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Posts Tagged ‘Argentina’

On this day in 1952, Maria Eva Duarte de Perón succembed to cancer.  She was 33 years old, the most powerful woman in Argentina,  and among the most well-known women on earth at the time.

Known affectionately to her people as Evita, she was a champion for workers, women, and children.  Her working class supporters, the descamisados (shirtless ones) fiercely defended her work and her policies.

She ran for Vice President beside her husband, the incumbent President Juan Domingo Perón but had to withdraw due to her ill health (and military opposition).  Still today she is a revered figure in Argentina.
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On 9 April 1951, Golda Meir, then Labor Minister of Israel, met with Eva Perón to thank her for the aid the Eva Perón Foundation had given to Israel.

Perón was ousted in 1954.  He remarried and returned to Argentina in 1973.  He ran once again for president that year with his wife Isabel Martinez de Perón as his running mate and was victorious.  When he passed away on July 1, 1974, Isabel Perón became the first woman president. Yes, the first – anywhere! 

Isabelita ícono.jpg

Isabel (who preferred to be called Isabelita) admired Evita, had accompanied Evita’s body, long hidden in an Italian cemetery, back to Argentina, and returned her body to the Duarte family.

Her presidency was troubled.  Isabel lacked Evita’s vision and resources.  She was overthrown on March 24, 1976 in a military coup that heralded the long, terrible “dirty war” in Argentina.  Tens of thousands were disappeared  – the desaparecidos – and, yes, to disappear became a transitive verb even in English.

Isabel now resides in Spain.

Evita’s body rests in Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.  People still visit her tomb, pray, and leave flowers.

Today we remember Evita and wonder what might have been

You can read about Evita and learn about her work here at the  Eva Perón Historical Research Foundation founded by Evita’s great-niece María Cristina Alvarez Rodriguez.

 

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This was the statement.

U.S. Position on the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands

Taken Question

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 20, 2012

QUESTION: Does the U.S. take a position on the recent posturing between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the Falklands?

ANSWER: This is a bilateral issue that needs to be worked out directly between the governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom. We encourage both parties to resolve their differences through dialogue in normal diplomatic channels.

We recognize de facto United Kingdom administration of the islands but take no position regarding sovereignty.

I was impressed that both the U.K. and the Argentine appellations were used , and I thought the final sentence stated a very clear position given that both countries are allies of ours.  We do not have a dog in this fight (or should I say “show?”).

Today I came upon this commentary on Commentary:

Obama Sending Wrong Message on the Falklands.

Robert C. O’Brien, a former American representative to the UN, argues today in The Diplomat that the Obama administration has again turned its back on the United Kingdom in its dispute with Argentina over the Falklands. This is a rather easy call–British sovereignty there is lawful and the clear choice of Falklands residents. But Argentina is stirring up trouble there once again, and O’Brien suggests Obama’s behavior is indefensible and will have consequences:

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What got Seth Mandel all fired up was this lengthy diatribe by Robert C. O’Brien in  The Diplomat.

The Diplomat Blogs

Obama’s Falklands Failure

With the world’s attention focused on Bashar al-Assad’s violent suppression of the Syrian civilian uprising, and with the increasing likelihood of a strike by Israel to thwart Iran’s relentless drive to obtain nuclear weapons, perhaps the most underreported international story is the increasingly heated dispute between Britain and Argentina in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is an unfolding issue that could say much about the way the U.S. handles its alliances, including those in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Both Mandel, and O’Brien cite O’Brien as a former representative to the U.N., neither specifies which administration he represented.  I might have guessed.

Robert C. O’Brien is an American attorney who was nominated[1] by President George W. Bush on November 10, 2005 and confirmed by the US Senate as the US Alternate Representative to the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which met in New York

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Clearly I was not following our foreign policy at the time with anything like the devotion I have accorded it since a certain brilliant, hard-working charmer took over as our top diplomat.

What advantage would be gained by U.S. interference in this disagreement is no clearer today than it was in 1982.  Of course the British subjects who are residents going back 175 years want to remain under what we term de facto U.K. administration in much the same way that the Protestants in Northern Ireland want to remain part of the Commonwealth.

Naturally, the Argentines feel that their Malvinas are an occupied territory colonized by the British.  Is there some other way of explaining how these islands came to be under British rule?

All who visit these pages know that I am not one to defend President Obama easily, and I certainly see the fingerprints of his Secretary of State, whom I admire (to put it very mildly), all over our policy on the issue.

