subrayado) agosto 22, 2014
The Lacalle’s trick to perform the flag movement.
This immediately triggered reactions. The head of private consultancyCifra and political expert Luis E González asserted that the photo would work against Lacalle Pou's candidacy. “He should not have done that,” he said.
Minister of National Defense Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro (and also a member of Broad Front) told reporters that Lacalle Pou's political campaign seemed comical:
Ahora la estoy viendo cómica (la campaña), porque al candidato del Partido Nacional lo izan, es una bandera. Incluso el otro día estaba a media asta y a media asta solo puede ser por decreto del Poder Ejecutivo, en caso de catástrofe, fallecimiento de alguien.
Now I see it as a funny thing (the campaign) because the candidate that the National Party has raised is a flag. Just the other day he was at half mast and according to a decree from the Executive Power, a flag can only be at half mast in the case of a disaster or somebody’s death.
The challenged candidate, Tabaré Vázquez, replied by criticizing at the government of the former President Luis Alberto Lacalle de Herrera. Lacalle Pou is the son of the current Congressman Luis Alberto Lacalle de Herrera, who was Uruguay's president from 1990 to 1995 and the main representative of the national party over the last three decades.
Topo Yiyo blog took advantage of the Lacalle Pou challenge:
Lacalle Pou dividió el país en 2 con su bandera y nos dio el pie para comenzar una nueva sección y página de Facebook llamada “Preguntados Uy”(entren a la puta página y denlen un puto Me Gusta) con todas las preguntas bizarras de humor e imagenes graciosas como esta desde y para Uruguay.
Lacalle did not only divide our country in two with his flag, but also inspired us to start a new section and a Facebook website called “Ask Yourself Uy” (go to the fucking page and click the fucking like button), with all weird and funny questions and funny images like this one from Uruguay, dedicated to all Uruguayan people.
On Twitter, the Lacalle Pou flag prompted all kinds of humorous comments, just like this one from journalist Gonzalo Camarota:
Para la próxima publicidad de Lacalle Pou: hace la bandera mientras diferentes niños le hacen preguntas sobre el futuro del país. La tiro
— gonzalo cammarota (@Elcammarota) julio 31, 2014
For Lacalle Pou's next campaign: he performs the flag while children ask questions about the future of the country. Throwing the idea out there.
Fede Ricagni Z, a member of the National Party, referred to the importance that the left-wing party has given to this picture:
podemos hablar de “La Bandra” o de ANCAP. Creo que el oficialismo ya escogió
— Fede Ricagni Z ✌✌ (@fede_ricagni) agosto 11, 2014
We can talk about “The Flag” or about the ANCAP. I think the left has already decided.
The state-run National Administration of Fuel, Alcohol and Portland, known as ANCAP, is one of the biggest firms in the country and has been operating with a monopoly for almost every product. In the last years, it has been working at a loss, so it has received strong criticism from the opposition.
Diego S commented:
El error de Lacalle Pou FUE no encajarle a la bandera el nombre “Bandera uruguaya Challenge”. Ahí Daba La Vuelta al Mundo.
- Diego S. (notiren) agosto 21, 2014
Lacalle Pou made a mistake by not calling his flag the Uruguayan Challenge. Otherwise, his flag would have been famous all around the world.
TararirasForExport expressed his sarcastic point of view with a photoshopped image:
LACALLE POU AL BAILANDO 2015 pic.twitter.com/GknTxFc59n
- TararirasForExport® (elFerDias) 31 de Julio de 2014
LACALLE POU DANCING 2015.
Presidential elections in Uruguay will be held on October 26, 2014.