We burst the news of the week for the last time this year (we gave ourselves an asueto [or “day off”] for next Friday). You can find our podcast on our iTunes page or listen to us below.
Our podcast this week includes:
And much, more more!
And here’s the CHEAT SHEET, the companion guide to the show.
1:55: The last brick of the Berlin Wall has fallen: Cuba and the US have decided to normalize
economic and diplomatic ties. Is this new attitude “contagious”?
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner seems to believe so, and wants the UK to feel the love and resume the “Malvinas” sovereignty negotiations.
This conflict has been going on for almost two centuries. There have been French, Spanish and British settlements and claims over the archipelago since the 17th century. The first Argentine control began in 1820 when a national frigate was sent to take the island’s possession and reaffirm the countries’ rights over it. In 1833, a British war frigate arrived and Captain James Onslow communicated the Argentine in command he was to reaffirm British sovereignty and retake the islands on the king’s name. Not being able to fight, the Argentine Captain decided to leave. Argentina never ceased to protest about what it called a forceful occupation of its territory. And it never ceased to make claims.
Fast forward to 1965, when the UN issued the 2065 resolution that recognized this territory was “disputed” calling both Argentina and the UK to resume negotiations.
Argentina holds to this resolution and most of the world stands behind it as well (the G77 plus China, UNASUR, MERCOSUR have all expressed their support for Argentina’s claim in its campaign to resume negotiations).
The British, on the contrary, argue that the resolution was rendered invalid when the military Junta launched the 1982 Malvinas War during the last coup, which meant abandoning the diplomatic way and leaving it all to be decided through an armed conflict, that Argentina lost. Besides, London argues that the international community’s opinion doesn’t count; the only opinion that matters is that of the 3000 inhabitants of the islands, who have overwhelmingly expressed their wish to remain British.
7:05: Cristina is increasingly frustrated with the media snubbing her administration’s many
awesome announcements, so she decided that from now on whenever she makes an official
announcement (read: all the time) it will be announced on Cadena Nacional. “It’s the only way
people will be able to find out about the important things,” she said, clearly ignoring the many
(and I mean many) media outlets that have cozied up to her in the last few years and constantly
copying and pasting whatever self-congratulating press release her administration sends them.
Here’s how it’s going to work from now on: Cristina offers a press conference from the Casa Rosada or attends a Government ceremony. She makes some announcement that will obviously be broadcast on all Cristina-friendly networks and absolutely ignored by the anti-Cristina networks, as it usually happens.
“Sometime around 8 PM”, an edited, condensed version of her announcement will be broadcast on Cadena Nacional, interrupting whatever show you were watching. Because if earlier you thought you could escape listening to her by watching some other anti-Cristina network, you were obviously dead wrong.
But is she allowed to do this? The media law doesn’t establish a prohibition about it, but clearly states in its 75th article the Executive will be allowed, in exceptional or institutionally transcendent situations only, to use the “National Broadcast”.
She wasn’t clear about how often this would be happening, but it could happen every day. This way she makes yet another move to completely leave the annoying existence of journalism outside of the picture. By running her mandatory messages on prime time, they would be overlapping with evening television news programs. So it really couldn’t be more perfect. And Orwellian.
13:40: Several changes took place in Argentina’s Intelligence bureau: It used to be called SIDE (Secretaría de Inteligencia Del Estado), but it brought so many bad memories due to their activities during the last military government that it was changed to SI (Secretaría de Inteligencia). This week the SI’s head Hector Icazuriaga, who was appointed by the
Kirchnerites on 2003, was fired because, apparently, he “didn’t have enough of an authority”. The actual boss was Jaime Stiusso, who’s been around for 40 years and again, apparently, has dirt on every politician and public figure in the country (he’s almost like our very own version of J. Edgar Hoover). He was also fired.
Both of them were replaced by Kirchnerite-friendly Oscar Parrilli and Juan Martín Mena.
18:10: Racing Club won an argentine championship after 13 years: The Avellaneda team is one of the countries’ five largest clubs along with River Plate, Boca Juniors, Independiente and San Lorenzo, and also the one that suffers the most. After long years of having good players and building up expectations just to see them crash and burn, the fans finally got to celebrate at the Obelisco. Of course, this didn’t come without some of the usual Racing-like suffering: Before the fifth match, coach Diego Cocca stated he’d rather lose to life-long rival Independiente and win the championship than beating them on Sunday. And you JUST.DON’T.SAY.THAT, no matter what.
To make matters worse, his team lost. Fans displayed banners with insulting messages on them and called for his resignation. Luckily for his head (and for the fans), he managed to keep the other part of the deal and give them the only thing that tops beating Independiente: the Argentine championship.
News in brief:
The government offered to exchange the Boden 2015 bonds for a new bond, the Bonar
2024 or cash the Boden one year in advance, 97 dollars to 100. Very few people took the deal. Experts who oppose Cristina’s administration said this was “a failure due to bad timing, lack of experience of the economic team and poor promotion of the bonds”.
Economy Minister Axel Kicillof, on the contrary, assured that the level of acceptance was “a gesture of trust by investors, who don’t believe anything terrible will happen in the next year, therefore there’s no need to cash the bonds in advance and justify the 3% haircut.