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August 16, 2017
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Trump vetoes Carter tribute

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump

Macri gov’t delays awarding prize to ex-US president due to White House lobby

The Mauricio Macri administration reverted a decision to award former US president Jimmy Carter the Order of the Liberator General San Martín — the maximum distinction that the country can give to a foreign personality —, under the pressure from US President Donald Trump’s administration, CNN web site reported this week.

The official tribute, which had already been approved by the foreign ministry and was published in the Official Gazette, was cancelled after receiving a specific request by the US government, which would have suggested it would be better to delay it. Carter was to be given the award for his work in promoting human rights during Argentina’s last military dictatorship.

After being informed about the decision, the foreign ministry had again requested that President Macri give the award in spite of the rejection by Trump’s government since it had been made official, according to an anonymous foreign ministry official consulted by CNN’s David Cox.

While another former Argentine official attributed the delay of the award to Carter as based on a problem due to the President’s tight schedule, since his trip to Washington DC would be very short, lasting only two days from April 26 to April 27.

Former Argentine ambassador to the United States Martín Lousteau had proposed awarding Carter the San Martín Order of Liberator. At that time, it had been discussed whether Lousteau would be the one to lead the event or whether they would wait until the president travelled to Washington DC. It was finally decided that Macri would give the award. But former President Carter’s communications director also confirmed to CNN that they hadn’t received any details about the award ceremony. An anonymous Let’s Change government official.

On the other hand, informed CNN that the decision not to give Carter an official award was to “avoid conflicts” and so they can speak about issues of mutual interest shared between Trump’s and Macri’s administration.

The Council that reviews potential recipients of the Order of the Liberator General San Martin had said that Carter merited the distinction for his record in defending human rights. It highlighted how he had demanded the last military dictatorship for the location of thousands of forced-disappeared victims, had condemned the human rights violations being carried then, and that he had been instrumental in getting the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights to visit the country in 1979. It is also recognised his decision to create an Under-Secretary in charge of Human Rights at the State Department, and the creation of the Carter Center in 1982, in which the former president continued to involve himself in the defence of human rights and democracies throughout Latin America.

President Macri met Trump yesterday in the White House.

Herald Staff

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