The Death Of Former President Carlos Menem, A Symbol Of Extreme Liberalism In Argentina

2021-02-14   |   by CusiGO

His tenure means hard currency and corruption, privatization and unemployment, loose money and poverty. Carlos Saul Menem (1930), the president of Argentina from 1989 to 1999, died in Buenos Aires on Sunday, February 14 at the age of 90. He was the victim of an infection complicated by basic heart problems. Menem succeeded Raul Alfonsine and led the Peronists to return to power after the restoration of democracy.

At that time, the country was in a serious economic crisis, and the hyperinflation was solved by Menem through the implementation of the ultra liberal policy in the Washington consensus. It implemented one-to-one convertibility between peso and US dollar, and started a deep process of privatization. Argentina’s economy grew until 1998, and the imbalance that ended with the collapse of coralito in 2002 is brewing. Menem died as a senator, a position that allowed him to escape imprisonment for corruption.

Argentines’ memory of Menem is pious or contemptuous. He is the father of a great change. He led the change as a politician or disaster manager. Those who defend it recall the days when there was no inflation, infrastructure investment and the modernization of public services through privatization. The peso’s parity with the US dollar makes Argentines first-class tourists and imports rush into the market. This is the era of “Argentina’s first world” and “physical relations with the United States,” as defined by the then prime minister (foreign minister) Guido Di tella.

“90’s” soon became the pronoun of meneom. Meneom was a movement that brought Peronism into the wave of extreme liberalism in this century. Instead, its critics argue that Menem has shut down thousands of businesses, has record poverty and unemployment, and, most importantly, corruption is a political tool. “Menemato” for this group is “menemato”, referring to the president’s Arab roots.

In 1989, Menem won the election as an internal warlord, promising a “productive revolution”, wearing a northern cloak and long sideburns. But the warlord quickly shaved his beard and changed his cloak into Armani’s suit. It became Peronism. He allied himself with the party’s most conservative sector and appointed traditional right wingers to his government. The progressive Peronism soon broke with him and launched a war against him. But the boom stopped the domestic uprising. Menem signed an agreement with radical Raul Alfonsine to include a second term in the Constitution and to be re elected in 1995. His second period highlighted the slow but unstoppable exhaustion of the convertible model.

During his reign, Menem privatized, franchised or dissolved 66 state-owned enterprises. Sales of “Granny’s jewelry” and foreign debt poured into the dollar market. Corruption is the symbol of the times. Then he coined the phrase “steal but do” as an objection to the radicals, who the Peronists believed were honest but lacked power. This is also the “champagne pizza” for many years, because menezer has her own aesthetic and is the daughter of easy business and fast fortune. The characters in pink house make up for something wrong with charm and dizzy management. Menem made a name for playboy by playing football, flying a plane and driving a car. Once, he ordered to close a 500 kilometer highway and drive a Ferrari at full speed. He just received a gift from a gambler. “Menem’s Ferrari” is another indelible photo in the public memory.

Menem’s personal life was an integral part of politics at that time. On March 15, 1995, another family incident became a national event: his son Carlos died in a helicopter crash at the age of 26. Zulema Yuma always thought it was an attack, and Menem accepted that assumption a few years later. It was during the same period that Argentina experienced the only two terrorist attacks in its history: the destruction of the Israeli embassy in 1992 and the attack on the Jewish fraternity AMIA in 1994. Argentina is still burdened with these unresolved attacks.

In 1998, when the economy collapsed, Menem tried to become a candidate for the third time, but failed to increase his support for the constitutional amendment. Peronists lost the election to the left-wing Peronists after Fernando de la Rua’s radical alliance and Carlos Alvarez. Alchemy lasted for a short time, and everything ended in the crisis of 2002. Meanwhile, Menem is accumulating judicial issues. In 2001, a judge placed him under house arrest for trafficking arms to Ecuador and Croatia despite the UN embargo. The former president was jailed for five months, accompanied by his new wife, Cecilia boloco, Chile’s former Miss Universe.

In 2003, Menem again tried to become president, but was defeated by Nestor Kirchner. He took refuge in his hometown of larioha, who awarded him a seat in the Senate. He flirted with McChrystal and then supported kirchnerism in Congress. As a senator, he didn’t go to jail, but died freely until the last day.