President Alberto Fernandez visits the Marambio Base in Antarctica this Wednesday, February 22, and thus becomes the fourth Argentine president to set foot on the white continent. From there he gives a speech on the national chain.
“Only four presidents have visited Antarctica, and I am the first to do so in more than 20 years, and for this reason, I confess, I am filled with deep emotion,” the President said of his trip, stressing that “here, at the end of of the world, one can assume the dimension of the Fatherland”.
“This year, we Argentines celebrate forty years of uninterrupted democracy. In the years of the dictatorship, we believed that a strong democracy was only a utopia that wandered among our dreams,” said the head of state. And he added: “Now that that utopia has become a reality, it is time to consider another utopia: the utopia of equality,” he said.
“When I invite you to accompany me to make that utopia a reality, I am also inviting you to promote territorial equality throughout the country. I invite you to give strength to our forgotten north. I invite you to strengthen our productive center,” he listed. I invite you to think of Antarctica, the southern islands and the vast sea that surrounds it as a source of wealth that exists but is still unexplored.”
Fernández highlighted that the Argentine presence in Antarctica began in 1902 and “was never interrupted”, and mentioned the role of Juan Domingo Perón. “The First Scientific Expedition to the Argentine Continental Antarctic aimed at creating a permanent base departed on February 12, 1951 from Buenos Aires, that day the then President Juan Domingo Perón together with Eva Duarte said goodbye to the expedition members who were going to create the Antarctic Institute “, he said about the first scientific institution worldwide dedicated exclusively to Antarctic research.
“Perón knew that science is sovereignty. There is no possible development without scientific-technological production. Antarctica is a scientific research center of great importance for humanity and for our country. The growth of our Argentina has projection towards the South and vision bicontinental and part of national development depends on the defense of its strategic components,” he said.
Fernández left the Fuegian city of Ushuaia for the Argentine scientific station in Antarctica, which has been operating there since 1969. As part of his visit, the head of state put into operation the first own building of the National University of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands.
Although the trip was originally scheduled for May 25, 2022, bad weather conditions on that day prevented the departure. Now, the visit coincides with Sovereignty Day in Argentine Antarctica: this date commemorates the first raising of the Argentine flag on Laurie Island in the Orcadas del Sur archipelago, north of the Argentine Antarctic Sector.
In this way, Fernández will become the four Argentine presidents to visit Antarctica, as did Arturo Frondizi, Raúl Lastiri and Carlos Menem.
Traveling with the President will be the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Santiago Cafiero: of Science, Technology and Innovation, Daniel Filmus; Defense, Jorge Taiana; and from Social Development, Victoria Tolosa Paz; as well as the secretary of Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic, Guillermo Carmona.
“We are going to Antarctica together with President Alberto Fernández to promote research that allows us to preserve the environment. With this objective we are finishing three new laboratories, built together with the Ministry of Defense and financed by the Ministry of Science,” said Filmus.
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