Argentine president apologises for ‘jungle’ remark

2021 06 09T165633Z 1086170176 RC23XN9N4MU1 RTRMADP 3 ARGENTINA SPAIN POLITICS

Alberto Fernandez has stated, not like Mexicans and Brazilians, Argentines are from Europe, sparking accusations of racism.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez has apologised after triggering a Twitter storm and a regional race debate after telling visiting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez that modern-day Mexicans originate from Indigenous peoples, Brazilians “from the jungle”, and his personal nation’s inhabitants from Europe.

Fernandez made the feedback on Wednesday in an obvious try and stress the shut ties between Argentina and Spain.

“The Mexicans came from the Indians, the Brazilians came from the jungle, but we Argentines came from the ships. And they were ships that came from Europe,” Fernandez stated, claiming the phrases had been written by Mexican poet Octavia Paz.

He additionally instructed the visiting chief: “I am a Europeanist. I am someone who believes in Europe.”

He later apologised for the feedback, which sparked a widespread response on social media, with many criticising Fernandez for racial insensitivity.

“I did not mean to offend anyone. In any case, whoever has felt offended or invisible, I give my apologies,” Fernandez stated on Twitter.

“In the first half of the 20th century we received more than five million immigrants who lived with our native peoples,” he stated. “We are proud of our diversity.”

‘We feel a lot of embarrasment’

Still, Brazilian media ran Fernandez’s statements on Wednesday and lots of on social media joked that right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro would get pleasure from getting again on the left-wing Argentine chief.

Bolsonaro obliged by tweeting {a photograph} of himself carrying a local head-dress, smiling amongst a gaggle of Indigenous folks. The solely textual content within the tweet was the phrase “JUNGLE” in capital letters, flanked by a Brazilian flag emoji.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, a congressman and the Brazilian president’s son, slammed the feedback as “racist” and shot a retort again at Argentina over its troubled economic system, in recession since 2018.

“I say the ship that is sinking is that of Argentina,” he posted on Twitter.

YouTube customers additionally posted replies underneath a video of the speech, expressing anger or unease.

“Excuse me, Mexican and Brazilian friends, on behalf of all Argentines we feel a lot of embarrassment. You know how much we love you, and your countries and customs,” stated one person underneath the title Barbara Bongiovanni.

Meanwhile, former Mexican President Felipe Calderon questioned if the quote actually was from Mexican creator Paz, a Nobel laureate.

“That could have been said by [Mexican comedian] Cantinflas, or [Argentine comedians] Les Luthiers, but Octavio Paz? I hope he cites the source,” Calderon tweeted.

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