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UPDATED Argentina's government is no fan of Marco Rubio

@PatriciaMazzei

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio had harsh words this week for the government of Argentina. In questions to the Obama administration's nominee to become U.S. ambassador, the Florida Republican said he doesn't consider Argentina an "ally" -- or that its government is a "mature democracy."

"Elections alone do not make you a democracy," Rubio said, noting President Cristina Kirchner's government interfering with the Argentine judicial system and press freedom.

"There is a very high likelihood that if you are confirmed, while you are in that post, you are going to have another similar collapse in Argentina to what you saw economically just a decade ago," he added.

The remarks Thursday by Rubio and Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who chairs the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, came during questioning of Noah Bryson Mamet, who has been nominated to the ambassadorship.

In Argentina, the government took notice.

On Friday, the foreign minister and a Cabinet chief both reacted angrily to the senators' remarks.

"In Argentina, the citizens and residents enjoy full democracy and social inclusion," Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich said, according to the AP. "So what I would like to communicate to this Republican legislator is that he have respect for the offices that each of us have, just as we have respect for the United States."

One Argentine newspaper, La Nación (The Nation), published a piece in Spanish titled, "Who is Marco Rubio, the American senator critical of Argentina."

That piece, and several others, included a purported Rubio quote in which he compared Argentina to North Korea. However, Rubio made no mention of North Korea in Thursday's hearing (view his remarks, culled by Rubio's office, here, and the full hearing here).

He and Menendez did, however, compare Argentina to "growing authoritarianism" in places like Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

FEB. 10 UPDATE: La Nación has admitted it erroneously reported Rubio's remarks, chalking up the mistake to a "transcription error," according to the AP

Comments

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Ed Jenkins

The citizens agree that Argentina's political leaders have been a horrible group showing the maturity of small children when it comes to dealing with important fiscal issues and their citizens have suffered greatly. This terrible fiscal management and its effects should be an example to those who do not see the importance of the exemplary fiscal stewardship of this scott who was initially doubted as a political novice but has won over the citizens with his fiscal stewardship.

robert dollar

dude...we in the hood are cool with anyone who scams Medicare out of busloads of benjamins, takes the fifth over 50 times when deposed and buys his way into the governorship of Florida...its the way business is done on the street in brain dead F L A....

p

After a whole history of internal warfare, foreign invasions, multiple genocides, of being run by corrupt, authoritarian, foreign friendly and racist regimes and military dictatorships, and after decades of social and economical nose-diving, Argentina went from a total industrial, financial, economical, political and social final collapse in 2001, to, in a single decade, have a fully functioning democracy, clean, with high numbers of voters, elections, freedom of speech, having the lowest unemployment levels, less social disparity, highest public and private sector wages, more access to education and health for its inhabitants than any other Latin American nation, the major economical growth in its history, all with the same political alliance and project in power, after being elected and re-elected, twice, continuously, with a major distance ahead of any other rival in every election, and still today with major levels of approval than any other party or politician. All of this being accomplished with no financial "assistance", even less the "approval", and for the first years the outright hostility, of all foreign financial "institutions".
Marco Rubio is repeating, exactly word by word, what the IMF, Vulture Funds, and it's Argentinean cronies, direct beneficiaries and nostalgics of the last Genocidal military dictatorship and Milton Friedman's "Theories", have been "predicting", wishing, and plotting to accomplish, every day, for this last decade.

Miguel

While Senator Rubio seems completely uninformed of how the system in Argentina is run, the portrait of the person that wrote unter the name of "p" is also highly wrong. First of all, situation in Argentina before the "marvelous" government that we have now was never as this person says. We were not invaded by foreign troops since 1865, when Paraguayan units of the Dictator Solano Lopez invaded one of our northern provinces and forced us into a war that the "revisionists" (basically, pre-scientific cripto-fascist pseudo-historians and their believers). Its true that we had many authoritarian governments, military dictatorships and economical nose-diving periods, but few or none of those were in fact produced by foreign-friendly politics (or we would have more friends!! LOL) but for self-serving political elites that struggled for control of the vast, and mostly unused, resources of our country, the 7th more extense of the world. But Mr. Rubio is bloody wrong in an important point: Democratical institutions a stronger in Argentina than he likes to think, and unlike "p" says, they have a long history of its building; in fact, the current government tried, but was incapable of, intervene on the Judicial System because of the strength of our institutios. Problem is, those self-serving elites i mentioned earlier were always ready to subvert those institutions in their favor, often not really destroying them but impeding them to react. One of those elites was Peronism, a political party that was a highly succesful abuser of the Democratic system since their founder, General Peron, a fascist-fanboy that came to power just after the crushing defeat that the fascism suffered in 1945 and thus have to come with a more "friendly" style of the same nationalistic, elite-favoring, people´s-hypnotizer power structure, often called "populism" (nothing but a non-aristocratic, popular-supported right-winged party, like most fascisms were). A BRanch of this Party is what rule the country now, like another Branch ruled in the "liberal" nineties, because peronism is an umbrella of many different political styles that only have in common the intention to stay in power undefinitly. The "Civil War" that "p" mentions was in fact a clash between the more "populists" branch of peronism, making Terrorists attacks, and a neo-conservative state-terrorist military government supported by the more reactionary branch of the same party. There were about 30.000 deaths (that both sides attribute to the other), but most of the population remained un-afected. The current people in power are descendants, many of them actual members, of the non-state terrorists. Argentina was a growing country since at least the last half of WW1, and that the current government favored Health, Education and Employement is a blatant lie. As it is that these aspects are in their best shape in history: at the very best, they were put again on their historical levels, but in fact they are being heavily damaged. Hospitals budget declined with respect of population growth at the same rate that in the "neo-liberal" nineties (were another, more tea-party-friendly branch of peronism ruled). Education is a disaster, with also low budgets but also reformations that points to deprive us from the excellence that our universities had in the past. Our "nose-diving" results in tests like SOPA and rate of our universities is a good way to see how far we are fallig in this. This feature its not of this government only but was a rule since the "famed" 70s, advanced at different paces. This false "left-sided" government that we have in power also attacked laboral rights (for example, a recent disaster in labor assurance) also following the path marked in the 90s, with this same government in appearance condems. Many of these terrible laws are made without public knowledge and allied with their supposed "opposition". Otherwise, the government just followed a similar model that President Chavez in Venezuela, with harsg treatment of opposition, NO industrial development, concentration of wealth (in hands of government clients, our distribution of wealth is much, much worse than in the 80s, please check), and taking the state resources basically from taxing the few activities that manage to grow in this hostile environment,suffocating them for further growing. Its true that we have a GDP higher than ever, mostly by the natural advance of world economics that were not that badly damage here, but with ever-growing bureaucracy and illegal client-systems the distribution of wealth is worse than ever, and all of them is in hands of non-productive, non-dinamic elites that basically acts the same as colonial elites in the early 19th century, keeping the system small for them being able to dominate it more easily. So, Marcos Rubio, thank you, we have a shitload of problems and you blame us all for the disasters of our government. Tell us that we dont know how to vote, but not that we are a rogue people because that would be a horrible lie.

PJ Blogger

supporters of the Argentine government ? people seem to want to defend any level of stupidity at home as well as abroad

Don

"than any other Latin American nation" in other words, Argentina won the "World's tallest midget" contest.

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