Childish Diplomacy

The insults from the U.S. president and other employees of the U.S. government are yet more irresponsible movements to distract us from real problems.

The chargé d’affaires at the United States embassy in the Republic of Argentina, Kevin Sullivan (a professional in diplomacy despite his relatively young age) noted that “it is important for Argentina to emerge from default as soon as possible to return to the path of sustainable economic growth and attract the investment it needs.” Such a phrase, despite expressing positive criticism and good will, unleashed a whirlwind of aggrieved critics from the cabinet, led by the President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Consequently, our always exaggerated and belligerent ambassador summoned the North American diplomat immediately to the headquarters of the ministry to explain himself and then threatened him with deportment from our territory.

The overreaction from the head of the Palacio San Martín is clear, but we can’t act surprised, given that we are referring to the same person that not long ago — with clippers in hand and accompanied by television cameras — boarded a plane to the United States that had been invited to Argentina, claiming that it contained spy teams and once more causing unnecessary tension with the country in the north. Her poor ministerial management, in which the unspeakable agreement with Iran as a cause of the AMIA stands out, is filled with innumerable irresponsible and unfortunate errors.

To further amplify the Minister’s obvious overreaction, the chief of the Cabinet, Jorge Capitanich, maintained that the North American chargé d’affaires’ words were, “incorrect, inappropriate and unfortunate,” at the same time considering them, “incorrectly meddling in a country’s sovereignty.”

As if this wasn’t enough, the Minister of the Economy, Axel Kicillof, unwontedly suggested that Barack Obama’s government was behind the rise in the dollar’s value in parallel with the Argentinian peso: As if the rise of North American currency in our country wasn’t the effect of many Argentinians’ panic in the last few weeks, when they chose to escape from the peso in order to avoid its decreasing purchasing power in the face of fierce inflation.

As a consequence, President Cristina Kirchner resorted to posting messages on the social networking site Twitter in order to criticize Sullivan’s statements, which she considered “absolutely inappropriate,” and “that motivated,” she maintains “an obvious response from the Ministry when internal proceedings were interfered with by that of a foreign diplomat.”

If we just compare the statements that have triggered criticism of Argentinian authorities, with the long series of insult-laden statements aimed at the U.S. government and at the North American justice system, for example, coming straight from Minister Kicillof’s mouth, the national government’s protest is grossly disproportionate. The President’s out of control frenzy in reaction to this topic, through Twitter, suggests an identical conclusion. Cristina Kirchner suits, right down to a tee, the saying, “do as I say, not as I do”.

The principle of nonintervention is included in the Charter of the United Nations; it was also included in the constituent documents of the League of Nations and can additionally be found in the American Constitution. However, although it is one of the constitutional principles of international law, like everything else it always faces the test of reasonableness.

It begs the question of whether or not our foreign debt is an internal matter. Are there no guarantors for Argentina scattered around the world? And aren’t we at the mercy of foreign courts’ decisions, who voluntarily subdue our authority, thus renouncing our sovereign immunity? Exaggerating has its costs and doesn’t help anything. At least this much is clear; our leaders try to distract the public with false populist and nationalist messages of the sad state that is to blame for our crippled economy.

We will now have to wait to learn the topic of our new aggressive leader’s speech, which she will give in the next few days from the podium of the United Nations. This speech will allow us to further compare the statements from our highest national authorities with those of the aforementioned diplomat — which caused the aggrievement and the recent complaint from the national government — and so return to discuss, in this case, the question of proportionality.

Our foreign politics must stop being influenced by a schizophrenic force; at the same time, it must abandon once and for all its childish attitude. These do nothing more than detract from the seriousness of our country and every day continue damaging, in a more irreversible way, its international image.

The statement of wishes made by the aforementioned North American diplomat with sound judgment only served as an excuse for a renowned government to distract its citizens from the country’s grave socioeconomic problems. Argentinian authorities harshly criticized the United States with the sole aim of covering up the enormous uncertainties that have been accumulating recently, to the detriment of all Argentinians. That is, to find others “culpable” of their own enormous errors in management.

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