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Cristina Fernandez and Mujica, so close but ever so distant

Monday, June 16th 2014 - 06:26 UTC
Full article 24 comments
Almagro sent a letter to Timerman inviting him to dialogue but also recalling a long list of non delivered Argentine promises Almagro sent a letter to Timerman inviting him to dialogue but also recalling a long list of non delivered Argentine promises
In Bolivia the two presidents met during the G77 summit but there was only a very formal kiss In Bolivia the two presidents met during the G77 summit but there was only a very formal kiss

The lasted chapter of the resurgent diplomatic conflict between Argentina and Uruguay was not addressed during a brief encounter of presidents Cristina Fernandez and Jose Mujica in Bolivia where they attended the G77 plus China summit over the weekend.

 Nevertheless when asked about the situation, the Argentine leader said “I always talk with Mujica” but during her speech at the summit she strongly condemned 'unilateralism'.

Last week after Uruguay announced it had authorized the UPM/Botnia pulp mill to increase annual production, a furious Argentina reacted saying it would take the case back to the International Court of Justice of The Hague and would 'review' all contacts with every Uruguayan ministry and office, because of the unilateral decision from the Mujica administration.

Since Uruguay a decade ago gave the green light for the construction by a Finland corporation of the country's first major pulp mill on the shared Uruguay river which acts as a natural border, Argentina has been strongly opposed alleging pollution fears and Uruguay's alleged non compliance with joint administration rules.

The situation became so serious that the international bridge linking the neighboring countries, next to where the UPM mill is, was blocked by pickets for years and the case on Argentina's initiative ended in The Hague. The ruling in 2010 said the pulp mill was not contaminating according to current scientific information and Uruguay had acted accordingly but also suggested more communication.

Nevertheless Argentina continues to insist the mill contaminates the shared waters, and that there should be no innovation to the situation that was addressed by the international court.

Uruguay, complying with the Finnish investors contract and following more stringent environmental protection measures finally agreed to the increase in production.

In a long reply to Minister Hector Timerman's letter which described Uruguay's decision 'unfriendly' and announcing several retaliation measures, Minister Luis Almagro insisted the Mujica administration is ready to talk at any moment, anywhere to overcome the misunderstanding.

Furthermore Almagro points out to a list of projects and Argentine promises, never delivered, under the joint administration of the River Uruguay and considers that taking the case over an additional 100.000 tons to The Hague is 'totally disproportionate' and contrary to contractual spirit.

Argentina has not only tried to sink the UPM pulp mill project, but has also sabotaged agreements on ports, access canals to the River Plate and the River Uruguay, new projects along the River Uruguay and banned transshipment of Argentine cargo in the port of Montevideo, which has meant a 30% drop in activity.

Since taking office in 2010 Mujica has tried a seduction policy, called 'servile' by the opposition, with some minor results, including the lifting of the bridge pickets, but lately it has been back to the beginning.

Uruguay is holding elections next October, Mujica's term will be over in March and a presidential ballot will take place a year later in Argentina, thus it all seems that the dispute will continue, probably in worst terms, and both neighbors will have to wait for the new leaders to emerge.

On arrival in Bolivia, Cristina Fernandez was quoted saying she “always talks with Mujica”. But during her speech to the G77 insisted that 'unilateralism is not good for anybody, even for those who practice it”.

Mujica made no reference to the bilateral conflict and simply philosophically questioned capitalism, waste, excessive consumerism and called for a global development respecting life in the planet.

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    Will be interesting to see the effect that Argentina's actions have on the next Uruguayan presidential election.

    Jun 16th, 2014 - 07:59 am 0
  • Mr Ed

    Let Michael Bolton sing them a song:

    Jun 16th, 2014 - 09:03 am 0
  • ChrisR

    “In Bolivia the two presidents met during the G77 summit but there was only a very formal kiss”

    So she kept her knickers on: no tongue access to her backside for “No Money Pepe”, the arselicker supreme.

    What we are seeing from The Dark Country is yet another petulant attempt at bullying Uruguay, encouraged by the cowardly attentions of our “president”, but he will be gone early next year. What a real disappointment AND disaster this illiterate, innumerate, murdering commie bastard has been for this lovely country.

    But “The Poor” love him for giving them money for nothing, so that’s alright then.

    As for “The Argie Rent Boy Almagro” I would imagine he went running home to cry into his pillow because his “bestist” mate Gollum had pissed on his chips over the pulp mill. The increase in production was well flagged to Gollum and all the scientific proof that there is no increase in pollution, due to increased equipment to control the process water was provided so we are down to spite again.

    Why oh why is Uruguay beset on all sides with cunts for government ministers? Could it be the Tupas involvement: of course it could and is. I think it should be called Tapas in honour of the well known Spanish dog’s breakfast of a meal, at least that makes more sense.

    Jun 16th, 2014 - 11:21 am 0
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