The 1980 Nobel Peace Prize laureate has urged President Barack Obama to reschedule his planned visit to Argentina, saying the date marks the anniversary of a U.S. backed coup that ushered in an era of “persecution, torture, death, and disappearances.”
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, born in Buenos Aires in 1931, won the prize for years of human rights activism in the face of state repression.
The problem isn’t the visit in and of itself, Esquivel told the Associated Press, but rather the date of Obama’s visit.
On March 24, 1976, a military coup, with U.S. backing, ousted President Isabel Peron. From then until 1983, the regime’s Dirty War left some 30,000 people suspected as being leftists “disappeared.” The day is now celebrated in the country as a national Day of Memory for Truth and Justice.
“I’m a survivor of that era, of the flights of death, of the torture, of the prisons, of the exiles,” Esquivel told AP. “And when you analyze the situation in depth, the United States was responsible for the coups in Latin America.”
As Kevin Young previously wrote at NACLA:
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT