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Peronism vs. New York Times: Aníbal Fernández Strikes Back

By | [email protected] | March 2, 2014 12:27pm

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Kirchnerite senator Aníbal Fernández fired back at Roger Cohen on Twitter and on his blog with the exquisite cri de guerre “Leave Peronism alone.” Chris Crocker would be proud.

This Thursday, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen blasted the current state of affairs in Argentina in his op-ed Cry for Me, Argentina.” Argentina has been a popular target in the international media lately, accumulating various diagnoses and explanations for what many lament as a case of political backwardness.

And most journalists seem to agree that the mother of all evils is a certain populist movement that began last century and remains very much alive today.

Cohen, just like others, puts much of the blame for Argentina’s relative “underdevelopment” on the “quixotic political concoction” called Peronism, inaccurate and fabricated economic data, closed markets, diminished property rights and an obsession over a “lost little war in the Falklands (Malvinas),” among other factors.

Cohen is a respected international journalist who has worked as a foreign correspondent in 15 different countries, so when he refers to Argentina as the “child that never grew up,” allowing pride, immaturity, and a general disregard for responsible governing to formulate policy, his words carry some weight.

Cohen’s hypothesis is that this mentality, along with a constant preoccupation with giving “expression to (Argentina’s) uniqueness,” is responsible for the Peronist political philosophy that has proven “impossible to shake.” Quite the wordsmith, Cohen defines Peronism as “a strange mishmash of nationalism, romanticism, fascism, socialism, backwardness, progressiveness, militarism, eroticism, fantasy, musical, mournfulness, irresponsibility and repression.”

So after such an extensive diatribe, it was to be expected that ultra-Kirchnerite and proud owner of the best mustache ever, senator Aníbal Fernández, would strike back through today’s most powerful political medium: Twitter.

He even went so far as to give a bilingual counter-attack, first responding in Spanish, and then in English. Here are a few of his best:

 

 

 

Below is Fernández’s full response as published on his blog.

 

Roger Cohen from the New York Times makes himself at home and says, “all the blame lies with the Peronism”. Hardly original: It´s been said way too many times!

Cohen defines Peronism as a “quixotic political concoction ” … a definition worthy of a boozy parishioner… and a gorilla one, if you know what I mean.

Cohen, you know what? Leave Peronism alone. You do not understand us and you never will, we are surely too much for you.

You say that our economic data are unreliable. USA tripled its monetary base yet its inflation is less than 1% annually. How is that for reliable?

You contemptuously refers to Malvinas as a “lost little war in the Falklands (Malvinas) more than three decades ago .” Perhaps for you Vietnam was a success?

Do you remember Washington, October 1967? “Hey , hey , LBJ , how many kids did you kill today?”

You insist in labeling “reckless spending” social policies such as PROCREAR, the AUH , or PROGRESAR and wite: “A century ago, Argentina was richer than Sweden, France, Austria and Italy. It was far richer than Japan.” Proverbial lie. There were no more than 10 rich families while people starved. We were just an UK farm.

Finally, it pains you that Peronism has not been overturned… And you’re right : It is our calling card. We can rule.

Cohen your final statement is a killer: “Argentina is a child among nations who never grew up.” If being a grown-up is being like US, I’d rather be a kid a lifetime …

There’s a saying in Argentina: “No jodan con Perón” (“Do not fuck with Perón”). This is exactly what it means. If you mess with Perón, you mess with all his followers.

As of now, Cohen hasn’t responded. At least not on Twitter.

PS: Also, Aníbal, when you call Cohen a “gorilla” and ask “if you know what I mean,” I’m pretty sure he doesn’t.

PPS: A “gorilla” is what the Peronists call the anti-Peronists. The word has been used since 1955.

(Featured photo via Wikipedia)