July 22, 2024

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“If he says what he’s going to do…”: The truth of the phrase attributed to Menem and why he allied with Bunge & Bourne

“If he says what he’s going to do…”: The truth of the phrase attributed to Menem and why he allied with Bunge & Bourne
Carlos Menem photographed by Italian Manuela Fabri in September 1988 – Source Tata Yofre Archive

A few months after taking office as head of state, Mauricio Macri said during a speech before members of the Christian Association of Business Leaders: “If I had said a year ago what I was going to do, all this would have happened. , happening, they’re going to vote overwhelmingly to put me in the asylum. Now I am the president. Almost immediately the press remembered that Carlos Saul Menem had uttered similar comments a few years before. Actually the “If I say what I’m going to do, nobody will vote for me.” Despite remaining silent when facing punishment, the former Rioja president did not. History teaches that Tennis player Guillermo Vilas said this phrase An example of the policy Menem was developing was during a conversation with journalist Bernardo Neustadt after 1990. However, in response to the slogans of the 1988 and 1989 campaign, candidate Radical Raul Alphonse repeated the tired and irritated “Follow me, I’m not going to let you down.” Revolution and Big Pay” .

There was a big change between what he said during the election campaign and what was later implemented from July 8, 1989. Economist Manuel Solanet would say, “Economic and social attraction prompted President-elect Menem to seek a proper diagnosis and more radical proposals. Of course, faced with the immediate responsibility of office, Menem or the script of the election campaign of Peronist economists who bargained with the radical government on May 15, 1989, changed rapidly. . It was hoped that the transfer of power would allow time left for constitutional solutions. It is worth remembering that Alphonsín left power six months before the end of his constitutional term. Compared to what was experienced in Argentina at the time Menem’s trip to Europe as a presidential candidate helped him mature Some transcendental conclusions. I also envision a serious candidate, Eduardo Angelos, although he is unlikely to implement them since he is not the leader of his party. Menem listened to other voices, which encouraged him to implement another comprehensive plan far removed from what his personal collaborators and collaborators proposed. The “social democratic” ideas of Antonio Cafiero, defeated. It should not be forgotten that Menemism carried within its fold countless contradictions. On July 8, 1988, the day of victory in the internal elections, while Menem, Zulema and their followers were celebrating, Eduardo Bauza, who was in the candidate’s constituency, went to Cafiero’s campaign headquarters, the President Hotel. Conqueror and there, between hopes and opinions, I slip, “I am ashamed to have won,” which will translate as the months go by: “By menism you win, by kafirismo you rule.” Menem opposed all this.

Carlos Menem in Paris, August 1988

On October 28, 1988, Zulema started her European tour together with Yoma, Zulemita and several other leaders. Between working meetings with officials, businessmen and journalists, there was no rest in Madrid. His interviews with President Felipe González, former President Adolfo Suarez, and businessman José María Cuevas, president of the Federation of Business Organizations of Spain, They were instructive. I spoke with Gonzalez on November 2nd between 9:07 and 9:53 am. Among other issues, the Spanish president noted that “Argentina’s economic crisis is very difficult, even if one has affection for Raúl Alfonsín.” That same day (at 4:30 p.m.) Suarez told him, “Europe always gets negative news from Latin America, and it’s good that you’re here.” Regarding his views on the armed forces. He spoke to Menem about the military’s “lack of understanding” and advised against “sitting the military permanently on the bench… at the Silver Bridge and judging them by selecting a few.” “It worries me that there are many problems of political understanding in Argentina.” In other words, Uruguay’s President Luis Maria Sanguinetti He would say something similar the following month.All the Spaniards talked to Menem about regularizing relations between Argentina and Great Britain to facilitate the entry of national exports into the European Economic Community.

During his stay in Madrid, Menem also met Nicolás Redondo, General Secretary of the General Union of Workers (UGT).

In France, Menem met Francois Mitterrand and accompanied Ambassador Mario Gambora, Minister Juan Archibald Lanuz and myself to see Jacques Chirac, then Mayor of Paris. I had to sit next to him and listen to Chirac talk to him about the French position in the Falklands War as he outlined Margaret Thatcher’s personality and tried to give her some advice. Further He met Giscard D’Estaing and discussed his ideas on “modern economics”.. After arriving in Paris, he traveled to Bonn (a private conversation with Chancellor Helmut Joseph Kohl, a conference at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and a meeting with Minister Hans Genscher), Rome (government, business world) and the Vatican.

