Argentina

Mercosur at its lowest

Mercosur it is at a political impasse, without Presidency and with three out of five members trying to isolate Venezuela. But even more daunting, Argentina and Brazil seem to be working tirelessly to deprive Mercosur of any political connotation.

Mercosur is at a political impasse. Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay refused to recognize Venezuela presidency of the bloc, based on the failure of the Caracas Government in complying with Mercosur trade tariffs and in protecting human rights. Uruguay, the only member still partially siding with Venezuela, has managed to grant Nicolas Maduro’s executive an extended deadline, 1st December 2016, to comply with the bloc’s requirements. In the meantime, Mercosur is swinging between acephaly and a collegial presidency by the remaining members, and Venezuela is becoming increasingly isolated inside the same organization where, during Hugo Chavez’s Government, it used to have a primary role.

But there is more going on in the Mercosur than bickering over the Presidency.

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Argentina’s angel

I found this book almost by mistake: I was looking for something completely different when I metaphorically stumbled across this one.

After turning the last page, I can say it was a fortunate twist of fate. A short story, written in an essential yet poignant way, tells the life and disappearance of Gisela Tenenbaum, daughter of Austrian immigrants and one of 30.000 victims of the Dirty War in Argentina.

Through excursus on the family history and memories of her friend and relatives, Gisela stops being in name and comes back to life, young and full of hopes and dreams and ideals like she was when she was made disappear, almost 40 years ago, by the military.

No, there is no happy ending; for her family, there will be no closure, either. But for all the readers there is a chance to get to know a strong woman whose name will never be given to a street, a square, a school, but whose life is a powerful reminder of why we need to say “Never again”.

And, like Gisela, thousands more have disappeared, and they are so many that one could forget that there is a story, a family, a friend, a lover, behind each and everyone of them.  But there is also a wall where these names become again people, flesh, and blood, and dreams, and hopes and fears: http://www.desaparecidos.org/arg/victimas/muro2.html .

Let’s not forget them.