I arrived in Buenos Aires late-Thursday night. The flight was gruelling: Finland to Frankfurt and then a long flight to Rio. After the plane had been delayed for three hours at Rio, I finally made it to Buenos Aires.
Argentina is an incredible country. In many ways everything that could go wrong with a country has gone wrong with Argentina. Its history is marred by military coups, repression, weak civilian governments — a hiccup here and turmoil there.
Argentina has enjoyed democracy since 1983, when the military government relinquished power in disgrace. They had a lot of blood on their hands: over 30,000 vanished during the dirty war (1976-83) and the ruinous Falklands war (Malvinas in Spanish).
The last hiccup that the country suffered was in December 2001, when the economy went into meltdown. Economic growth has picked up since then but there’s not enough energy now to keep the wheels of industry moving.
It’s a great feeling to be back after nine years and return to where I was once from. While the developed world has roared ahead duirng those years it appears that countries like Argentina are struggling. Poor governments, endemic corruption and economic inquality are its worst enemies.
Despite the setbacks that Argentineans have suffered, many can still hold their heads high. Some haven’t succumbed to the misery and failure that always takes this country back to square one. If a person still has his dignity intact after being trampled on by events beyond his doing, they are the ones that I raise my hat to.
Those that suffer, struggle and can still muster hope and compation for others are the bravest SOB’s on Earth.