Ah, the long weekend. The enemy of keeping up with news outside of your Instagram feed: even more so when the weekend starts on Friday, meaning that the ensuing Monday has an extra bite to it as you fight your way back to the reality vis-a-vis the office.
Never fear, for The Bubble is here to blast those feriado cobwebs away with a dose of relevant news. Let’s get started.
- In case you’re one of those people who enjoy having the day off without Googling about the national holiday, last Friday was the Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice, commemorating those killed during the military dictatorship that took place in Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Emotions often run high on March 24th and after several clashes with the government over the past year, this time was no exception. The leaders of the Grandmothers and Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Hebe de Bonafini and Estela de Carlotto, insulting each other and the government. Bonafini told the crowd at Plaza de Mayo to “Stop being democratic to play nice. I [defecate] on nice people. I’m not nice. We can’t be nice, we can’t not throw insults.” There were some pretty strong insults for President Mauricio Macri, too. In addition, a speech was read out by the Abuelas and other human rights organizations which heavily criticized the government: “Nothing, much less the State, can question the fact that there were 30,000 victims.” Several government officials have, on different occasions, raised their doubts on the veracity on this generally accepted number. Read more: Hebe de Bonafini And Estela De Carlotto Spar Over Relationship With The Government
- Meanwhile, the government did not host an event to mark the Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice. Macri, who is in the Netherlands, posted in Facebook stating that “Human rights have no owner” (or perhaps “Human rights are not Peronist/Kirchnerite.” But who’s reading between the lines?) and the opening paragraph of the Nunca Más report on the disappeared. Human Rights Secretary Claudio Avruj criticized the march in Plaza de Mayo, calling it an act of “opposition, not of remembrance,” and Carlotto dared him to “say those terrible things to her face.”
- Speaking of Macri in the Netherlands, he and First Lady Juliana Awada were unexpectedly invited by King William Alexander and the queen, Argentine Máxima Zorreguieta to spend the weekend at their royal family residence Kasteel Het Oude Loo in Apeldoorn (which allegedly has Argentine plants in the garden) before the official itinerary began today. The invitation was made outside of the normal protocol (gasp!) and can’t have been a bad way to ride out the aftermath of an awkward Day of Remembrance for the President.
- Argentines allegedly spent approximately US$ 2.07 million (an average of US$690 per person) in Chile over the long weekend. That’s a lot of clothes from H&M. The numbers come from the Argentine Chamber of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (CAME), which warned that sales went down in Argentina “because of competition from places like Chile, where many Argentines went for “shopping tours” to make the most of the more competitive prices. Plus [between March 24 and 26] there were 30 percent discounts for anyone that presented their ID card.” There were kilometers of cars crossing the Andes, making for queues of up to five hours. That’s commitment to shopping.
- Once again, the political TV show La Cornisa presented documents that allegedly put Lázaro Báez (the controversial businessman at the center of the massive money laundering case named after him) in more hot water. The new evidence allegedly shows that Báez adulterated public documents in order to camouflage laundered money and property, including a US $300,000 donation to his son Leandro and the supposed sale of his daughter’s apartment for US $40,000. To do this, Báez would have needed the help of a notary, in this case Leandro Albornoz, who is also being investigated. On Thursday, the host of La Cornisa, Luis Majul, had his keys stolen from his car: he changed the vehicle’s locks and those of the production company where the car was parked, later tweeting that “The theft wasn’t a coincidence. If this was done to paralyze us, they are sorely mistaken.”
- Onto some sport, Juan Martín Del Potro beat Robin Haase from the Netherlands in the Miami Open 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday night. He is now in the third round and set to play against Swiss Roger Federer today. They’ve played against each other twenty times, but it’s the first time the pair will meet since 2013. Vamos Delpo!
- Also in sport, Argentine coach Edgardo Bauza told the media that “As long as we keep winning, let them criticize” in reference to his remarks last week praising the Argentine football team for it’s “brilliant” performance against Chile, when everyone else considered that they played really badly. Seriously, everyone else. Even though they won. Read more: Edgardo Bauza Says Argentina Was Brilliant Last Night. Is He Serious?
- Radical lawmaker Elisa Carrió surprised everyone with tweets telling the world that “[She] got married in the North [of the country]!” showing pictures of her in white with flowers and a man with a conveniently covered face. She later revealed that it had been a joke, but she was present at the wedding of a fellow Radical. Still really, really random, though.
Me casé en el norte!?? pic.twitter.com/fzMKfaZdHs
— Elisa Lilita Carrió (@elisacarrio) March 26, 2017
Con las damas de honor! pic.twitter.com/HcH1KE8IlJ
— Elisa Lilita Carrió (@elisacarrio) March 26, 2017
- And finally, if nothing of the above was a good conversation starter, here are Clarín’s Optimism Indexes! The information compiled by the consulting firm Management and Fit show ab it of a downturn for the government politically, decreasing by 1.2 points to 32.1 percent. The economic index rose by 0.5 points, however.
Go forth and show yourselves to be well informed, my loyal Monday readers!