It was a night to remember. As 2,000 people tried to enjoy wine and salmon canapés at the Independence Day festivities in the official residence of the Brazilian ambassador in the City of Buenos Aires, a small group of protesters tried to interrupt the party. Anyone who stepped outside onto the balcony — and at times that seemed like half the party — could easily hear demonstrators outside who called Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment a “coup.”
As diplomats, journalists and even government officials (including Security Minister Patricia Bullrich) strolled in to the ambassador’s residence in the Recoleta neighborhood, protesters were there to make it clear this wouldn’t be just a normal independence day celebration. “Out with Temer,” the protesters chanted, in reference to Michel Temer, who was sworn into office last week. The protesters also played a song especially written for the event and made a lot of noise to distract those invited to the celebration. More impressively though, they also managed to project the words “Out with Temer” as well as photos of Rousseff on the residence itself.
The protesters are part of a movement calling itself Passarinho that is behind most of the protests that have taken place in Buenos Aires against the impeachment. They didn’t think there was much reason to celebrate yesterday and they called the cocktail celebration “a party for a few.”
In addition to celebrating independence day, the shindig also served as a farewell party for Ambassador Everton Vieira Vargas who, after three years in Buenos Aires, is leaving to serve as the head of the Brazilian delegation for the European Union in Brussels.
Inside, many discretely expressed their discomfort with Temer’s government and Rousseff’s ousting and said they were attending the party as a way to say goodbye to Vieira Vargas, an ambassador popular with numerous attendees. Others preferred to focus on their caipirinhas rather than on the political controversy.
Michel Temer is scheduled to come to Buenos Aires on October 3. Protesters have vowed to carry out protests during his visit, which will be more than a bit uncomfortable for President Mauricio Macri. It will undoubtedly be a bit of a tricky visit for Macri and his foreign relations team. The date, some officials said, was picked by the Brazilian authorities without any consultations with the Argentine government. But Macri’s administration was one of the few in the region to say the process that ousted Rousseff was legitimate and carried out within the boundaries of the law. What that means for Temer’s visit to Buenos Aires remains to be seen.