Saturday, March 26, 2016

Obama seeks to close the past

Barack Obama, along Mauricio Macri, the wreath to the victims of the military dictatorship, on 24 March. David Fernandez EFE
The US president, Barack Obama, has chosen Argentina, precisely the day they met 40 years into one of the most heinous Latin American dictatorships, to break with the dark past of their country and its relationship with those military coups so infamous memory. Obama did not go as far as they would have liked to victims (has not apologized for Henry Kissinger operations, the School of the Americas and Operation Condor), but admitted "a debt in the past." and seeks a reconciliation between the US and Latin America in a very conflicted relationship by US interventionism.

It is a good time for self-criticism, which should be more emphatic if they want to break the mistrust and old suspicions of the victims of those dictatorships. The absence in the act of Obama Estela de Carlotto, leader of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, shows that there is still a long way to go. The step taken by Obama, however, is loaded with significance, "democracies must have the courage to admit when you are not up to the situation," said Plaza of memory and begin to acquire greater consistency at least in the Southern Cone when they start to open the military archives from that era and they can be known with sufficient perspective, important details of what happened then.

The US president took the opportunity to send a message of unequivocal support for Mauricio Macri, the key new ally in the region. With this trip it is clear the 180-degree turn that has given Argentina with respect to the old anti-Americanism. Macri must solve very serious problems affecting Argentines, especially inflation, which suffer more those who have less. That is their internal challenge. Outside, international support can not be clearer. Now you need to know to use it.


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