1. Kreator says

    Historical notes, Part 1:
    The 80’s are ending, into the 90’s and beyond. The first president of Argentina’s nascent democratic era, Raúl Alfonsín of the Radical Party, is forced to resign five months early in 1989 due to a severe economic crisis that he is unable to placate. His successor is Carlos Saúl Menem, a Peronist (Picture #1). He was a Muslim, but converted to Catholicism because back then our Constitution required presidents to uphold the Roman Catholic faith. During his presidency, which would last ten years, he is given many nicknames including “The Turk” and “Méndez;” a popular superstition has it that pronouncing his real name brings bad luck. With the economic crisis which begun under Alfonsín still raging on, Menem decides to renege traditional Peronist policies and follow the Washington Concensus in an effort to bring back stability. A wave of privatizations of state enterprises follows; the national telephone company (ENTel) and Argentinian Airlines are among the first to go.

  2. Kreator says

    Historical notes, Part 2:

    Picture #2: More highlights from Menem’s era, a time in which Argentina became completely subservient to the whims of the US. The architects and enablers of the last military dictatorship receive presidential pardons. The Cóndor missile program is discontinued. From 1991 to 1995, Menem sells weapons illegally to Ecuador and Croatia. In order to cover up evidence of these acts, a munitions factory in the city of Río Tercero, Córdoba is sabotaged; the subsequent explosion devastates the town, killing seven people and injuring more than 300. To this day, Menem remains unprosecutable for this action, as he is a senator and has legislative privileges.

  3. Kreator says

    Historical notes, Part 3:

    Picture #3: The man behind the curtain is Domingo Cavallo. He was Menem’s Minister of Economy until 1996 and was called back to the job in 2001 by his successor, Fernando de la Rúa, who hoped he could counter two years of economic recession under his weakened coalition government. The move backfired completely: Cavallo’s economic measures proved so damaging and unpopular that violent protests and riots broke across the country. People would go out to the streets banging pots and pans, a form of protest that became known as “cacerolazo.” Amid the increasing tensions, Cavallo is forced to resign and president de la Rúa soon follows, infamously escaping from the House of Government in a helicopter to avoid facing the people’s wrath. A few temporal presidents are sworn in and replaced in quick succession, resulting in Argentina having a record five presidents in a single week (the five cards.) Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would make fun of this fact in an interview. Ha ha, you’re a riot Arnie.

    Picture #4: Top left: “yes to the mine.” References ongoing efforts to open our lands to mining activity by foreign companies, which would produce no long-term economic benefits while significantly damaging the environment. “No to the mine” is actually the rallying cry against these measures. Top center: the suit with the Che shirt underneath is Néstor Kirchner’s, the first democratically elected president after 2001’s crisis. A left-wing Peronist, he would push Argentina towards progressive causes, most significantly the annulment of the laws and pardons that protected members of the military from being prosecuted for their actions during the last dictatorship.

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