Things That Matter

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.”

Bernie Sanders Faces Backlash For Saying That Not ‘Everything Is Bad’ In Castro’s Cuba

Things That Matter

Bernie Sanders Faces Backlash For Saying That Not ‘Everything Is Bad’ In Castro’s Cuba

berniesanders / Instagram

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is once again touting what he sees as the benefits of Fidel Castro’s Cuba. The Vermont senator first made comments praising parts of Castro’s Cuba in a 1985 interview. Now, 15 years later, Sen. Sanders is standing behind his idea that not everything is bad in Cuba in a 60 Minutes interview.

Senator Bernie Sanders is facing backlash from critics after his 60 Minutes interview because of his comments on Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

In the 1980s, Sen. Sanders was caught on camera more than once praising parts of the Castro regime in Cuba. He points to the health care and education systems as parts of the government that works for Cuban people. The comments resurfaced in 2019 and caused a backlash against the senator in the Cuban diaspora, whose pains are still fresh from the overthrow of the government.

Now, in a “60 Minutes” interview, the Vermont senator has doubled down on his comments that some of the Cuban government is good.

Anderson Cooper – “What is Democratic Socialism?”

Bernie Sanders – “When Donald Trump was a private businessman in New York, he got $800 million in tax breaks and subsidies to build luxury housing. That’s called Socialism. What Democratic Socialism is about is saying, ‘Let’s use the federal government to protect the interest of working families.’”

BS – “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba. But, you know, it’s simply unfair to say that everything is bad. You know, when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing, even though Fidel Castro did it?”

AC – “There were a lot of dissidents imprisoned in Cuba.”

BS – “That’s right and we condemn that. Unlike Donald Trump, let’s be clear. I do not think that Kim Jung Un is a good friend. I don’t trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine.”

The comments have sparked some backlash on social media from Cubans and Cuban-Americans.

Credit: @marcorubio / Twitter

Senator Marco Rubio, who is Cuban-American, has been a vocal opponent of Socialism. He has used the crisis in Venezuela to solidify his point about the dangers of the government system he believes Sen. Sanders wants to start in the U.S. Yet, Sen. Sanders’s point is not that the Castro regime is good. In the “60 Minutes” interview, the senator made it clear that he does not support the Castro regime and the brutality it caused for the Cuban people. However, he does believe there are things we can learn from the Caribbean island about offering health care and education to the population.

One point of contention with the senator’s comments is that the Cuban people didn’t fight back because of the new programs.

Credit: @DebbieforFL / Twitter

The Castro regime is known to have oppressed dissidents and political opponents. Speaking out against the authoritarian regime was not safe. People were jailed, killed, and exiled for standing up to Castro’s rise to power. Families fled the island and settled around the world to escape what they saw as a justifiable threat to their lives and sovereignty.

Some people are sharing personal stories of their families’ treatment under the Castro regime.

Credit: @GiancarloSopo / Twitter

The generational trauma created by the Castro regime is still felt today. Some people used Sen. Sanders’s comments as a chance to tell a fuller story of the government some have praised for their social services.

A clip of President Barack Obama speaking on the same social issues in Cuba is also circulating.

President Obama worked tirelessly to reopen relations between the U.S. and Cuba. He was the first sitting president to visit the island when it was announced that diplomatic ties were reopened between the two countries. Part of being able to open those relations was eliminating the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allowed Cuban nationals to stay in the U.S. after migrating. This allowed Cubans to be deported back to Cuba, something that hadn’t happened since Cubans first started to flee their homeland. In response, Cubans illegally in the U.S. have been subjected to ICE raids and detention for the first time because of President Donald Trump’s increasing escalation against the immigrant community.

There is a lot of concern from Democratic supporters that the comment could cost the party Florida in the general election if Sen. Sanders is nominated.

Credit: @IvanBrandon / Twitter

The Cuban and Cuban-American population in Florida is a key demographic to win the state in general elections. His comments cherry-picking what is and is not good about the Cuban government is having a resonating effect in Florida. Cuban Democrats and Republicans in the state are untied in rebuking the senator’s comments as glossing over the true victimization and terror millions faced.

READ: Bernie Sanders Praises Fidel Castro And His Revolution In Cuba During Resurfaced Interview From 1985

AOC Has A D.O.G And It’s Making Its Rounds About Capitol Hill

Fierce

AOC Has A D.O.G And It’s Making Its Rounds About Capitol Hill

Just when we thought Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) couldn’t shake up the D.C. scene more than she already has, it turns out the congresswoman has a new trick up her sleeve.

Earlier this year in January, news surfaced that the congresswoman had adopted a French bulldog by the name of Deco. In a post to her Instagram page, the progressive Democrat welcomed the pup into the world with a post writing “Hey boo boo! Hi, welcome to our family.”

Now it turns out, AOC’s new pup is meant for the community, so you might have a chance to hang with him if you’re in his side of the hood

View image on Twitter

Responding to a question on Twitter about whether she intended to bring the dog to work, AOC said Deco is meant to be a dog about town.

“The goal is to train him to be a community pup,” she shared in a post that featured him taking a nap in her lap. “Ideally we want to work to the point where he can enjoy town halls, be an Amtrak pup, come to the office, etc. But first, naps.”

According to People.com, AOC’s new Frenchie had been nameless for a few weeks and the congresswoman eagerly collected name suggestions from her followers on twitter.

“He doesn’t have a name yet!,” Ocasio wrote in an Instagram in January. “We are thinking something Star Trek-related or Bronx/Queens/NYC/social good related.”

Ultimately Ocasio-Cortez did pick a name from suggested from her community.

“As we took [the dog] for a walk…a neighbor suggested we name him after an artist,” AOC explained in an Instagram story. Ultimately the congresswoman and her boyfriend Riley decided to not go for an artist’s name but one inspired by the early 20th-century art deco movement. “We loved the idea, and decided to name him after one of Riley & I’s favorite design styles: Art Deco — which also is inspired by themes of optimism & social and technological progress, and is a fixture in iconic NYC architecture,” she later explained said.

Turns out, AOC’s new French is rocketing to stardom just like his mother.

Earlier this week, Representative Ayanna Pressley (D–Mass.) shared a photo of herself hanging out with Deco for the very first time and used it as a chance to hype up AOC.

“Making the Capitol better one puppy snuggle at a time: @AOC & Deco,” Pressley tweeted in a post