Between Hillary and Cristina… / Miriam Celaya

Hillary and Cristina, from Wikipedia
Hillary and Cristina, from Wikipedia

On Saturday, April 21st, 2012, Granma published an angry article on page 3 with the title “Yankee Oligarchical Press was disrespectful to the President of Argentina”. The article restates the opinion of The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post criticizing Mrs. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s decision to nationalize 51% of the shares of the Repsol Oil Company, a subsidiary of the YPF Company.

The Wall Street Journal maintains that “Argentina should be taken out of the G-20*** until Fernández has the dignity to behave as a real head of state and not as a bully” and believes that ’”By stealing Repsol, Mrs. Kirchner seeks to take advantage of nationalist sentiments “and to use oil supplies and the media to feed the machinery of political patronage.” Meanwhile, according to Granma, The Washington Post “disrespected Fernández, calling her a populist, and accused her of distancing herself of the economic progress of her neighbors”. (Quotations taken directly from Granma).

Despite the limited and out-of-context information, I have the impression that the ones over there are not as mistaken in their considerations about the Argentine president, though, as usual, the most important newspaper of the olive green oligarchy deprives us Cubans on the Island of the opportunity to see with our own eyes the daily publications of the “Yankee financial oligarchy”. Especially as far as “populist” is concerned because, now, as Leopoldo Galtieri did when he was president de facto 20 years ago, with tragic results for the Southern Cone Nation, the arrogant and wholesome Cristina is stirring up nationalist feelings about the issue of the Islas Malvinas (or The Falkland Islands, depending on your point of view) while at the same time she is trying to export the British conflict to all of Latin America.

Anyway, it’s likely that I wouldn’t even have noticed such a “Yankee disrespect” highlighted in the Cuban press, were it not that just the day before, on Friday, April 20th, Granma had published a not-at-all friendly article on page 9 about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, entitled “In the wrong place? Clinton Partying Hardy in Cartagena”, by reporter Pedro de la Hoz, which passes judgment on the fact that 63-year-old Mrs. Clinton had the audacity to drink an “Águila” beer and dance a few salsa steps (rhumba steps, according to the official writer) in no less than a disco club named Havana during her stay in Colombia for the Americas Summit.

I do not know about you, but beyond radical political sympathies or considerations, I found pretty funny the image of Hillary enjoying herself. Far from ridicule, as was the obvious intention of the yeoman of the regime, he achieved exactly the opposite effect: a woman who, at the beautiful age of 63 forgets the importance of her public office and allows herself the freedom to enjoy a beer and catch a few Caribbean rhythms cannot but arouse my support. I get the sense of a happy image, and even the acknowledgment of a culture different than hers. I will be 53 this year, and I also like to drink a cold a beer every once in a while and shake my booty to the rhythm of salsa, dammit! That does not make me less respectable, but more human. And let the forever rule-makers, the embittered, the censors and detractors say whatever they please.

I just cannot imagine a person so stark and stiff as Kirchner partying, not even at the beat of a lively merengue or a delightful vallenato*, even in an elegant room dancing to the rhythm of a milonga** from the Río La Plata. But I won’t judge her, because not everyone is obligated to dance, but all this reminds me that we don’t have any reference that the Castros have ever moved to the rhythm of a cha-cha or a mambo. At the end of the day, this thing about criticizing the American seems only about musical preferences, because both the Argentinian president and the Caribbean brothers have applauded joyfully at such times when the donkey from Barinas [Hugo Chávez] has taken over microphones and brayed Venezuelan songs.

P.S.: For the Venezuelans who read me, I have absolutely no objection against their songs, only against the singer.

Translator’s notes:
*Colombian dance similar to the cumbia
**Argentinian dance similar to the tango
*** G-20, G20 or Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (also known as the G-20, G20, and Group of Twenty) is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies.

Translated by Norma Whiting

April 23 2012