As New Year’s resolutions go, “reclaiming” a cluster of islands you forgot to stick a flag in 180 years ago is certainly up there. Especially if you’ve been trying and failing miserably for 30 years. After you lost a war for it.
I’m writing from the alleged capital of the Malvinas (Falkland Islands), Ushuaia on Argentina’s mainland, where it’s blatantly obvious that the Argentinians are like an obsessive ex-boyfriend who thinks an intervention order means there’s still hope.
This week, the Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner celebrated the 180 year anniversary of British rule with an open tirade at British Prime Minister David Cameron and advertisements in the British press, lobbying for the islands to be handed back to Argentina.
What’s Australia like? A sizeable question, but a young Argentine student who has returned home to Buenos Aires after a year in Australia has given his report: he was so lulled into contentment that he felt he had to leave.
Carlos Miceli, 24, had planned to study in Australia for three years but pulled up stumps two years early. He expresses deep affection for the people and place but found a country with too many rules and too little to engage the socially or intellectually curious.
His views, recently posted on his website, will cause some people to say: “Then don’t come back.” That would prove his point.
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It’s Tuesday at The Punch
A fitting piece of history for this week. Isabel Peron became the first female president of Argentina, today in 1974.
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History looks inevitable because we’ve lived it; we think it happened that way because it had to happen that way.
But history is really a series of hinge points, choices taken and not taken, each of which could have changed the future a little. Even the most insignificant can make a massive difference.
Everyone knows, for instance, that the First World War was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Fedinand at Sarajevo. What most people forget is that the killing only happened after the assassination attempt proper had failed; and that the gunman Gavrilo Princip only got his chance on his way home, because the Archduke’s driver took a wrong turn and stalled the car.
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It’s Wednesday @ The Punch
Fact: today in 1955 Argentine President Juan Domingo Peron was deposed in a military coup.
Peron came to power in 1946 with strong support from the working classes. He was celebrated for nationalising business and giving women the right to vote but heavily criticised for increasingly authoritarian policies as the economy began to fail.
Peron had three wives but it was Eva Peron his second wife who was adored by Argentinians and believed to hold the real power in his leadership.
He returned to power in 1973 and served for 12 months before his death in 1974.
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