Posts Tagged ‘Argentina’

Laurels for an Argentina Laureate

2016-03-06

An egregious example of either incorrigible obtuseness or imperious contempt?

In what has to be one of the most offensives decisions to visit a country by another leader, and a world leader to boot: the scheduling of the visit of the US President to Argentina, and between 22-24 March, of all dates. Any good high school student studying Latin American history would have been appalled at the decision. Worse yet, is that the US President was recipient in 2009 of the Nobel Prize for, yes, Peace, the justification for which still continues to mystify.

That the main player in those dark days of 1976 in Argentina should be unaware beggars belief. It would take a storm of criticism from human rights groups and governments , especially those similarly abused, to protest that disrespect to the people of the country, in particular the victims and next of kin. As a result, the US has deigned to change the President’s visit to Buenos Aires from the originally scheduled 24 March.

Noteworthy in all this is the post at the common dreams blog, Letter from Pérez Esquivel to Barack Obama in Ocassion [sic] of His Travel to Argentina on March 24. From a human rights activist and  victim of that era, a powerful letter that highlights the US role in the region, something any mediocre Presidential adviser should have known. A telling paragraph,

If your intention is to come here to acknowledge on behalf of the United States of America that your country was an accomplice of coups d’état in this region, in the past and currently; to announce that your country will sign and ratify the Statute of Rome and be subject to the International Criminal Court; and to stop being the only American country which does not ratify the American Convention on Human Rights; if you shall please us with news that the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation” (WHINSEC) and the“International Law Enforcement Academy” (ILEA) shall be terminated in their capacity as heirs of the School of the Americas, and with news that the military bases of the United States in Latin America shall be closed, then you shall indeed be welcomed to Argentina on any day.

In this letter, we have a lesson on communication, language couched in quiet disappointment, yet a searing indictment of gratuitous state criminality. Still, the message will most certainly be lost on its intended recipient, the counterpart Nobel awardee – the prerogative of exceptionalism.

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March? Then the eagle flies south

2016-03-04

Comes other news of the US President. In his final year in elected office he seeks to rediscover America. On 21-22 March he is scheduled to visit Cuba, notching up another US accomplishment, first President to visit the island since the US imposed its destructive embargo against the small country.

There, aside meeting Cuban officials and others and making some speeches, the US President is to see a baseball game. However there seems still no plan to have the US President go scuba diving, since that may well raise this awkward question, even if not embarrassing to the country’s exceptional policy makers.

Any discussion of the fate of Guantanamo and its torture camp will certainly be avoided. More likely a sing along of Guantanamera or a dance of the rumba?

On 24 March, and forty years to that date, the US president is then scheduled to be in, of all places, Argentina, and to meet President Mauricio Macri. Sí, el Condor pasa. The insensitive choice of that date for the visit is suggestive, and it has not been lost on many in the region. Whereas his former Secretary of State, with the audacity of the bold, has proclaimed herself ‘abuela‘ of Latins in the USA, in Argentina there have been true ‘Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo’ as there are true ‘Madres de la Plaza de Mayo’. As the founder of Madres stated in the TeleSUR report, Obama to Visit Argentina’s New President Macri on Anniversary of Military Coup, an excerpt,

 Hebe de Bonafini, Argentine human rights activist and founder of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, strongly criticized the timing of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Argentina, which will coincide with the anniversary of the 1976 military coup.

[snip]

“Let’s raise alarm bells, he did not invite him to visit on a regular date. He invited him to visit March 24 … (Macri) is a servant of theirs,” said de Bonafini, referring to politicians in the United States.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, a genuine Nobel Laureate, also weighs in on the, at best bizzare, decision to visit Argentina on 24 March, as reported in the common dreams blog, Skip Your Visit to Argentina, Nobel Laureate Tells Obama. A snippet,

“I’m a survivor of that era, of the flights of death, of the torture, of the prisons, of the exiles,” Esquivel told AP. “And when you analyze the situation in depth, the United States was responsible for the coups in Latin America.”

And to soothe ruffled feathers, nothing like a sing along of a Mercedes Sosa classic, or doing the tango, for the photo-op? Or mention the name Messi (but not Videla)?

Not yet announced, but then again, why not. A visit to Chile. On 11 September? With fellow Nobel Laureate, Henry Kissinger?

Clearly, that problem of language and communication. At the Summit of the Americas (SoA) in Port-of-Spain, the late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, as a futile gesture of friendship, had presented that well-known Galeano. Instead, as subsequent events showed, the US President seemed to have opted for Galliano. And there disappearing in the wind ‘hope and change’, lofty rhetoric without substance – mission accomplished.

Of Heroines and Heroes – New World Discoveries

2015-07-16

Good bye, Columbus. Latin America and the Caribbean continue to discover and praise their own. This week in Argentina, the President Cristina Fernández with her guest, the President Evo Morales of Bolivia unveiled a statue of an indigenous heroine who had fought against Spanish conquest, source of national pride for the remaining indigenous peoples and for the settled nationals. As TeleSURTv reports. Argentina Replaces Columbus Statue with Indigenous Heroine. An excerpt,

The two South American leaders will inaugurate a monument to independence heroine and South American guerrilla military leader Juana Azurduy.
[snip]
Zerneri [the sculptor] said Azurduy led battles that were fundamental for South American independence and her legacy is part of the longstanding regional defense of Patria Grande [an integrated Latin America].
     This is a continuation of a trend in the region to recognise those who fought, and fiercely, against being dispossessed and depopulated, mainly unsuccessfully, by merciless invaders.
     The colonial tradition of a statue of Columbus continues to fade. Venezuela has its Guaicaipuro; Trinidad, its Hyarima; Cuba, its Hatuey of Hayti (Haiti and the DR) – Hatuey of those famous ‘Last Words’.
     Just as Argentina has its heroine, so too Hayti (‘Hispaniola’) has its most famous heroine, Anacaona, also celebrated then for her arietos – and she is celebrated in song.

Portrait of a political leader – in word and deed

2015-06-21

No media creation, she. And among the few exceptional leaders in an America, where they all hail from the south.

At TeleSUR, Prof Juan Pablo Ferrero paints a portrait of the Argentina President, Cristina Fernández Kirchner (CFK). President Fernández ends her second and final term, as Presidential elections are scheduled for 25 October 2015. (more…)