NewsThe President of Argentina: "the Mexicans came out of...

The President of Argentina: "the Mexicans came out of the Indians"

The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, assured this Wednesday that the Mexicans “came from the Indians”, while the Brazilians did so from the jungles and the Argentines arrived in America on ships from Europe, in statements that have been described as racists by users of social networks.

“I am a Europeanist,” said the Argentine president in a conference with the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, and businessmen from both countries that is part of Sánchez’s official trip to Buenos Aires.

“Because from Europe, Octavio Paz once wrote, that the Mexicans came out of the Indians, the Brazilians came out of the jungle, we Argentines came from the ships and they were ships that came from there, from Europe and that’s how we built our society”, Fernández indicated.

However, the Argentine president misquoted the Mexican writer. According to the medium, the phrase is actually part of the song “We arrived in boats” by the Argentine rocker Litto Nebbia.

“The brasieleros come from the jungle, the Mexicans come from the Indians, but we Argentines come from the boats,” the song says.

Paz, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990, once used a similar phrase, but had a sense of irony at the presumption of some Argentines as being of European descent. “The Mexicans descend from the Aztecs, the Peruvians from the Incas and the Argentines from the ships,” according to the Argentine media.

Just before declaring himself a “Europeanist”, Fernández assured that the vocation of Latin America in general and Argentina in particular was mostly “Latin Americanist.”

Before Fernández gave this statement, Pedro Sánchez pointed out the “brotherhood and friendship” and the “political support” between both governments, which have had to apply, to face the pandemic, “measures that are very difficult”, such as mobility restrictions and confinements, according to the EFE agency.

“It is a magnificent moment to think about Argentina, because we have two governments that are perfectly in tune, remarked the president of Argentina, which has Spain as its second investor.

“For us, Latin America is an area of absolute preference, and in particular nations like Argentina,” added Sánchez, who during the visit once again insisted on Spain’s support for Argentina’s negotiations to resolve its foreign debt problems.

Outrage on social media

Reactions to the unfortunate words of the Argentine president soon reached social networks. The Brazilian deputy and son of President Jair Bolsonaro, Eduardo Bolsonaro, described Fernández’s statement as racist.

“They will not say that this was RACIST against the indigenous and African peoples that formed Brazil?” Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter. “Anyway, I affirm: the ship that is sinking is that of Argentina.”

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón indicated that the Argentine president lacks culture.

Mexican actor and film director Gael García Bernal said that the statements of the South American president are an example of “the lascerating narrative of extractive colonialism.”

Some users on social networks have already made fun of Fernández’s statements. Argentine journalist Diego Fonseca ironic about the hidden poetry in the president’s phrase.

Other Latin American users imagined the origins that the Peronist politician could give to the inhabitants of their countries.

A Spanish user thanked that, for once, whoever made a racist statement is not his compatriot.

Faced with the controversy, Fernández clarified on his Twitter account that his comment referred to the arrival of millions of European migrants to Argentina during the first half of the 20th century. He apologized “to whoever was offended or made invisible” by his words.

So far, the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico, headed by Marcelo Ebrard, has not issued any communication in this regard. and maintains a friendly relationship with his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

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