Wednesday, June 30th 2010 - 06:09 UTC

Argentina: Héctor Timerman defiantly calls himself a Peronist and a “Kirchnerist”

Timerman’s portfolio to be strengthened by his special ties to Kirchners. Timerman brings rare gifts of strength of character and intellectual preeminence to his new job.

 Foreign Affairs minister Hector Timerman

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana resigned from his position several days ago after allegedly having a dispute with the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández Kirchner. The disagreement was largely centered, not so much on the way that foreign policy was being conducted by Buenos Aires, but particularly in reference to Argentina’s role in the “pulp-mill crisis.”

In the 1970s, at a meeting of hemispheric foreign ministers in Mexico City, Henry Kissinger, who was in attendance at the gathering, offered the random observation that of all of the chancellors who were in attendance, the most brilliant of them all was Jamaica’s Dudley Thompson. If asked the same question today, his candidate might very well have to be Héctor Timerman, who has just been selected as Argentina’s new foreign minister and is one of his country’s most peerless, wise figures and the forceful protagonist of a dynamic democratic regional policy.

To all those who have known him, Timerman’s major basis of self-identification was his devotion to and unqualified loyalty to the Kirchners, particularly to Cristina Fernández. On one occasion, he interrupted a meeting at the embassy regarding U.S.-Argentine relations when a call came in from the Casa Rosada. One could divine in the course of this call the intensity of Timerman’s devotion to her, yet at the same time the sense of independence and integrity in which he responded to the questions she raised and the advice she was seeking. A fierce Argentine nationalist, yet someone who has a uniquely high quality of a developed presence of mind and a sense of fair play, Timerman must be considered one of the most singular members of his generation.

The conflict between President Kirchner and Taiana has its origins in 2003 when the construction of a pulp-mill was being undertaken in the town of Fray Bentos on the Uruguay River, which runs through Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. At the time, the Spanish owned company, ENCE, was slated to build the mill but in 2005, Botnia, a Finnish pulp-mill company wanted to develop its own plant in the same general area. Concerned about the negative environmental consequences the facilities would have upon the area, a blockade was launched against both companies.

Argentine activists living in Gualeguaychu, a nearby town, claimed that the pulp-mill process would pollute the water. Protesters decided to block the highway route that went from Gualeguaychu to Fray Bentos. This also affected MERCOSUR-related trade in the area, as well as that year’s tourist season. The conflict continued for several months, with Greenpeace becoming involved, as well. In 2006, the government of Argentina decided to take its case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague where it accused Uruguay of violating the terms of the bilateral treaty regarding the Uruguay River aimed at protecting and conserving the border-river. However, although there has been much discussion and a wealth of research being done on whether the facility could pollute the area, the plant would have also resulted in a great deal of investment and a large number of jobs for Uruguayans.

The conflict between Argentina and Uruguay involved several sharp exchanges of positions between the former presidents of Argentina and Uruguay, Néstor Kirchner and Tabaré Vásquez, respectively. After many allegations, reports and investigations by the World Bank and the OAS, the ENCE-owned mill eventually moved southward away from the Uruguay river, though Finnish Botnia remained. As of April of this year, the Botnia mill in Fray Bentos was allowed to continue operations. Just before his resignation, Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana called upon Gualeguaychú activists to lift the ongoing picketing of the bridge and its environs. Presidents Cristina Fernández and José Mujica, the current President of Uruguay, met a few weeks earlier to discuss the ending of the blockade, which was finally recently lifted.

According to a Buenos Aires daily, Clarín, Foreign Minister Taiana was interviewed this past Thursday on the meeting between Cristina Fernández and Mujica over the environmental situation on the Uruguay River. Taiana suggested that the two presidents had agreed that Brazil would monitor the Botnia mill (which originally was Mujica’s idea). Right after this press conference, Fernández accused Taiana of being disloyal to her by releasing this erroneous information to Clarín and claimed that she could not trust him anymore. In response, he resigned. The whole issue, however, remains unclear.

President Fernández has had an ongoing, turbulent relationship with the Clarín Group, particularly now that the director of that media conglomerate is being investigated for possibly having raised children of “disappeared” (murdered) leftist victims of the Dictatorship. What is especially relevant regarding Taiana’s resignation is that he has become yet another of a number of political casualties of the Kirchners administrations. Due to the unanticipated resignation of former Central Bank President Martín Redrado, and now Taiana’s, Mrs. Kirchner is being accused by the opposition press of being a “populist” more than a person of gravitas. Conservative newspapers like La Nación are claiming that, due to what her critics describe as her arrogance, “it is either Cristina’s way or the highway.”

