Posts Tagged ‘Argentina’

Soft coups: A textbook case in Argentina

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

cristina_fernandez_0801[Translation of an article from El Clarín de Chile of Santiago for February 22, 2015. See original here.]

By Guillermo Almeyra

The new kind of coups d’état don’t use armies but are formally institutional. President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras was ousted by parliament, as was Bishop Fernando Lugo, the president of Paraguay. Rafael Correa in Ecuador experienced an attempted coup by the police; Evo Morales in Bolivia was subjected to one by the oligarchies that ruled the eastern regions; Hugo Chávez, one by the bureaucrats and technocrats who controlled the petroleum company PDVSA, the country’s source of currency, and his successor, Nicolás Maduro, an attempt by big business, organizers of the hoarding of essential goods and illegal capital flight.

Dilma Rousseff, in turn, is currently facing a campaign for impeachment and Cristina Fernández in Argentina has faced, successively, speculation against the peso to force devaluation, a judicial attack in the United States by the vulture funds to provoke a wave of collections that would force Argentina into bankruptcy and, since January, preparations for a judicial coup based on the dubious suicide of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. In an incoherent proceeding lacking any proof and refuted by Interpol, the latter had charged the president and her foreign affairs minister with covering up for the Iranians, who had supposedly organized the July 18, 1994, attack on the Asociación Israelita Argentina (AMIA – Argentine Jewish Association), which resulted in 85 deaths and 300 injuries. (more…)

The conservative restoration in Latin America

Monday, September 8th, 2014

[Translation of an editorial from Página12 of Buenos Aires for September 6, 2014. See original here.]

By Emir Sader

The failure of the military coup against the government of Hugo Chávez in 2002 left the Latin American Right practically disarmed in the face of the proliferating progressive governments of the continent. Since then, it has managed to regain only two governments through bloodless coups – those of Honduras and Paraguay – where the processes of change had not yet managed to gain strength.

But there are signs of a rebuilding of conservative forces in countries on the continent with progressive governments. The threats to continuity in countries like Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, as well as the problems faced in Venezuela, and, in a different way, even in Ecuador, indicate a phenomenon of this kind.

What do these conservative attacks consist of and how are they carried out? (more…)

Argentina: The Malvinas in memory

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

“The truth about the Malvinas is that they are a major NATO nuclear and military base in the South Atlantic”

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for April 4, 2014. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

During the observation of the Day of the Malvinas Veteran, President Cristina Kirchner reaffirmed Argentina’s sovereignty over the archipelago and declared that the motive for the United Kingdom’s maintaining control of the territory, “one of the most militarized in the world,” is because they “control their entire military deployment” from there, as well as “their system of electronic intelligence.” She revealed further that the government is seeking the identification of “143 unidentified bodies of Argentines who gave their lives for us” and who are in the Darwin cemetery, and she also presented a drawing of the new 50-peso bill, which features an illustration of the islands.

“The truth about the Malvinas is that they are the largest NATO military and nuclear base in the South Atlantic,” declared the president during a ceremony in the Casa de Gobierno to honor the combatants killed in the war by which the last military dictatorship attempted to recuperate the islands in 1982. “History shows that colonial enclaves are always recovered in the end. I have unlimited confidence in history and in the people that they will be recovered,” the president declared to former combatants and national and provincial officials. (more…)

Argentina: Three Ford executives indicted for involvement in kidnapping of 24 workers

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for May 21, 2013. See original here.]

The automobile company executives were indicted by San Martín federal judge Alicia Vence on charges of “having arranged the means necessary to identify and point out” union representatives and employees who were then kidnapped. They are further charged with “having allowed a detention center to be set up inside the factory building.”

