Thursday, March 03, 2016

Obama's Argentina Trip Coincides with 1976 Coup Anniversary

There is growing criticism for the timing of President Obama's visit to Argentina, which falls on the 40th anniversary of the coup that launched the Dirty War. The United States was highly supportive of the coup, and there are plenty of declassified documents showing how Henry Kissinger in particular gave the junta his green light for attacking "subversives."

The Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo have demanded more declassification of U.S. documents related to the Dirty War, and this would be a very good way of showing how the U.S. rejects its past policy.

Apologizing would also be a good idea. In 2010 Obama apologized for horrible medical experiments conducted in Guatemala in the 1940s. On the other hand, he would not apologize for the U.S. support of the Pinochet coup and dictatorship. That is more analogous because relevant policy makers (including Kissinger) are still alive.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Argentina says the date is not coincidence, while the U.S. Ambassador says it is. Either way, he should deal head on with the fact that he's there on such a massively symbolic date that involves the United States in a very important way.


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