Menem during his stay in Rome with Italian Deputy Prime Minister Gianni De Michelis

Menem returned from his tour as a presidential candidate. For example, in the middle of the presidential election campaign, on March 17, 1989, Domingo Felipe Cavallo called me to La Pila, and his question was very direct: “Is Pausa going to be Minister of Economy? I ask this because he told me the other day that my views were inconsistent with jurisprudence. More to the point, he said he would lead an entirely Peronist economic committee for the first two years and that I would move to a large embassy. After that stage he can come back because a beginner stage will start. What do you think?” I limited myself to telling you that Eduardo Bauzá is not going to be the Minister of Economy, because he said “after a month we are all in jail”. I remember Menem finding the story very funny. “You lifted my spirits,” he told me over the phone. With so much fuss, too much commitment and hugs, the candidate was a bit emotional at times, and then his colleagues and friends called me. This is how I appeared in Buenos Aires in June with Alberto Blaquier Roca’s private plane. We talked alone and I asked him for patience: “It’s been less than a month and you’ve already won,” I told him.

A small part of my archive, two agendas and nine of my notebooks from the 1988 and 1989 campaigns.

Without explaining it publicly, Menem gave little indication of what he thought intimately about his future presidential administration. He was eating some quail eggs in his kitchen at 240 Callao Avenue when, in my presence, he instructed Raul Carignano of Santa Fe: “Prepare me a plan for railroad management. “I cannot support a deficit of a million pesos a day.” (Something that reminded me of some of the ideas of engineer Alvaro Askare). On Friday, May 12, he received the blue list members of the Press Association at his office in Galla. “Boys” pro-government newspaper, proposed in a professional manner. The candidate says he doesn’t like the idea and cites failed examples of “Expresso” and “Democracy”. The “boys” then insist on a “cleanse” of the media under state administration and demand the leaders of journalists Sergio Villarreal and Daniel Mendoza. “Nobody is without work here,” he replied without further hesitation.

Menem with José Manuel de la Sota in the 1989 campaign

On Saturday morning, May 13, 1989, in Hugo Franco’s office, he met with the Archbishop of Córdoba, Cardinal Raúl Primatesta, who instructed him to stay with his people in La Rioja on the night of victory. Talk on TV and radio to the rest of the country. That means don’t come to Buenos Aires. In a gesture of goodwill, the cardinal presented him with a document containing some “recommendations” for a victory speech. The next day he attended the Pedro I. Castro Barres Normal School of Teachers’ Table No. Voted at 43, and at 10:46 he drove the piper with Ricardo Beale to his hometown of Anilaco. Lorenzo Ortiz and I were behind. The control tower let him take off and told him: “Position and departure, good luck. We look forward to seeing you next time with Tango 01. As night fell, Carlos Menem was elected president of Argentina.

July 8, 1989 Carlos Menam and Mrs. Greet people from Government House. (TELAM)

Menem’s electoral victory was not surprising. Polling companies had been waiting for weeks. Even those paid for by the radical ruling party. Now came the most difficult part, taking charge of a country in a state of disaster. Only a few indices reflect the position in which Argentina finds itself: on July 8, 1989 (the day of the presidential inauguration) the government received a central bank with less than 100 million dollars in reserves; 664,801% cumulative inflation between December 10, 1983 and July 8, 1989; During the same period, the peso’s depreciation, as measured by the relationship between the same currency and the value of the dollar, was 1,627,429%, with an inflation rate of 114.5% in June 1989 alone. “Argentinians need to know that “A delay in utility rates is tantamount to a scorched earth policy.”He disclosed a statement issued to the media on July 14, 1989 with my signature. Menem and his economic team knew that drastic measures had to be taken, which is why they spoke of “major surgery without fainting”.

Engineer Alsogare, Guillermo Esteves Boro, Eduardo Duhalte and Menem

Between the presidential election and his inauguration on July 8, Menem received all kinds of advice and counsel. I faced what I had to face He leans towards a plan brought by businessman Néstor Rapanelli from the Bunge & Born group. Accepting it, he only suggested, “Don’t stop talking to Alskaray, we’ll talk next week.” After a few days he started talking “Popular Market Economy”. Not long for discussions, the first boom of the social outburst was heard outside the room (where I was). On the day of his inauguration speech he began to reveal what he thought and discovered. He gave some indication of his future activities: “Country Against All” is over. “All Together” Country Begins. “There is no other way to say it: the country is broken, destroyed, destroyed, devastated.” “If Argentina is not where it should be, it is not the country’s fault, but Argentina’s responsibility. “Our divisions, our historical burdens, our ideological prejudices, our bigotry.”

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