At the risk of gross overstatement before getting to the heart of this piece it’s important to note how horrible, stubborn, and arrogant the Argentine people can be given any opportunity. For those who have spent any time in Argentina, go ahead and skip ahead rather than simply nodding in agreement to the point of risking neck pain.
If Argentina fails to win the World Cup, it was the referees. If they were to lose 6-1 to Bolivia, as they did when I lived there, it was because of the altitude, never mind that all players were on the same pitch.
For those unaware, they do not speak Spanish in Argentina, they speak Castellano, some form of Italian with a ridiculous accent given to simple Spanish words. If you were to attempt fluent Spanish in Buenos Aires, you will be stared at as though you are from Mars.
The United States was responsible for the collapse of the Argentine economy.
If you eat vegetables or fish you are unpatriotic.
They also seem to believe that the only thing worse than Jews are Paraguayans.
I could continue in this vein for hours, but in a country that boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the world, they don’t seem to do much reading. Additionally, as recently as April 2012, the Argentine government banned the importation of foreign books. Not just from Amazon, but the book you were reading on the plane due to “lead poisoning” concerns. “If you put your finger in your mouth after paging through a book, that can be dangerous,” explained one of the policy supporters to the Wall Street Journal.
Argentina is Furious Over a Recent Media Campaign
Suffice is to say that it didn’t shock me today when I read that Argentina is furious over a recent media campaign in the U.S.—reportedly paid for by Elliott Associates affiliate NML Capital—criticizing the country’s relationship with Iran.
The media campaign funded by NML is “unscrupulous” and “libelous,” President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said, and blasted the hedge fund for using a tragedy that cost 85 lives to “blackmail” the country. She was, of course, referring to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish Center in Buenos Aires.
I hadn’t realized that you could “blackmail” a country that owes you money. I believe that is called “collecting.”
Elliott is currently battling Argentina in U.S. courts to attempt to force the country to pay the Argentine bonds it holds in full. Argentina defaulted on the bonds in 2001, and Elliott, unlike most bondholders, refused to accept exchanges with big losses in 2005 and 2010.
Argentina is a beautiful country but it might be nice if they were a little less consistently obnoxious.