1887

oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - All we have done is interpret the sentiment of the Argentine people : Argentina - Argentine voices

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785

 

Abstract

"In late 1982, hardly any other country in the world was in a more alarming and unfortunate situation". This statement by David Rock, in his book Argentina 1516-1987, although it does not lack the pathos of hyperbole, concisely describes the political, social and economic crisis in Argentina after seven years of military dictatorship. On 2 April, 1982, General Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri, third de facto president of the self-styled "National Reorganisation Process", from the balcony of the Government House addresses a cheering crowd celebrating the momentary recovery of the Falkland Islands, after almost 150 years under British rule. National papers titled the news somewhere between verifying and celebrating it: "Argentine troops land on the Falklands" (Clarín), "Argentina lands on the archipelago of the Falklands" (La Nación), "Today is a glorious day for our country. Argentina rules in the Falklands" (La Razón), and, "Argentina strikes: the Falklands have been recovered" (Crónica). Two days earlier, on 30 March, 1982, the repression of a mass mobilisation to Plaza de Mayo in front of the Government House, hosted by leading Argentine unions under the slogan "Bread and Work", had revealed the decay of the living conditions in Argentine society and the decline of a dictatorship that had ruled cruelly and brutally since 24 March 1976, when it overthrew the constitutional president Maria Estela Martinez de Peron and closed all the fundamental institutions of democracy. In the early Eighties, the word "Malvinas" (Falklands) had multiple meanings in the collective memory of the Argentines: the colonial usurpation, the anti-imperialist struggle, sovereignty. From 1833 onward, that territory in the hands of Great Britain functioned in Argentina's culture and politics as one of the many metaphors of the Nation. The positions in favour of the recovery of the archipelago covered the most diverse political banners and were a constant in the national profiles outlined by national politics. Diplomatic and legal action was interrupted only during the Seventy-four-day war in 1982. After 1982, as suggested by Julieta Vitullo in Islas imaginadas, we say "Falklands" rather than "war". Between late December 1981 and early January 1982, the military junta had begun to outline plans to recover the islands. The purpose was to generate a stream of popular fervour to divert attention from current problems, as well as to regain lost credibility among large sectors of the country that would be sensitive to an action of patriotic interest such as this. The Falklands War sought to remember, as Leon Rozichner indicates in Las Malvinas: De la guerrasucia a la guerralimpia, "old lost glories: the British invasions and the boiling oil, the Mendoza ladies weaving flags". The Falklands would become a strong mobilising driver of English anti-imperialism, which indelibly fuelled the collective Argentine nationalist imagination and its irredentism.

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/content/ayor/6/2/EJC180562
2015-01-01
2018-06-25

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