A View From Cuba: The Carnivorous Left And Obama’s Visit To Argentina / 14ymedio, Rene Gomez Manzano

The president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, received President Barack Obama Wednesday in the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (EFE)
The president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, received President Barack Obama Wednesday in the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, Rene Gomez Manzano, 25 March 2016 – After his historic visit to Cuba, United States President Barack Obama traveled to Buenos Aires for an official visit with his Argentine counterpart Mauricio Macro. It would be hard to imagine two scenarios more dissimilar than those encountered by the American president on the Caribbean island and in the Rio de la Plata country.

In Cuba, regardless of the efforts now made by both sides to normalize relations that have been poisoned for half a century, deep differences remain between the veteran Castro government, totalitarian by vocation, and the United States, world champion of democracy and free enterprise. Nevertheless, during the visit the parties addressed these differences in a very diplomatic way.

In Argentina, however, Obama was meeting with a leader newly installed in power, who shares the same basic ideas and has begun his term with his sleeves rolled up, doing everything he can to bring order to the country’s economy and government so that the country can emerge from the difficulties created by the previous governments.

An example of this is the massive layoffs. Former President Kirchner and her allies are raising the roof, crying foul about the layoffs of workers. Those who know the reality know that the bulk of those dismissed are featherbedders: individuals whose principal (if not only) task is to show up every month to collect their wages.

As for the current visit, it is true that there is a certain asymmetry: the American president has less than a year left in the White House, while the time Macri has been in the presidential palace in Buenos Aires is less than that. But this difference does not appear important in a relationship that, according to all indications, they aim to further strengthen in the long term.

During Obama’s stay in the Argentina capital a chorus from the radical left arose, both in the country he was visiting and in the rest of Latin America, virulently critical of the trip and of the United States president.

A leader of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo described his visit as “a provocation and an absurdity.” In the heat of sectarianism, the ladies even to reached a consensus to attend the tribute where, it was announced, Obama would pay homage to the tens of thousands of victims of Argentina’s military dictatorship. That is, to the children, grandchildren, sons- and daughters-in-law of the bellicose elderly.

Kirchner’s allies also joined in this attitude of rejection and condemnation, it couldn’t have been otherwise given the Chavez-style propaganda ministry that goes by the name Telesur (a multi-government sponsored television network), whose star commentator, Walter Martinez, praised to excess a journalist’s question to Obama about military regimes in the seventies. Not content with that, Martinez bitterly criticized the skillful response by the American president.

One would have to be blind not to see the double standards applied by all the apologists of socialism. In Cuba it seemed very correct “not to mention the rope in the house of the hanged man.” But in Argentina they considered it a betrayal that the illustrious visitor preferred to focus on the future, instead of dedicating himself to clarifying the past.

Particularly since, even if the American governments of the time were not openly hostile to the Argentine coup leaders, the determining factor for the human rights violations that were perpetrated was the will of Argentina’s own gorillas. And this will (although it does not justify the atrocities perpetrated) was a response to the subversion unleashed by those following in the path of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, eager to rise to power through blood and fire.

These carnivorous leftists don’t seem to see the glaring contradiction: On the one hand, they claim that Latin America is now truly free for the first time (thanks to them, as they claim). But on the other hand, they do not hesitate to virulently criticize the visit of the head of the world’s superpower, undertaken on an equal footing with one of these now free countries.