December 21, 2014
Widespread condemnation of remarksTuesday, March 25, 2014
Barrionuevo: Kirchners stole more than Junta
The leader of the dissident CGT “Azul y Blanca” umbrella union Luis Barrionuevo was yesterday repudiated by all parties after he said that former late president Néstor Kirchner “screwed himself over by dying” and that the military dictatorship “stole and killed, but this government stole the most.”
Barrionuevo, an ally of Renewal Front leader Sergio Massa, uttered the statements during the Tierra de Locos radio programme.
“I had told you that you would soon know who the Kirchners really were. A decade went by and you didn’t pay attention. What you’re seeing is the government,” Barrionuevo stressed, before adding that Néstor Kirchner “was a stingy person who screwed himself over by dying at 60.”
He then gave some guarded praise to the neo-conservative policies of the 1989-1999 Carlos Menem national administration.
“The Menemist decade messed up manufacturing, but at least you knew what you had. Now you don’t because of inflation,” he went on.
The former Catamarca candidate then praised the former Tigre mayor. “Massa is a very skilled person. He’s fresh, intelligent,” he said.
Almost as soon as he finished speaking, the criticism of Barrionuevo’s comments started. Lower House Pro caucuse Leader Federico Pinedo said politicians “need to have more respect for the people listening to our messages” on March 24, the anniversary of the 1976 coup.
“Today is a day to reflect, to avoid committing the same mistakes as in the past,” Pinedo told Infonews.
Regarding Barrionuevo’s remarks on the late president, UCR lawmaker Ricardo Alfonsín said he would “never speak in such terms, especially when the other person is unable to defend himself from the accusations.”
Defence Minister Agustín Rossi said Barrionuevo’s statements were “peculiar.” “He’s a very singular character — he’s a leader who said that all politicians, including himself, should stop stealing for two years,” Rossi told news channel CN23.
Former UCR lawmaker Ricardo Gil Lavedra said Barrionuevo’s statements were “totally unsuitable” taking into account they were made during a day that was meant “to celebrate democracy.”
PRO senator Gabriela Michetti said remarks by the union leader “should not pass unnoticed.” “This is not a way to talk about a former Argentine president, no matter where we stand politically,” she said.
Regarding Barrionuevo’s comparison with the military dictatorship, UCR senator Nito Artaza said that “nothing can be worse than a dictatorship.”
Yesterday afternoon, members from the very Renewal Front were compelled to speak against his political ally.
“Barrionuevo’s statements are not in line with the values of the Renewal Front,” lawmaker Héctor Daer said in a news release.
His political front “does not support nor endorse messages that encourage violence,” Daer concluded.