Taiana’s departure could be a sign of either internal bleeding within the government or just another mean-spirited barrier that her opposition has created. Under Cristina Kirchner’s leadership, Argentina has a much stronger role to play within the Latin American political process and even on a worldwide basis. She has formed very strong ties with Hugo Chávez, opposed Great Britain’s oil drilling efforts in the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, and her husband, former president Néstor Kirchner, is now Secretary General of the new trade and policy block UNASUR, which is likely to play a growing role in the region.

The new Foreign Affairs Minister will be Héctor Timerman, who, until recently was the highly successful Argentine Ambassador to Washington DC. He has vowed that Argentina’s foreign policy will follow the lines that the national government decrees. Timerman defiantly calls himself a Peronist and a “Kirchnerist.” One can be certain that the presidential family will be able to turn to a practiced hand to play the role of both a goalie and a striker when it comes to conceptualizing a winning strategy and then kicking the ball squarely into the goal. In carrying out his game plan, Timerman will be able to call upon his many associates around the world who, over the years, have come to admire and respect his acumen and his principled stance on issues of serious social and diplomatic concern. Timerman ultimately will be another factor that is sure to affect the Kirchners’ prospects in next year’s presidential election, which will witness Néstor’s turn to once again stand for the presidency, or perhaps Cristina’s bid for re-election.

by COHA Research Associate Azul Mertnoff

43 comments Feed

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1 Think (#) Jun 30th, 2010 - 06:28 am Report abuse
:-) Quite accurate article MercoPress! :-)

And the word “Jew” was not mentioned once....

That's a considerable improvement.
2 harrier61 (#) Jun 30th, 2010 - 03:26 pm Report abuse
And some of the posts on the COHA site that went with it:-

“Really!!! How can you say all this about Timerman Jr. -- You have not read any of the articles published in local newspapers about him. He is considered what we usually call ”a political chamaleon“. Has tried all political parties, even been very friendly with former members of the military dictatorship!!! Particularly with General Jorge Rafael Videla, of all people on earth!!!”

“Maybe God will somehow find a way to get rid of both Kirshner's, and allow a new face in Argentine's troubeled political picture. No body wants a permanent dinasty of presidents , we have enough of that.”

“Timerman as ”one of his country’s most peerless, wise figures and the forceful protagonist of a dynamic democratic regional policy“?

What were you smoking when you wrote this?”
3 Rhaurie-Craughwell (#) Jun 30th, 2010 - 04:39 pm Report abuse
“Kirchenist” Someone has been licking somebody's backside in a very intimate way?
4 jerry (#) Jun 30th, 2010 - 04:51 pm Report abuse
Rumour says that is how he obtained his first job in the K government.
5 Think (#) Jun 30th, 2010 - 05:30 pm Report abuse
MercoPress forgot to mention that he speaks better Spanish than Nick Clegg. (and he's a personal friend of Miriam..... ...say no more.......)
6 harrier61 (#) Jun 30th, 2010 - 06:23 pm Report abuse
“Political chameleon”. Turncoat, renegade, traitor, con-artist, scammer?
7 jerry (#) Jun 30th, 2010 - 08:56 pm Report abuse
“Political chameleon”. Turncoat, renegade, traitor, con-artist, scammer?
All of the above?
8 briton (#) Jun 30th, 2010 - 10:02 pm Report abuse
it seems this man is very unstable, and has been having nightmares, the other day it was reported he woke up screaming in a sweat saying he saw the union jack over argentina , he was politly told that any more of this day dreamimg and he will end up in the aylum with the argentine junta, ??????????
9 Billy Hayes (#) Jul 01st, 2010 - 02:45 am Report abuse
briton, freud would tell you that your nightmare is maradona´s flag over your head
10 stick up your junta (#) Jul 01st, 2010 - 06:12 am Report abuse
white flags,standard kit for the Argie army I understand
11 Think (#) Jul 01st, 2010 - 07:33 am Report abuse
This article wins in profundity every time I read it!

“A practiced hand to play the role of both a goalie and a striker when it comes to conceptualizing a winning strategy and then kicking the ball squarely into the goal.
Maybe Maradona should consider him?

