24 De Marzo

March 24th marked the 35th anniversary of Argentina’s military coup, an event funded and supported by the CIA, which gave rise to a repressive dictatorship responsible for the disappearance of over 30,000 Argentine citizens. The last few days, there’s been events around town, programs on TV, and articles in the newspaper concerning this chapter in Argentina’s history. I’ve discussed it with a few people, and despite not wanting to use the blog as a preachy-teachy sounding board, I feel somewhat compelled to offer a mini-post on the matter.

Everybody we have talked politics with on this trip qualify that their feelings regarding the U.S government, and the CIA’s historic role in the region, are very different than their feelings regarding the American people. Although I appreciate this sentiment, it is hard to not to feel a sense of responsibility. I’ve explained to a few of the people we met that most Americans are not at all aware of their government’s foreign policy, and that the majority of people don’t even vote, and, by extension, this level of civic disengagement is a form of consent.

Watching footage of the 1976 coup, I can’t help but wonder what it felt like to live through. What if, one day, I woke up to the U.S military occupying midtown Manhattan, announcing that the President had been exiled and Congress disbanded? What if these actions came with the open support of a foreign government?

As Americans, I believe we regard these events with a Joseph Conrad-like sense of The Other, that these things happen in the Heart of Darkness, in chaotic and primitive corners of the world. When you are face-to-face with people who lived through it, that sense of separation fades. Furthermore, Argentina, while certainly not as wealthy as the States, is not a third-world nation. Buenos Aires is just the same as any city in Europe, and it is compelling to watch the footage we’ve seen on TV.

The Argentines have used this date as a time of inward reflection, and the coverage does not linger on the American role in the affair. However, our actions in this part of the world are not forgotten and I think it would be worthwhile for Americans to consider this legacy or at least acknowledge its presence.

In other news, we somehow missed our bus last night and are back at the Terminal De Omnibus, waiting for a 4:40 AM bus to Salta. So, as it turns out the 24th of March was kind of a sad day for us as well!


About andesnotthemint

Alexis, Mark, 2 seasons, 1 continent, a very long mountain range.
This entry was posted in Argentina, Mark, preachy-teachy. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 24 De Marzo

  1. Missed the bus!!!!!! That is Lex’s legacy. Mark are you picking up her habits? Hint….always tell her that you need to be somewhere 15 minutes ahead of the actual time.

  2. mom wyman says:

    I think you two are “two peas in a pod”…….
    The “bus” brings back many memories
    of your youth…….
    At least this day will be engrained to memory
    for having to be there at 4:40 a.m.!!
    Sleep well
    love mom w.

  3. Pingback: I Went To Leon And All I Got Was This Lousy Self-Realization | Andes Not The Mint dot com

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