Tuesday, September 25, 2012
While in the U.S. for the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations, Cristina Kirchner is visiting both Georgetown University and Harvard University to give presentations on the Argentine “Model” in question-and-answer forums.
The Georgetown event will take place this Wednesday, September 26th, according to a few news articles such as the Buenos Aires Herald. Perhaps due to the controversy surrounding Kirchner’s visit, there appears to be no public announcement on the University’s website.
The event at Harvard is advertised on the University’s calendar for September 27th at 8:00 p.m. and entrance is by lottery only.
GEORGETOWN’S NEW ARGENTINE CHAIR
An article in Perfil from yesterday notes that, while at Georgetown, Kirchner will inaugurate an Argentine Chair alongside the Georgetown Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) President, Erick Langer. The potential nominee has not yet been announced.
According to the article, the purpose of this chair is to create a forum for talks and lectures about Argentina and to better understand the country and its government, which Langer feels has been left out of discussions of Latin America. Langer argues Argentina deserves better recognition alongside Brazil or Columbia.
The source of funding for this chair has not been confirmed, but in an interview with Perfil, Langer did say that Argentine Ambassador Jorge Arguello “was fundamental” in the creation of the new post; Arguello proposed the idea and helped Langer secure funding.
LUKEWARM RECEPTION FOR CFK
While the public’s reception at Georgetown is not yet known, President Kirchner’s announced visit to Harvard is already making a splash.
A wave of opposition has resulted from the announcement of Kirchner’s visits to Georgetown and Harvard. On the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum website, some 3,985 comments about Harvard hosting this visit have already been posted! Most of these comments are negative and many individuals claim to be Argentine natives asking students to ask Kirchner actual policy questions they cannot get answers to, with one calling the Kirchner administration an “authoritarian government breaking all the rules of democracy.”
An issue that continues to surface is the feeling that Argentines aren’t allowed to ask Kirchner questions and that she only has controlled panels, refusing to answer the public. One individual on the Forum website called for those with questions to post to Twitter with the hashtag #ASKCRISTINA. Georgetown’s Langer has spoken to this, saying their forum will be open to questions from students. No information has been provided, however, about how to submit questions or how to attend the forum.