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Argentina Has A New President And With An Economy On The Brink Here’s Why It’s So Important

As an economic crisis grips the country, and the Argentine Peso reaches new lows, the country has sworn in a new President who represents a return to formerly popular ideals. President Fernandez is seen as a token bearer of the Peronist movement and many welcome his return to power, along with that of the Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (who herself served two terms as President.)

Argentinians are anxious for change and see the return to Peronist policies as their best chance at achieving success. However, not everyone is excited for the change in government, including neighboring governments in Brazil and Chile.

Last week, Argentina swore in its latest President and Vice President for a four year term.

Credit: Alberto Raggio / Agence Presse

Alberto Fernández was sworn in as president of Argentina, vowing to restore growth and redistribute wealth by reversing the austerity policies of his pro-business predecessor, Mauricio Macri.

The 60-year-old veteran politician led the nationalist Peronist coalition to victory in October’s election with promises that the state would provide for Argentines. In his speech Tuesday before a raucous Congress, he said his compatriots had rejected a four-year experiment with market reforms under Mr. Macri that started hopefully but ended with high inflation, indebtedness and a shrinking economy.

“Those who are trapped in poverty and marginality will be a top priority,” Mr. Fernández said after the presidential sash was placed over his shoulder. at the country’s ornate National Congress building. “We are receiving a fragile country, wounded and on its knees.”He vowed to protect the poorest Argentines through welfare policies including loans and support programs for the unemployed along with broader health and food assistance. Lawmakers and supporters chanted the “Peronist march,” a partisan anthem that declares loyalty to the working class and rejects foreign capital.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel traveled to Buenos Aires for the inauguration ceremony. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro did not attend, however. Bolsonaro has disagreed with Fernandez publicly. This marks the first time since 2002 that a Brazilian president has not attended an inauguration in Argentina.

His election, along with that of Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, marks a return to left-leaning Peronism.

Fernandez is considered part of the Peronist movement, which supports the political and social policies of the former general and President Juan Peron. Peron led Argentina from 1946 to 1955, and for two more years in the 1970s.

Yes, the same party as the much beloved Eva Perón.

The new president inherits a major economic crisis stemming from huge amounts of debt that is wearing down the Argentinian economy.

Credit: Albert Raggio / Agence Presse

Fernandez follows outgoing president Mauricio Macri, whose austerity policies aimed at cutting costs and paying debt were unpopular. It is unclear how new policies will affect the country’s creditors and farmers, whose grain exports are important to the economy.

Supporters of Fernandez hope he can beat down Argentina’s high inflation rate, which is near 50 percent. Poverty also is increasing as the economy remains in a recession.

Economic experts say his administration will need to hold talks with the International Monetary Fund to restructure more than $100 billion in loans.

But many are also looking to the President Fernandez to help bring change not only to Argentina but to the rest of Latin America with progressive policies such as legalized abortion.

He will send a bill to congress which, if approved, would make Argentina the first major Latin American nation with legalised abortion. The ruling in the 45 million-strong country would follow decisions by its much smaller neighbour Uruguay, which legalised the practice in 2012, and Cuba, in 1965.

“I am an activist for putting an end to the criminalisation of abortion,” Fernández said in an interview with the daily Página/12. “There’s going to be a bill of law sent by the president.”

The announcement would represent a major U-turn for official policy in Argentina, which has steadfastly opposed legalisation. A bill presented by women’s rights activists was rejected by the senate by 38 votes to 31 last year, after the president at the time, Mauricio Macri, refused to endorse it.

Fernández’s pledge was welcomed by equality campaigners in Argentina, where the struggle to end discrimination and violence against women has sparked a mass movement including a large number of women’s marches.

He’s already reversed sanctions against Venezuela’s Maduro regime.

The sanctions applied by Argentina against the regime of Nicolas Maduro within the framework of the Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance lasted less than a week.

Fernandez had announced that after his victory in the presidential elections, he would create a new mediating body led by Argentina, Mexico, and Uruguay; a kind of Contact Group that condemns sanctions calls for dialogue in Venezuela and abandons the measures taken within the framework of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR).

Meanwhile, his son (who is a famous drag queen) is lighting up social media with amazing inauguration looks.

Estanislao Fernández, the 24-year-old gay son of Argentina’s new president Alberto Fernández who is also a popular drag queen named Dyhzy, appeared at his father’s inauguration and stood for official photos with a rainbow pocket square which he later revealed to be a folded-up LGBTQ Pride flag. Argentine press and social media reacted immediately with messages of support after seeing the rainbow in his pocket.

Alberto Fernández has called his son “his greatest pride.”

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ted Cruz are at it again on Twitter. This time it’s about immigration policy. After recently traveling to the US-Mexican border to underline the recent rise in immigration, Cruz accused AOC of pushing for a “full open borders” policy.

