?Last chance for a Latin American Argentina? by Marcos Alemán SJ

The crisis in Argentina has reached such an extreme that the Spanish Church has been collecting food to send us, and the United States, who was our friend for quite a while, has resumed requiring a visa of us. We are thirty-six million, of whom fifteen million are poor, but we are face to face with an opportunity. On the one hand, we can apply a Band-Aid solution and get out of the crisis quickly, given that we are a rich land, but if Argentina chooses to be an ?Atlantic? and ?European? country, many things will be left unsolved. On the other hand, if we see ourselves as a Latin American country (a distasteful prospect for our European so-called ?well-wishers?), we will be able to think about a future for everyone. Thanks to the crisis, we can now choose to manage the nation in such a way that it includes the excluded. If we leave these millions of Argentineans out, let?s not be surprised if in months or years new pots-and-pans protests reveal that we lost an historic opportunity. There are even those who say that things were better under the military government, never mind that 30,000 people disappeared, the country sold itself, and prospects for the future were terrible. Whoever says so, cannot have suffered in that era. Even today some sectors long for Menem?s style of government again, though the country would be still more destroyed and fifteen million poor wiped out. Our challenge today consists in a choice: Either we save ourselves (those who can) and to hell with the rest, or include everyone who has so far been left out of the current perverse arrangement. No model that does not begin from the poor and with the poor will work for Argentina. [HL20302]