While Mandel and O’Brien rant over our unwillingness to intrude,  I happen to like our clear, concise position as stated in the January 19 press briefing.   We have no reasons to stick our nose where it does not belong.

You know me well enough by now to be certain that I will not be ending a post like this  – especially since I am defending President Obama (!) without something from the awesome Hillary Rodham Clinton  – a picture, a quote – something!  Here is a video of her remarks on the matter during her visit to the Casa Rosada on March 2, 2010 as they were published here.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the Falklands/Malvinas

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Had she lived, Eva Peron would have turned 91 today. While she lived, she received a good deal of bad press here in the U.S. as well as in the U.K., but to many, many Argentines, she was not the monster she was made out to be. She accomplished many wonderful works, especially for the poor and disenfranchised. She had a special love of children, and established homes, schools, and clinics for their care. Considered ambitious (not a good connotation in Spanish) by some, she probably would have been better described as driven to improve the lives of the working poor.

All of this may ring somewhat familiar to readers here, and if it does, that explains why I have always felt that calling Hillary Rodham Clinton our American Evita was never an insult or a bad thing. We waited a long time to have one. Evita blessed Argentina during the generation of Hillary’s mother.

I would like to introduce readers to The Official Eva Peron Website, run by her grandniece, Cristina Alvarez Rodriguez.  Here you can read the true story of Evita Peron, not a movie or musical version, her real story.

Happy Birthday, Evita!

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Ohhh! So as Secretary Clinton prepares to take off for Montevideo and other parts south, THIS raises its ugly head once again. The blame, for now,   is being laid on Obama, but Hillary will be the one taking the flak to be sure.  This is certain to end up in her pretty hands.

In a February 25 blog post at CDR Salamander:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

You can’t vote “present” to history ….

It can only be his personal antimosity towards the British that we have seen over an over that can explain this – especially when the British spent the better part of a decade backing our play.It was a headline I never expected to read: “US refuses to endorse British sovereignty in Falklands oil dispute.” Washington has declined to back Britain in its dispute with Argentina over drilling rights in the waters surrounding the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands. President Obama’s position is one of strict neutrality, refusing to take sides. According to the State Department:

We are aware not only of the current situation but also of the history, but our position remains one of neutrality. The US recognises de facto UK administration of the islands but takes no position on the sovereignty claims of either party.

Salamander goes on to quote Toby Young in this Telegraph article: Et tu, Barack? America betrays Britain in her hour of need

Her hour of need?  What is this?  The Battle of Britain? We have always been there in Britain’s hour of need. I actually was out of the country the last time this sovereignty issue exploded into battle. One Haitian radio station spent the entire war playing Argentine tangos, milongas, and the Wolfe Tones of Ireland singing their tribute to countryman Guillermo Brown, founder of the Argentine Navy. It just seemed natural for the Irish to back Argentina against Britain on this issue.   For anyone who does not remember this war, here is a concise history of the events: The Falklands War.

Now maybe the U.K. is still smarting from Obama ousting Churchill from the Oval Office, but this administration is hardly inimical to the U.K.  Secretary Clinton has gone so far out of her way to be cordial to P.M. Brown and the U.K. Foreign Minister David Miliband that there actually has been speculation of flirtation and crushing.

Now, based on our close friendship and history, the U.K. wants us on their side.  Well, here is how it went down the first time:  We did remain neutral in the beginning,  and the late Secretary of State Alexander Haig did his level best from a neutral position to negotiate between the parties, but the diplomatic approach failed.   Reagan agreed to provide limited military assistance to his dear friend Maggie Thatcher.  The British prevailed, and the Argentines rose up against the military junta, the president of Argentina resigned sounding the death knell of the junta and  opening the door to resumed democratic elections.

I suppose history could repeat itself.  I suppose our Homegirl-in-Chief could follow the Haig route and shuttle back and forth between BA and London.  Just guessing, but it is probable that her charm goes a little further with David and Gordon than with Cristina Kirchner who is somewhat pissed with us also for not taking their side.   But assistant Secretary Valenzuela was pretty terse and clear at the briefing: “We will not be discussing the Falklands issue with them. This is a matter for Argentina and for Britain. And it’s not a matter for the United States to make a judgment on.”


Personally, I agree with neutrality on this.  I do not think we should be taking sides in a dispute between our friends, and we badly need friends in The Cone.  Badly!

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