The fact that president Of the United States Barack Obama’s state visit to Argentina falls on March 24th — the Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice officially commemorating the beginning of the last military dictatorship — generated mixed feelings in the Argentine society.
On the one hand, some said the US president should refrain from coming to the country due to his country’s involvement in one of the darkest periods of Argentine history. In contrast, others welcomed the visit of the world leader and see it as an opportunity to acknowledge the past and move on. Moreover, a portion of those share this point of view also say the date is a coincidence that only happened because Obama had to come straight from his prior state visit to Cuba, which had been scheduled a while ago, and it’s not like the president of The U.S.A has a lot of free time.
For this reason, a lot of importance was allocated to the stance head of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo Estela de Carlotto would take on the issue, as hers is one of the most respected voices when it comes to human rights. In fact, some speculated she could meet Obama in the context of the president’s visit to the remembrance park on the 24th.
Prior to the state visit De Carlotto, who had already met with French Prime Minister François Hollande earlier this year, had showed willingness to get together with the American president and even assured the date was a coincidence: “Yes, why wouldn’t we meet with him? If Obama want’s to meet in private we’ll do it gladly. But in private, not just to have a picture of the two of us together.” De Carlotto added “the date is a coincidence, it doesn’t have a specific purpose” while also praising the US’s decision to declassify additional documents related to the dictatorship.
However, today it seems like all indicators point to the fact the meeting might not happen after all. In an interview with Radio Rivadavia Tati Almeida, member of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo Founding Line (which for the sake of context is neither the more radical branch led by Hebe de Bonafini nor is it the same organization Estela leads – The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo) assured Estela won’t meet the US president:
“It’s false to say that, there’s no way. I had a meeting with her yesterday and she told me ‘can you believe that Tati’ It’s perverse, they’re trying to drive a wedge between us.'”
The government, on the other hand, didn’t take these statements as a definitive answer as to whether the Madres de Plaza de Mayo don’t hold Macri very dearly in their consideration. When consulted about it, Human Rights Secretary Claudio Avruj said both organizations have different points of view when it comes to this and assured de Carlotto has yet to confirm whether she’ll go to the remembrance park tomorrow or not.
In the end, Estela de Carlotto has the final call.