And of course, AOC got him with some solid zingers.

AOC in turn hit back at Cruz for recently fleeing his home state of Texas during its power grid collapse to vacation in Cancún.

In response to Cruz’s attack, AOC suggested Mexico avoid allowing Cruz in the next time he attempts to vacation there. She also called on him to resign from office for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“Ted, this is pretty rich coming from someone who fled their own home (and responsibilities) during an environmental crisis to cross the border and seek refuge in Mexico,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Also you funded cages, expanded cages, and yet you’re complaining about cages. You have no policy, just puff.”

Ocasio-Cortez accused Republicans of hypocritically attacking the current administration’s detention of migrant children at the border after they supported President Donald Trump’s policy of separating migrant parents from their children.

Currently, Democrats like AOC are calling on Biden to impliment more liberal immigration policies.

Republicans have strongly expressed their dislike for the recent rise in migrants which has come as a result of Biden’s reversal of Trump’s most rigid border policies.

AOC is currently a co-sponsor of the Roadmap to Freedom resolution. The resolution calls on the Federal Government to develop and implement a Roadmap to Freedom “in order to overhaul the outdated immigration system in the United States that has gone without significant reform for decades, and to relieve the great human impact an unjust system bears on communities around the country.”

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Sol de Bernardo Has A New Outlook On Education Thanks To Papumba

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Sol de Bernardo Has A New Outlook On Education Thanks To Papumba

If there is one thing the pandemic has proven to be essential, it’s the internet. For Sol de Bernardo, head of content creation at Papumba, access to technology should be “a basic right.”

Adjusting to remote learning was tough for students when lockdowns were implemented around the world last year. The parents of the children also took a toll while trying to balance child care, school, and work at the same time.

“During this pandemic, I am a believer that technology is a great ally for those who could have the connection and technology to continue learning,” de Bernardo told mitú.

Unable to physically interact with friends, many children have spent hours endlessly scrolling and gaming without limits. Apps like Papumba are trying to add meaning to a child’s screen time easing parents’ concerns.

Papumba is an educational gaming app geared for children ages 2-7.

Photo courtesy of Apple

De Bernardo says the app has become “a resource widely used by parents to entertain and educate their children in this time” after seeing a spike in subscriptions.

However, for low-income families in Argentina where Papumba is based, many children are vulnerable to the lack of connectivity.

“There is a big inequality problem [and] it’s not a distant reality,” says de Bernardo.

In Argentina, 75 percent of children from low-income families don’t have access to computers. Out of those that do, 36 percent don’t have internet access.

To accommodate families Papumba often lowers their monthly prices, even offering promo codes but de Bernardo wishes access to tech could be given throughout.

A proud Latina in tech, de Bernardo’s journey was not instantaneous.

Photo courtesy of Apple.

De Bernardo started out as an educator and that background got her interested in the connection between education and technology. This intimate knowledge of the specific issue led her to bridge that gap.

“Privileged” to be working in tech, de Bernardo is encouraging other young girls to take an interest in STEM. Some advice de Bernardo has to offer young girls is to first get access to a computer, network when you can, and be confident.

“It may be difficult to have confidence in a world full of things that aren’t always good for women, but trust yourself, be dedicated, and above all, be resilient and humble,” she says.

While still a young company, de Bernardo hopes to develop more tangible devices for children to use in classrooms like high-tech dolls and books. However, her current focus is on quality education through the app.

De Bernardo wants to push Papumba to include educating children on their emotional wellbeing.

Photo courtesy of Apple

“We do not talk about emotions enough,” she says. ” We have an activity to recognize emotions where an animated child will form emotions and explains them so the children can understand that there are different emotions and it’s okay to have them.”

When introducing touchy subjects like bullying, de Bernardo finds it important to focus on teaching young children solutions to dilemmas explaining that “the explanation of the problems may not be easy for a 3-year-old to understand.”

Nevertheless, delivering context in a simplistic way is included in such activities. Most recently, the app released a game inspired by the pandemic.

An instant success, the game introduces the imaginary town of ‘Papumba Land,’ where kids can engage in replicated outdoor activities such as: hosting a barbecue, partying with friends, or having a picnic in the park.

Last month, in-person learning returned to Argentina, but de Bernardo hopes that a year online changes the approach in future children’s education.

“I think that technology can help us in this by putting adding a little fun for the child,” she says. “Learning does not have to be [treated] like a mandate where you have to learn something and repeat the year if you fail. There has to be something for the child to want to learn.”

“[Working at] Papumba has helped me understand that you can create something fun for children to enjoy learning and not make it seem like going to school is a nuisance,” she says.

The App Store featured Papumba for Women’s History Month.

READ: Nicole Chapaval Advocates For More Latinas In Tech Through Teaching App Platzi

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