Argentine president apologizes for “jungle” remarks racial issues news
Alberto Fernandez once stated that, unlike Mexicans and Brazilians, Argentines are from Europe, which has triggered accusations of racism.
After Argentine President Alberto Fernandez told visiting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez that modern Mexicans are natives, Brazilians “from the jungle” and residents of his own country are from Europe, It sparked a Twitter storm and regional ethnic debate, and apologized for it.
Fernandez made comments on Wednesday, apparently to emphasize the close relationship between Argentina and Spain.
“Mexicans are from Indians, Brazilians are from the jungle, but we Argentines are from ships. They are ships from Europe,” Fernandez said, claiming that these words were written by Mexican poet Octaviapas.
He also told the visiting leaders: “I am European. I am a person who believes in Europe.”
He later apologized for these comments, which triggered widespread reactions on social media, with many criticizing Fernandez for being racially insensitive.
“I don’t mean to offend anyone. In any case, no matter who feels offended or ignored, I will apologize,” Fernandez said on Twitter.
He said: “In the first half of the 20th century, we received more than 5 million immigrants who lived with our indigenous people.” “We are proud of our diversity.”
“We feel embarrassed”
Despite this, the Brazilian media published Fernandez’s statement on Wednesday, and many on social media joked that right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro would like to return to the left-wing Argentine leader.
Bolsonaro tweeted a photo of him wearing an indigenous headdress and smiling among a group of indigenous people. The only text in the tweet is the capital letter “JUNGLE”, flanked by the Brazilian flag emoji.
“Selva!” ?? pic.twitter.com/cT9AGjdj5K
-Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) June 10, 2021
Representative Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of the Brazilian President, blasted these remarks as “racist” and countered Argentina’s economic troubles that have fallen into recession since 2018.
“I said that the sinking ship is an Argentine ship,” he wrote on Twitter.
YouTube users also posted replies under the speech video, expressing anger or anxiety.
“Sorry, friends in Mexico and Brazil, we are very embarrassed on behalf of all Argentines. You know how much we love you, and your country and customs,” said a user named Barbara Bongiovanni.
At the same time, former Mexican President Felipe Calderon questioned whether this sentence really came from Nobel Prize winner Mexican writer Paz.
“This could have been said [Mexican comedian] Cantinflas, or [Argentine comedians] Les Luthiers, but Octavio Paz? I hope he quotes the source,” Calderon wrote on Twitter.