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Archive for Argentina

Newsline: Chile Condemns Attack on Argentine Embassy in Santiago

Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz condemned the attack by a group of masked men on the Argentine Embassy in Santiago. “We express our repudiation of those who supposedly protested by abusing democracy and freedom of expression, engaging in what Chile’s government considers an unacceptable act of aggression,” Muñoz said after meeting with Argentine Ambassador Jose Octavio Bordon. The masked assailants attacked the Argentine Embassy on Monday during a protest over the death of Santiago Maldonado, a 28-year-old Indian activist whose body was found on Oct. 17 in southern Argentina’s Chubut River. Maldonado went missing on Aug. 1 after fleeing from border police who broke up a demonstration by Mapuche Indians near Esquel in Chubut province. The protesters threw stones and flaming objects at the embassy in downtown Santiago on Monday, then broke down the building’s door. “Embassies are inviolable. Even during the dictatorship, I don’t remember a situation like this in which anyone vandalized, broke windows in a friendly embassy, of a country with which we have built confidence and friendship,” the Chilean foreign minister said. The police officer assigned to guard the embassy was outnumbered in the disturbances, Muñoz said, adding that security would be tightened around the diplomatic facility. “The government will take all the measures necessary to protect this embassy,” the Chilean foreign minister said. Ambassador Bordon, for his part, thanked Muñoz for visiting the embassy and said that the attack “does not express the cultural values of our countries and we are not going to allow ourselves to be defeated by violence.”



Newsline: Argentine President lashes out at US interim ambassador for ‘provocative’ report on crime in Argentina

Argentine President questioned the warning message issued on Tuesday by the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, saying it is “in line” with anti-government media, and seriously doubting interim ambassador in Buenos Aires Kevin Sullivan’s intentions with the note. The security message said US citizens have reported a number of crimes to the embassy and it went on to recommend that US citizens traveling and living in Argentina should “always be aware of their surroundings and maintain a high level of vigilance”. “The note is a provocation. Usually, when the embassy issues this type of warning messages, it focuses on specific events such as political rallies or hostage situations which can be dangerous to US citizens,” the Argentine president explained. “In this case, the threat is not specific. It describes Argentina as if we were living in the far-west,” she added, and went on to doubt US interim ambassador in Buenos Aires Kevin Sullivan’s intentions with the note. “Let me tell you, I’m not mad and they are not going to make me furious, as president of the 40 million Argentines, the first thing I demand is respect, that they respect us as a country”.


Newsline: Argentina summons US diplomat over ‘default’ comment

Argentina has summoned the acting US ambassador to Buenos Aires over his inappropriate comments on the Latin American country’s failure to repay its debts to US companies. Kevin Sullivan, the charge d’affaires at the US embassy in Buenos Aires, told Argentine newspaper Clarin that it was important for Argentina to exit default as soon as possible in order to attract foreign investment and return to the path of growth. However, his comments angered the Argentine government and the foreign ministry summoned Sullivan. Sullivan’s comments were “incorrect, unfortunate and inappropriate,” said cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich. “They constitute undue interference in the country’s sovereignty.”


Newsline: Israel denies accusations of killing perpetrators of embassy bombings in Argentina

An Israeli official denied accusations that Israel killed most of the perpetrators responsible for the terrorist attacks in Buenos Aires 20 years ago, Israel Radio reported on Friday. He said that ex-Israeli envoy to Argentina Itzhak Aviran was “completely disconnected from the reality in Israel.” He added that “there is no truth in the accusation and no need to give it any importance.” Aviran alleged on Thursday that Israel was responsible for killing terrorists who carried out the deadly attacks on the Israeli embassy and on the Argentine Jewish Charities Federation (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires. “The large majority of those responsible are no longer of this world, and we did it ourselves,” Aviran told the Buenos Aires-based AJN Jewish news agency, according to AFP.


Newsline: Israel killed most perpetrators of embassy bombings in Argentina

Israel has killed most of the perpetrators responsible for the deadly attacks on its embassy and on the Argentine Jewish Charities Federation (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires, former Israeli ambassador to Argentina Itzhak Aviran said. “The large majority of those responsible are no longer of this world, and we did it ourselves,” Aviran told the Buenos Aires-based AJN Jewish news agency, according to AFP. In March 1992, a car bombing in front of the Israeli embassy in the Argentine capital killed 29 people and wounded 200 others. The Islamic Jihad took responsibility for this attack. Two years later, in July 1994, a bombing at the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires killed 85 people and injured 300. Argentina suspects Iran is behind both bombings. Aviran, who was Israel’s ambassador to the country from 1993-2000, accused the Argentinian government of not doing enough “to get to the bottom of this tragedy.” Eight Iranians, including former defense minister Ahmad Vahidi and ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, were charged in an Argentina court over the AMIA bombings and authorities have issued Interpol warrants demanding the extradition of five Iranians and a Lebanese. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has also been linked to the AMIA bombing. He was reportedly on the special Iranian government committee led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that plotted the attack, according to an indictment by the Argentine government prosecutor investigating the case. Iran, who repeatedly denied connection to the attack, offered to set up a “truth committee” with Argentina to investigate the AMIA bombing.


Newsline: Argentine ambassador describes British PM Cameron as ‘a fool’

During a debate on the “Malvinas Question”, Argentine ambassador to the United Kingdom Alicia Castro launched a strong attack on Prime Minister David Cameron describing him as “a fool, dumb, and completely useless” politician, because of his comments when the election of Pope Francis. ”We are extremely lucky to have an Argentine, ‘Malvinero’ Pope. Above all because Prime Minister Cameron was so foolish, dumb and completely useless when (Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge) Bergoglio was named Pope: because he let slip that Bergoglio had made a historic speech about the Malvinas” the ambassador underlined. At the time of Francis election President Cristina Fernandez and her foreign policy strategists were ecstatic because they had a pope whom they described as “a strong supporter of the Argentine Malvinas claim”. It emerged that a year before (30th anniversary of the Argentine military invasion and occupation of the Falklands), as Buenos Aires cardinal, Bergoglio held a special mass for Malvinas veterans in which he was quoted saying that: “We have come to pray for those who have fallen far from the motherland; who left to defend the motherland and to claim what was usurped from them”. Following the exchange there was an official comment saying that the Vatican’s long-held position is of non intervention in the Falklands/Malvinas dispute between Argentina and the UK, because it is a matter for sovereign states, and ‘this position has not changed’.


Newsline: Remains of Diplomat Killed in Argentina Returned to Cuba

The remains of Cuban diplomat Jesús Cejas Arias, who was kidnapped and assassinated in 1976 under Operation Cóndor during the last military regime in Argentina, were handed over to the Cuban Embassy. Cejas Arias was kidnapped on August 9, 1976, in Belgrano neighbourhood, along with his comrade Crescencio Galanena, and they were both held and tortured in the clandestine detention center Automotores Orletti. His body, as in the case of Galanena, was hidden in a 200-liter metal tank filled with cement and caustic lime, a common practice to make opponents killed disappear. Plan Condor was a sinister CIA operation with the military juntas of the time in the South Cone (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela to kill their opponents, including artists, intellectuals, guerrillas, left-wing politicians, students, historians and trade union leaders.