Obama’s most recent visit to Argentina sparked violent protests along the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina. His visit marked the 40th anniversary of Argentina’s coup, known as the “Dirty War,” which was an insult to most Argentines.
The AP reports that Nora Cortinas, of Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, called Obama “a representative of death.”
Human rights groups estimate that during the 1976 coup roughly 30,000 people were killed, which also involved the military kidnapping roughly 500 babies. This carnage was a result of U.S. funding initiated under the Ford and Carter Administrations.
The U.S. Department of Defense was granted a total of $1 million between 1976 and 1978 to train Argentine military personnel in addition to selling roughly $150 million worth of military equipment to support the coup.
“What would victims say if they saw (us) hugging and paying homage to a president from a country responsible for state terrorism?”
Forty years later many families are still searching for any remains of their loved ones who disappeared and have been presumed dead.
Some may remember the song Bono penned about the mothers of the disappeared, not just in Argentina, but also in Chile. On the 1998 U2 Popmart tour, the band performed the song, “Mothers of the Disappeared,” in Santiago, Chile. Hee invited mothers on the stage to state the name of each loved one they lost.
Despite this, the State Department reports that Argentina is one of America’s largest trading partners, with $23 billion in trade of goods and services in 2012. “The two countries have signed a bilateral investment treaty, and more than 500 U.S. companies are among the top investors in the country with nearly $20 billion invested in Argentina as of 2013.”
Most recent reports show that the U.S. Government gave $6,295,504 to Argentina in 2012 for economic and military assistance.