In a message broadcast from the Marambio Base in Antarctica, Argentine President Alberto Fernández Wednesday underlined his country's 119th year of uninterrupted presence in the so-called White Continent. Here, at the end of the world, one can assume the dimension of the Homeland, said Fernández during the Antarctica Day celebrations.
The growth of our Argentina has a projection towards the South and a bi-continental vision, and part of the national development depends on the defense of its strategic components, Fernández also said.
The head of state was joined by Tierra del Fuego Governor Gustavo Melella and Ministers Jorge Taiana (Defense), Santiago Cafiero (Foreign Affairs), Daniel Filmus (Science, Technology, and Innovation), Jaime Perczyk (Education), Gabriel Katopodis (Public Works), Juan Cabandié (Environment and Sustainable Development), Victoria Tolosa Paz (Social Development) and Carla Vizzotti (Health).
President Fernández assured that the presence of the State in Antarctica was an act of justice towards our history and our identity.
To come to this place is to recognize how great we are. Much more than what some champions of discouragement would have us believe, he added while thanking scientists, members of our Armed Forces, workers, every family that has settled here, for the effort, perseverance and patriotism they show, and for marking the continuity of 119 years of permanent and uninterrupted presence of Argentina in the Antarctic continent.
Argentina is a huge country because of its territory and its people, he also noted. The millions of square kilometers of our map would be of no use without us inhabiting them as an organized community, he insisted. Argentina is seen by the world as the symbol of all that we can achieve together.
During the years of the dictatorship we believed that a strong democracy was only a utopia that wandered among our dreams, and this year, as we Argentines celebrate 40 years of uninterrupted democracy, it is time to set out another utopia: the utopia of equality, Fernández stressed.
The Argentine head of state also announced the creation of roving [national press agency] Télam bureau in Antarctica to give visibility to all the information related to the white continent.
We are going to create an itinerant Antarctic correspondent of the Télam agency because it is important for Argentina to know the news of our Antarctica, Fernández also underlined.
To this purpose, Télam signed a cooperation agreement with the National Antarctic Directorate (DNA) and the Joint Antarctic Command (CoCoAntar) that will allow at least one Télam journalistic team to be present south of the 60th parallel in each Antarctic summer campaign, provided that logistical, budgetary and meteorological possibilities allow it.
In return, Télam will offer free access to its news service to all Argentine bases in Antarctica and will also deliver to the National Antarctic Directorate a plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of the installation of the correspondent's office at Brown base in 1972 to be placed there next summer, again weather permitting.
The agreement seeks to deepen the journalistic dissemination of Argentine activities in the Argentine Antarctic sector and will last for three years, which may be renewed for periods of equal duration, unless one of the parties expressly decides otherwise.
Fernández became the fourth head of state to visit Antarctica. The first was Arturo Frondizi, in 1961. The South also exists and that South is Argentine, remarked the President, who called on society to think of Antarctica as a source of wealth that exists and that is still unexplored.