November 22, 2014
CFK in Paraguay: 'We are here for an historical recognition'
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner arrived in Paraguay to return the furniture and other belongings of one of the country’s most revered leaders, Francisco Solano López, seized by Buenos Aires 150 years ago. “We are here for an historical recognition,” she said.
“Some will play down this gesture but I know all Paraguayans carry the weight of what they had to suffer and this is not just another day to them,” Ms. Kirchner said.
Solano López’s belongings were confiscated by Argentina in the Triple Alliance War, (1864-1870), when Buenos Aires devastated Paraguay in alliance with Brazil and Uruguay, decimating its male population and looting the country.
The Argentine head of state said that her country was once governed by authorities “manipulated from abroad” who lead to the Triple Alliance War. “I refuse to say that they were mistaken. No one made a mistake when they came here to destroy Paraguay. They wanted that industrial Paraguay -which produced trains, rails and had iron foundries- to become merely a producer of raw materials, with slave and cheap labour force,” she said.
“There were no mistakes here, but clear and deliberate policies that we do not share and we come here to amend,” the president added.
Paraguay’s president Horacio Cartes in turn highlighted the symbolic importance of the ceremony for the Paraguayan people and expressed his gratitude to his Argentine counterpart. “Paraguay is eternally grateful, to the Argentine people,” he said after Ms. Kirchner’s remarks.
HOMELAND OR VULTURES
Before meeting with Cartes, Ms. Kirchner referred to Argentina’s battle against holdout creditors as an example of modern colonialism. “Homeland or vultures is not just a slogan, it is about homeland with rights,” she stated.
“When countries began to emerge, as Paraguay did in the 19th century with Solano López, they were attacked by colonizing countries with weapons and ships and encouraged brother countries to crush emerging nations. […] Today invasions and wars are no longer necessary,” the president said.
The Argentine president referred to the country’s past as debtor country and said that now that the country is growing and has “paid its debts, they come back again,” in a reference to the so-called vulture funds.
“This is not shallow bullying, this is homeland with rights,” Ms. Kirchner said. “Homeland or vultures is not just a slogan, it is about homeland with rights. We want to exercise our rights as a sovereign country while they try to send us back to the colonized Argentina or Latin America of the 19th century,” the head of state added.