Between Saturday lulling us into a false sense of security with an unseasonably warm winter day and then having the temperature slap us in the face on Sunday with cold and rain, who wouldn’t want to retreat into a coccoon of warmth and general denial that Monday was coming by watching Netflix and forgetting the outside world?
Worse still, those who didn’t forget about the outside world were probably glued to the screen watching horrific scenes unfold during the Constituent Assembly election in Venezuela. Whatever distracted you from Argentine news, let’s bring you up to speed (or tell you about other things that happened over the weekend).
- We really should talk about Venezuela, though, if anything because of the protest held outside the Facultad de Derecho yesterday against the vote for a Constituent Assembly called for by the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro. Hundreds of exiled Venezuelans congregated outside the famous pillars with signs and Venezuelan flags to reject their president’s “dictatorship” and disavow the vote as fraudulent and illegal. The Argentine Foreign Embassy echoed those feelings in a press release which, alongside several other countries, announced that it would not recognize the election, saying that “[it] does not respect the will of over seven million Venezuelan citizens that announced that they were against its implementation. Argentina will not recognize the results of this illegal election.” The election itself was marked by violence and 14 people are reported to have been killed throughout the day. Read more: Mercosur Foreign Ministers Request Meeting With Venezuelan Govt and Opposition
- Meanwhile, San Luis province held PAS primary elections. Yes, that’s PAS, not PASO: they weren’t obligatorias or mandatory. The result was a very low turn out and those who actually went to the voting booths only had one choice anyway: the “President Raúl Alfonsín Committee” list, which belongs to an alliance comprised of Avanzar and Cambiemos, led by Jorge “Pupa” Agúndez. It’s not that San Luis has only one political party to choose from in October — the rest have already decided their candidates, so going to the primaries wasn’t necessary. In case you haven’t noticed the continual barrage of campaigning, the PASO elections are creeping ever closer, set to be held on August 13th, so stay tuned! Read more: Midterm Elections: Campaign Ads Hit the Airwaves Leading Up to the Primaries
- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR or CIDH in Spanish) has once again urged the Argentine government to reconsider the imprisonment of Milagro Sala, the leader of Tupac Amaru who has been behind bars since last year and considered by many to be a political prisoner. On Friday, the IACHR suggested that Sala be placed under house arrest or be freed under a “controlled arrangement” during her ongoing trials because her current imprisonment “puts her life at risk.” Such were the words of the president of the CIDH here in Argentina, Francisco Eguiguren: “The harassment due to excessive vigilance, disciplinary processes [and] a multitude of judicial processes has created a state of distress that affects her mental and moral integrity [therefore] the commission concludes […] that her permanent presence in prison puts her life in severe danger.” Read more: CIDH Define Milagro Sala’s Living Conditions as “Humanely Reasonable”
- After hitting a historical high last week, with one dollar valued at AR $18 in some banks, the government showed itself to be somewhat nonchalant about it, with several officials saying not to worry, that “[the exchange rate] shouldn’t keep increasing.” In an interview over the weekend, Production Minister Francisco Cabrera said that it was “unlikely” and that he has “no doubts that Argentina has an excess of dollars. Furthermore, he considered that the Argentine economy is set to grow “at over three percent” this year. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio said “I’m not worried about the price of the dollar. We have to get used to a flexible exchange rate, it happens in countries all over the world, specifically those that are doing well.” Here’s to hoping, guys. Read more: Dollar Reaches a Historical High, Breaking AR $18 Threshold in Some Banks
- Saturated by pictures of your friends in the beautiful provinces of Salta, Jujuy and Tucumán? Your jealousy aside, that was good news for the North of Argentina, which saw its best winter season on record in terms of tourism: Salta, Jujuy, Tucumán, Catamarca, Corrientes, Misiones, Santiago del Estero and La Rioja all saw historical numbers in terms of board and lodging. La Rioja province, for example, saw 90 percent of its hotels occuppied by tourists, Salta province welcomed 245 thousand tourists over the month of July (11 percent more than last year) and the Iguazú Falls saw 24 percent more visits than 2016. The National Tourism Minister, Gustavo Santos, said that the government “Focused on the North with the Plan Belgrano [a government policy to develop 10 northern provinces] and the results are beginning to be seen. Alongside the provinces and the private sector, we widened the scope of tourism with new developments [for tourism] packages.” Read more: Argentina Poised to Bring in US $300 Million from ‘Medical Tourism’ in 2017
Go forth and show yourselves to be well informed, my loyal Monday readers!