Those charged, who are not being held in preventive detention, are Pedro Müller, former production manager, Guillermo Galárraga, former labor relations manager, and Héctor Sibilla, former head of security. The three were summoned for an inquiry in late March but refused to testify. The judge explained that the president of Ford in Argentina, Nicolás Enrique Julián Courard, would also have been cited for indictment but the court received notice of his death in 1989 in Chile. (more…)

Thatcher, the legacy

Friday, April 12th, 2013

x thatcherpinochet[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for April 9, 2013. See original here.]

by Pedro Miguel

The first instance of Thatcherism took place six years before Margaret Thatcher arrived at the head of the British government; specifically, it began on September 11, 1973, when a group of military men — urged on by Richard Nixon, his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, then Vice President Gerald Ford and George Bush, senior, who was serving as Washington’s representative to the UN — destroyed Chilean democracy, assassinated thousands of citizens, kidnapped, jailed and tortured tens of thousands. Tens of thousands more were to leave in exile. Once installed, the dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet dissolved Congress, declared political parties illegal and, a couple of years later, handed economic management over to a small group of post-graduates from the University of Chicago, where Milton Friedman was teaching, hence the name Chicago Boys: Sergio de Castro, José Piñera, Jorge Cauas, Pablo Barahona… (more…)

Argentina: A change of skin

Monday, March 18th, 2013

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for March 17, 2013.  See original here.]

The first press conference Pope Francis’ spokesman gave was for the purpose of detaching him from Jorge Mario Bergoglio, accused of turning two priests over to the ESMA [Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada]. Since the statements and the documents are incontestable, the method chosen was to discredit those who circulated them, characterizing this newspaper as leftist. The traditions were followed: it is the same thing that Bergoglio said about Jalics and Yorio to those who kidnapped them.

By Horacio Verbitsky

In his first meeting with the press after the election of the Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, his spokesman, Federico Lombardi, also a Jesuit, dismissed as old calumnies of the anti-clerical Left, spread by a newspaper characterized by defamatory campaigns, the allegations on the performance of the former provincial of the Company of Jesus during the Argentine dictatorship and, especially, the role he played in the disappearance of two priests under him, Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics. Argentine opposition media and politicians at the same time included the article “Un Ersatz,” published in this paper the day after the papal election, among Kirchnerista reactions to Bergoglio’s enthronement.  In addition, a sector of the governing party chose to acclaim him as “Argentine and Peronista,” the same slogan with which José Rucci is remembered every September, and to deny the incontestable facts. (more…)

Argentine justice system puts Videla and Bignone on the dock

Saturday, March 9th, 2013


((Jorge Videla, left, and Reynaldo Bignone))

Both ex-dictators and more than 20 other defendants will be tried for their part in the persecution and detention of opponents under Plan Cóndor

[Translation of an article from El Observador of Montevideo, Uruguay, for March 4, 2013. See original here.]

The Argentine justice system on Tuesday will bring to trial ex-dictators Jorge Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Bignone for their alleged responsibility for the persecution and detention of opponents under “Plan Cóndor,” which involved the cooperation of Southern Cone dictatorships in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Among the 25 defendants in the evidentiary hearing for crimes against humanity are also the former minister of the interior of the Argentine dictatorship of 1976 to 1983, Albano Harguindeguy, and ex-Generals Luciano Benjamín Menéndez, Antonio Bussi, Santiago Riveros and Ramón Díaz Bessone. (more…)

Argentina: Petroleum workers speak out on Repsol management and the current outlook

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for June 8, 2012. See original here and related article here.]

by Sebastián Premici

“I never understood why they privatized it. What they did with the oil fields was terrible, we could see that, but we did not know the whole of it. The business had very good economic results, you could see it on the books, but none of it stayed here.” Omar Stocco is a chemical engineer and plant manager of the YPF refinery in Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza. He has worked for the company for 25 years and was a witness to the whole process of privatization. Now, at 52, he will be in charge of security at the refinery, which currently produces 13,000 cubic meters of fuel. But he will also be a witness to the new managerial and political change in the petroleum company. “Everything is in place for things to be done well,” he declared. (more…)

US establishes new military bases in South America

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for May 15, 2012. See original here.]

by Indira Carpio Olivo and Ernesto J. Navarro

On March 24, 2012, the web site published a story from four days earlier, taken from, stating that the governor of the province of El Chaco was granting permission for installation by the [United States] Southern Command of a military base in that Argentine territory.

