Yadira Maestre, the evangelical preacher who stole the plan from Ayuso and Feijóo

That Isabel Díaz Ayuso does not monopolize the headlines of each of the events in which she participates is very unusual.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
28 March 2023 Tuesday 08:45
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Yadira Maestre, the evangelical preacher who stole the plan from Ayuso and Feijóo

That Isabel Díaz Ayuso does not monopolize the headlines of each of the events in which she participates is very unusual. She usually achieves it even when she shares the stage with the national leaders of her party, before whom she acts as an opening act. But last Saturday one of those strange exceptions occurred, when the name that most resonated with the Hispanic community after the PP act in Madrid was neither that of the Madrid regional president nor that of its leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo. But that of Yadira Maestre. But who is this evangelical preacher?

Under the slogan Europe is Hispanic, the event organized by the European PP had the objective of mobilizing the vote of the Latin American community of Madrid in the next elections. The immigrant vote has never been, to date, decisive in deciding any electoral balance in Spain. But it could well be this coming 28M, where many polls place the PP on the verge of an absolute majority with tens of thousands of votes to go. Just the equivalent of Latino voters in Madrid.

The person in charge of weaving that connection between both spheres was Gustavo Eustache. The secretary of Nuevos Madrileños of the PP in Madrid decided to directly target the evangelical churches whose faithful are the majority among the Latino community in Spain and whose preachers have a notable prestige. And that is where the figure of Yadira Maestre emerges, with a very conservative message regarding the trans law, abortion or euthanasia. Topics that will not miss her appointment with the electoral pre-campaign.

The Colombian preacher, and pastor of the Cristo Viene Apostolic Center, located in the Usera neighborhood, south of the capital, started strong: "Let us pray, sir, for the rulers of Spain, for the rulers of the community and also for our mayor." . It is an unusual message in political rallies in our country, but relatively daily in countries like Brazil, where Jair Bolsonaro became president as an outstanding student of Trumpism.

Maestre did not stop there and continued "asking God" so that "dear Hispanics from different countries can celebrate a glorious Easter this year (...) because your word says that Jesus came into the world and died for us to give us salvation." . And as a closing, he did not hesitate to ask for the blessing for the mayor Almeida and cry out a "hallelujah" for Ayuso.

The speech broadcast live on the PP's social networks can no longer be viewed on YouTube, where the video appears as "not available". But it was captured by numerous Internet users surprised by the fusion of politics and religion that has led to angry complaints from many of the political parties in contention in the upcoming elections.

The first to do so was the PSOE, whose spokesperson, Pilar Alegría, has pointed out that the mixture between politics and religion "sounds of other times", while the popular ones defend the freedom of the speaker

But at his side, ERC, Compromís and Más País have positioned themselves, criticizing the "obscene" use of religion. The spokesman for the Catalan republicans in Congress, Gabriel Rufián, has attributed the presence of the preacher, Yanira Maestre, to the "competition" that the PP and Isabel Díaz Ayuso maintain with Vox, which "feeds this type of madness." Of course, he considers it "normal" for a preacher to "work for another", in reference to the president of the Community of Madrid.

And the spokesman for Compromís in Congress, Joan Baldoví, has spoken along the same lines, lamenting that it is a preacher who advises who to vote for. Thus, he has asked to separate politics from religion and has done so with a phrase from the Bible: "To God what is God's and to Caesar what is Caesar's."

For his part, the leader of Más País, Íñigo Errejón, sees that the presence of the preacher at the event responds to an approach of the PP to evangelical movements that has been observed in other countries where the extreme right has governed: "It is a very similar evolution" that leads to "an erosion of democracies", he stressed.

The criticism has not stopped since Saturday, to the point that Ayuso has had to draw up a firewall. Despite the fact that the aforementioned Eustache was a personal appointment for a newly created position within the Madrid PP that she presides over, the woman from Madrid has emphasized this afternoon that the evangelical preacher is not "on lists" or in her Government, so she does not He takes responsibility for his presence.

The event "Europe is Hispanic", organized by the European PP and which took place on Saturday in Madrid, was attended by the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo; the Madrid president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, and the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida.

The regional president has insisted that she has nothing to say about this participant, only that she was "in an act that was a success" and in which citizens "from all corners, in unison, asked for freedom and gave support to the PP" . But she exposes an excess of momentum in the urgent capture of the Latino vote that aims to be decisive at the polls.