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Friday, March 25, 2005

The American Thinker on Argentina

A reader recently posted an article from the online publication The American Thinker about Argentina's advance to the left. In a nutshell, the article argues that Argentina is becoming far too close with Fidel Castro and moving away from friendly relations with the United States. There are some serious problems with some of the arguments made in this article, so I'd like to set the record straight on several points.

Refusing Asylum to Dissidents

The article alleges that Argentina is somehow at fault for refusing asylum to a Cuban dissident who took refuge in Argentina's Cuban embassy in Havana. However, since when is it Argentina's responsibility to provide asylum to Cuba's dissidents in its embassy? If a Chinese dissident ran to the American embassy in China, would we provide asylum? Not a chance. They wouldn't even get past the marine guards. An embassy exists to provide asylum to its own citizens when they're in trouble in a foreign country. If Argentina allowed all Cuban dissidents to seek refuge in its embassy, pretty soon relations between Cuba and Argentina would break down. Just because the United States still refuses to have normal relations with Cuba, doesn't mean the rest of the world should antagonize them.

Prosecuting Former Leaders

The article continues by saying, "The Argentine government also has targeted Argentina's only pro-American ex-president, Carlos Menem, a good friend and ally for his entire ten years in office, for repeated prosecutions. Not one of these actions is that of a friend of the U.S, but they all serve Fidel Castro's destructive agenda."

What they don't say is that there is evidence that Menem pilfered government coffers and stashed his loot in Swiss bank accounts. Additionally, Menem has fled to Chile rather than stay in Argentina and contest the charges. One can hardly blame Argentina for trying to stamp out corruption at the highest levels. Even if the investigation is politically motivated, what does it say about Menem that he refuses to stay and contest the charges against him?

I hope in the future that readers will read these kinds of opinion pieces with a more critical eye. Fellow US-based readers should understand that the "Washington Consensus" may not always be the right plan for every country. If a free and healthy and sovereign democracy wishes to pursue a leftist or socialist economic policy or further relations with Cuba, then who are we to tell them no?



Anonymous Editors Review said...

I understand your point of view when it comes to telling your fella americans why the US should stay away from other countries' business. Specially since you have planned to drop your US citizenship in the coming months.

However, your quick read of the article -which is correct in the assumption that Argentina has moved downright to the left- overlooks some important points.

Our conflictive history with the US (and the British empire) goes back to the 30's and beyond. Not the point of this comment but those who are interested should read about 'La Guerra de las Carnes' during tha period to understand how competitive our economy was to the US's at the time. Herein lies the root for the advancement of Peron, many decades later, who strongly opposed the US.

It is only recently that Argentina has looked the US eye to eye. It was basically Menem's job to ally with americans. Never before our country had made such attempts. At least, to the extent Menem did. Therefore, we have a long history of not acknowledging all policies coming from the North.

The article, surprisingly, fails to stress that this move to the left is not happening out of context. All over South America governments have embraced this new direction: Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and perhaps other countries in the World, such as Spain. The point is that what the article refers to may be an indication of something more vast and greater than what we could be simply witnessing as a whimsical President. Just a thought.

4/02/2005 03:37:00 PM  

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