The story reads, “The building, which will be inaugurated this month, is located on the grounds of the airport in Resistencia, the capital of the northern province of El Chaco, is in the final stage of construction and will be the first such operations center in Argentina. All that is lacking is to equip it with information technology and then to turn over the facility and to finish with the training of personnel,” says Colonel Edwin Passmore of the Southern Command, who had met weeks earlier with Governor Jorge Capitanich.” (more…)

Argentina: Repsol YPF awakens the beast of colonialism

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for April 21, 2012. See original here.]

By Marcos Roitmann Rosenmann

Measures taken to nationalize and to recuperate basic riches in Latin America or Africa or Asia have always suffered the ire of colonial centers and the enterprises affected. There is no shortage of examples: Lázaro Cárdenas, Jacobo Arbenz, Fidel Castro, Omar Torrijos, Velasco Alvarado, Salvador Allende, Evo Morales, Hugo Chávez; the list is long.

Accustomed to ordering and to being in charge, arrogant empires are unfamiliar with the concepts of independence and sovereignty. They are reluctant to deal as equals. Paternalism, based on positions of strength, shapes the discourse of imperial haughtiness. To declare oneself opposed to paternal authority and the established order usually brings on exemplary punishment: blockades, destabilizing processes, economic strangulation, assassinations of leaders or coups d’état. These days, the expropriation of a private company, Repsol YPF, whose interests are those only of their stockholders and whose objective is to obtain profits at the cost of any ethical, judicial or environmental consideration, awakens the ire of the hegemonic powers, their institutions and principal political leaders. (more…)

Argentina: The Malvinas are a white elephant

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

London admits that the conflict is clear-cut

[Translation of a column from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for March 29, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here. April 2 marks the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the war between Argentina and England over the Malvinas Islands, known in Great Britain as the Falklands. The British won the war but Argentina still claims sovereignty over the islands. And here Atahualpa Yupanqui reads “La Hermanita Perdida.”]

By Martín Granovsky

Unless all its functionaries have a command of the language worthy of Winston Churchill, but not his political acumen, the British foreign service admitted yesterday that the question of the Malvinas is “a white elephant.” In an Asian tradition that the foreign office knows well, a white elephant is something difficult to care for, at a cost disproportionate to the advantages it offers.

According to diplomats in the region consulted by this newspaper, the expression was used by Jeremy Browne, Foreign Office Minister, a position equivalent to that of vice-chancellor, representing in this case several areas, one of them Latin America. Browne, a member of the administration of the conservative David Cameron, spoke during a working breakfast with all the Latin American diplomats only five days before April 2, the 30th anniversary of a maneuver by the Argentine dictatorship that consolidated the power of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party. (more…)

Active in the Honduran resistance, he is now in political exile in Argentina

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

An interview with Guillermo Padilla Amador

[Abridged translation of an interview from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for September 19. See original here.]

by Gustavo Veiga

In Honduras, he took part in the resistance movement against the coup that deposed President Manuel Zelaya and a year later he had to seek exile. Despite the fact that Zelaya returned to Honduras and there is now an elected government, dozens of opponents have been assassinated with the coming of a wave of supposed street violence.

Why did you have to go into exile in Argentina after fighting for a year against the coup d’état against Manuel Zelaya in Honduras?

Because there are disguised political assassinations in my country and the Honduran army has the best advisers, Colombians as well as Israelis, for carrying them out. Singers of popular music are turning up run over by cars or activists done away with, with their pants pockets turned out. Street violence has been increased deliberately to cover up political assassinations. The Porfirio Lobo government has allowed these deaths. Fourteen journalists have been assassinated in Honduras during his government. That’s why I’m not going back. (more…)