On Monday night, former Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman boarded an American Airlines flight to New York, Infobae reported. He has been suffering from cancer, and so was headed to New York’s Mountain Sinai Medical Center for experimental treatment.
Timerman first tried to go to New York for treatment on January 9, but as he boarded the plane, authorities notified him that his visa had been revoked. The US reinstated his visa in early February, after the Argentine government appealed to the US embassy.
Why did the US revoke his visa in the first place? Well, while the US government decided to not give any reason for this, it didn’t take much time for most people to believe it was related to the AMIA case.
Timerman was one of the high-profile figures in the Kirchner administration who was indicted last December by Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio for allegedly seeking to cover up Iranian responsibility for the bombing of a Jewish community center (AMIA) in Buenos Aires in 1994.
In addition to this, he was placed under house arrest (and not prison, due to his cancer) for the indictment.
A different federal judge, Sergio Torres, had actually approved Timerman to leave the country for the experimental health treatment, but it was the US who made the decision to revoke.
This is likely due to the US’s fraught relationship with the Kirchner administration, according to Infobae.
Although the former foreign minister and his wife Annabella Selecki declined to comment, he has been reported to look “stressed,” both due to his deteriorating health, and his political turmoil.
Yesterday morning, Timerman’s lawyer Alejandro Rúa published an official statement on his behalf:
“I am traveling to the US for experimental cancer treatments. I go thinking about the cause of AMIA. I think about the 85 victims, the more than 200 injured. Today only two individuals accuse me of treason against the country, and those two plus the DAIA [Delegation for Argentine-Israeli Association] for the cover-up. I don’t know what pains me more, the cancer or the squalid offense of this accusation. It all hurts, it hurts too much.”