”Timerman will be able to call upon his many associates around the world who, over the years, have come to admire and respect his acumen and his principled stance on issues of serious social and diplomatic concern. “
”Acumen”... thats the right word!
12 jorge! (#) Jul 01st, 2010 - 02:48 pm Report abuse
English speaking people: What's the difference between “kirchnerist” and “kirchnerite”?
13 jerry (#) Jul 01st, 2010 - 03:22 pm Report abuse
jorge - Don´t take this pearl of wisdom to the bank, but I believe the difference is that “ite” refers to an ethnic or nationalistic connection, and “ist” refers more to items themselves, e.g., people, scientific, or other general terms, like “populist”.
14 briton (#) Jul 01st, 2010 - 09:38 pm Report abuse
English speaking people: What's the difference between “kirchnerist” and “kirchnerite”?[no idea mate]
15 Think (#) Jul 02nd, 2010 - 06:28 am Report abuse
Just boosting this thread so everybody can read what a “Jolly Good Fellow” this guy is.
Ohh.... and at (5) I forgot yo mention that Miriam also attended some of his lectures in London.
16 Domingo (#) Jul 02nd, 2010 - 06:37 am Report abuse
@Jorge: I'd say that a “Kirchnerist” or “Kirschnerite” is a person who favours the conviction politics of, say, Cristina or Nestor Kirchner, i.e. Kirchnerism!

It's possible to make a distinction between a Kirchnerist, who favours the policies of Kirchner after critical appraisal, compared to a Kirchnerite who blindly follows the policies without thinking, but the distinction between the former & latter, may not always be made

I would certainly hope Timerman is the former & not the latter. I would also hope that if Timerman istill has concern for human rights that he will debate with Cristina the merits of a non-discriminatory & non-persecutory approach to the Islanders

Current Kirchner policy, based on neo-fascists Argentine leadership policies during World War II, is to discriminate against the Islanders & demonise the Islanders as a piratical imperialistic British ethnic minority that has no right to be in the South Atlantic, as a pretext to annex British territories in the South Atlantic, as part of a policy of territorial expansion, which by imposing a government on the Islanders which is foreign, a foreign social structure & foreign control of the Islanders economy amounts to territorial colonialism on the part of Argentina.

It is very wrong to incite popular bigotry to discriminate against a foreign ethnic group; however Kirchnerites actively pursue an agenda of dehumanisation of the Islanders as a pretext to abuse their imprescritible human rights, which are irreproachable (enschrined in UN Charter, Resoution 1514(XV) and confirmed by Resolution 2065(XX) that 1514(XV) covers the case of the Islanders) and therefore should be inviolate. Just like any other people in the world

Systematic political & racial persecution constitutes crimes against humanity & are indictable at the International Criminal Court. The Kirchnerists are complicit in support of the discriminatory policy of persecution of the islanders. Both Kirchnerites & Kirchnerist are culpable
17 Think (#) Jul 02nd, 2010 - 09:49 am Report abuse
Fu Manchu returns....
May I order chicken balls with Qiandao Sauce and some Squid with Pineapple please.
18 Domingo (#) Jul 02nd, 2010 - 10:55 am Report abuse
Awww... c'mon Think think about it, Mr Timerman is no Dr. Fu Manchu!
Even I'm not that critical of him... ;-D

Sometime though I do wonder if you are a Kirchnerite masquerading as a Kirshnerist & not the Kirchnerist you publically make out to be? Which one are you?
19 Think (#) Jul 02nd, 2010 - 11:00 am Report abuse
and some Almond tea...
and the bill please..
20 Domingo (#) Jul 02nd, 2010 - 12:05 pm Report abuse
Ahh.... Think's inability to think and produce a coherent argument, rather than childish comment, leads me & others to conclude he is most likely a Kirchnerite posing as a Kirchnerist.

Think give it up or think it up. I miss the old thinking Think compared to this thoughtless Think. Won't the real Think shady stand up?
21 Think (#) Jul 02nd, 2010 - 12:29 pm Report abuse
My dear Chinese honourable gentleman...
Your “proxi scrambler” is hopelessly outdated.
Question is....
Why are you using a scrambler at all?
Nothing of what you say here is “controversial” or “interesting”....

22 stick up your junta (#) Jul 02nd, 2010 - 01:31 pm Report abuse
Think out thunk lol
23 Think (#) Jul 02nd, 2010 - 06:30 pm Report abuse
Paradise Islands:
A little bit of England in the South Atlantic, the Falkland Islands are home to fewer than 3,000 people and the main town, Stanley, is the smallest and most remote capital in the world.

