The Economic Times - Mumbai, Friday, May 25, 2018; Section: Argentina, Page: 7
Towards a strategic partnership between Argentina and India
As Argentina celebrates 208 years of 'May Revolution', Daniel Chuburu, the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to India, looks forward to stronger ties with India
As the recently designated Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to India, it is a great honour for me to share some ideas on this glorious day for my country, in which we celebrate 208 years of the 'May Revolution', a historic event that gave birth to our first national government in the year 1810.
It was only two years ago when we the argentine people, commemorated 200 years of independence, which was declared in the city of San Miguel de Tucuman in 1816. As you may be aware we are indeed a young nation.
Our first few years as a sovereign nation were far from being easy. The battle against the occupying colonialist forces in the south of our continent was long and required several sacrifices. After independence was declared at Tucuman, it took two more years to defeat the realist army in the Battle of Maipú, thanks to the military genius of General Jose de San Martin and his brave soldiers. This took place in 1818 and six years later, in 1824, we secured our faith in the Battle of Ayacucho, where the final victory was achieved. We had to wait 50 more years for our definite national organisation. This was not an easy process.
Argentina did not have an institutional legacy of self-government. For better or for worse, the historical, political, economic and cultural construction of our country is much more our own responsibility than a providential heritage.
The astuteness of the ruling class of the final years of the XIX century (the socalled Eighties Generation) placed our country between the most important economies of the world. This ruling class, although oligarch, was wise enough as to lay down the basis for the public, free and secular education system, and for opening the electoral system in 1916, which allowed 50 years of economic development. At the same time, millions of immigrants arrived to our country, and gave shape to our culture and demography.
The decline of the 'Eighties Generation' model coincided with the interruption of the constitutional order and the beginning of a large era of political instability, in which although citizenship was expanded and a unique welfare state was built, we had difficulties to return to the democratic path.
Between 1930 and 1983, we spent more time outside our constitutional framework than within. Finally, in 1976, we descended into a bloodshed never seen before. In 1982, authorities that were not chosen by the people dragged the country to an unimaginable war. Disappeared, tortured, kidnapped and murdered, people urged us to achieve memory, truth and justice once democracy returned in 1983. We also had economic crisis and a process of hyper-inflation that were presented as terminal situations.
Our institutional quality is still far away from what our country deserves. Millions of citizens live below poverty line and we suffer the scourge of corruption. But at the same time we have gone through the longest period of democracy in our history. We have also switched from mistrust towards our neighbours to having an integration policy with them.
The government of President Mauricio Macri took office in December 2015 in circumstances that required immediate decisions in the political, economic, fiscal and monetary realms. In many cases, these were tough decisions.
Within this context, today more than ever, it is necessary to battle for the unity of the argentine people, inside and outside of our territory, in order to overcome differences and progress together towards a future that guarantees a dignified and fair life for all the habitants of our country. As former President Raul Alfonsín stated back in 1985: ''Pluralism is the platform over which democracy stands, and that means recognising the other, and having the capacity to accept differences and disagreements as a condition for the existence of a free society.'' Next year, we will be celebrating 70 years of bilateral relations and friendship between Argentina and India. We both embrace the same values of democracy, pluralism and tolerance and believe in development as the key to a better future. We have a great opportunity ahead.
Our government has established a clear roadmap for the relationship with India. Starting at the excellent bilateral relationship that we enjoy today, it is our goal to strengthen our bilateral ties with India and take them a step ahead. We want to achieve a strategic dialogue based on mutually beneficial cooperation with high added value in the fields of agro technology, food security, mining, science, energy security, peaceful uses of nuclear energy and of outer space, defence and security, and of course, cultural exchanges and education. In an uncertain, rapidly-changing and complex world, Argentina and India must be strategic partners.
I would like to express my best wishes for our common future, which I am sure will find us together seeking the welfare of our people.