Paradise Islands Revisited:
A little bit of England in the South Pacific The Pitcairn Islands are home to fewer than 50 people and the main town, Adamstown, is the smallest and most remote capital in the world.
24 harrier61 (#) Jul 02nd, 2010 - 07:29 pm Report abuse
Buenos Aires: A capital riven with poverty, street gangs, drug dealing, pickpockets, beggars and poor, dangerous housing. Tourists unwise enough to have a stop in this city are best advised to stay in the airport (not totally safe) or on board ship.
25 Think (#) Jul 02nd, 2010 - 07:56 pm Report abuse
Shame on Britain.
More than 40% of the male population of their Overseas Territory are convicted serial rapists....
5 years old girls!!!!
Shame.... shame.... on you!
26 stick up your junta (#) Jul 03rd, 2010 - 07:29 am Report abuse
Think subtly steers the debate to his second favourite subject
27 Think (#) Jul 03rd, 2010 - 07:42 am Report abuse
(23) and(25)
“Small bits of England in every isolated British Overseas Territory.”

Our sociologists will have to look at this angle too.

That would explain the pretty sheep of Malvinas though...

Darwin’s natural selection.....
28 stick up your junta (#) Jul 03rd, 2010 - 07:49 am Report abuse
Darwin’s natural selection

It didnt work in your case think
29 harrier61 (#) Jul 03rd, 2010 - 05:20 pm Report abuse
Timerman is revealed as a “political chameleon”. Opportunist? Brown noser? Ass licker?
30 Think (#) Jul 03rd, 2010 - 05:28 pm Report abuse
Quoting from the article above:

“A fierce Argentine nationalist, yet someone who has a uniquely high quality of a developed presence of mind and a sense of fair play, Timerman must be considered one of the most singular members of his generation.”

31 harrier61 (#) Jul 04th, 2010 - 11:41 am Report abuse
That would be the Argentine sense of fair play, wouldn't it? Which consists of “If we say it's ours, it's ours because that's fair. No matter what anyone else may say.”
I read Timerman's speech at the UN. There are a series of possibilities:
(1) He is committed to the words of the Botox Queen, no matter what;
(2) He's dumb enough to believe Argentina's perverted propaganda; OR
(3) He's just a LIAR.

No-one has ever managed to successfully argue in these blogs that Argentina has any claim on the Falklands. Most South American posters are reduced to the level of “Because!”, insult and abuse or changing the subject.
The reason for this is because, however much Argentines would like that sovereignty, deep down, they know it would not be right.
No-one needs to indulge in hysterical ranting, on or off the streets, for the truth.
Please note that Britain, on behalf of the Islanders, has a purely defensive stance in the South Atlantic. The Islanders, their territory and their resources will be defended until no-one ever tries to interfere again.
32 Think (#) Jul 04th, 2010 - 02:01 pm Report abuse
4) He is one of the chosen by Jehovah!
33 harrier61 (#) Jul 04th, 2010 - 02:50 pm Report abuse
But if he is one of the Chosen, he must be compliant with Jewish or Talmudic Law or he is no longer one of the Chosen.

So he is one of the Damned.
34 Think (#) Jul 04th, 2010 - 03:01 pm Report abuse
Jehovah Witness he is.....
35 harrier61 (#) Jul 04th, 2010 - 05:11 pm Report abuse
Thank you Twinky. All is now clear.

Delusional moron.
Might he also be one of the JW child abusers?
I gather there are a lot because of JW secrecy.
36 Think (#) Jul 04th, 2010 - 05:26 pm Report abuse
Last King of Scotland he is!
Aryan Babies he does eat.
The force is with him!
37 harrier61 (#) Jul 05th, 2010 - 12:03 pm Report abuse
Finally lost it Twinky. You'd best go home. I understand that crimes in the home are increasing in Argentina. Sure sign of a failing society.
38 jorge! (#) Jul 05th, 2010 - 03:20 pm Report abuse
OK. All of you are anti-Kirchners!
39 Think (#) Jul 05th, 2010 - 03:28 pm Report abuse
He is Jedi Council Member “Tim-Er-Man”
He only responds to the Jedi Grand Master “De-Kirc-Hner”
40 harrier61 (#) Jul 05th, 2010 - 09:54 pm Report abuse
A Sith.
41 Think (#) Jul 06th, 2010 - 08:33 am Report abuse
Siths are our opponents.....
And Their master is Dart F***-Land
42 harrier61 (#) Jul 06th, 2010 - 06:55 pm Report abuse
That's Dart K******Land.
43 Think (#) Jul 06th, 2010 - 07:08 pm Report abuse
Dart Tedious .......

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