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05/14/2012

The G20 and the 'Argentine issue'

Next month, heads of state of the G20 countries will gather in Los Cabos, the resort city in Baja California. Already, it’s looking like the presence of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner may become an issue.

Earlier today, the office of Sen. Dick Lugar (the Indiana Republican who lost a primary bid last week and will be leaving the Senate soon after 36 years), sent out a news release saying he wanted Argentina removed from the G20.

Lugar noted that Argentina has refused to honor over 100 court judgments ordering it to pay U.S. creditors. He said Argentina has failed to comply with 47 of 49 recommendations to combat terrorist financing and money laundering, the worst of any G20 country. And he made note of the recent state seizure of the YPF S.A. oil company from the Spanish energy company Repsol YPF.

It may be just one of the issues – along with European economic turmoil -- that may make the G20 powwow interesting.

Here’s some of Lugar’s press release on Argentina:

“Argentina has failed to respect the property and rights of U.S. and other foreign investors.  It has failed to respect judgments against it by U.S. courts and international arbitral tribunals, refused standard IMF inspections, and expropriated property from investors.  As long as this “outlaw behavior” continues, Argentina does not deserve membership in the G-20,” Lugar said.

“The G-20 is for nations that respect the rule of law, and Argentina clearly has not.  As a nation that mocks the law and declines to respect the property and interests of foreign investors, Argentina should not have a world leadership role in the G-20. Argentina’s behavior is unique in the world today.  Unlike countries facing genuine challenges, Argentina has a productive economy and over $45 billion in reserves.  It could easily live by the rules and pay its bills—but the current government chooses otherwise,” Lugar continued. 

“… The US government must take a firm stand against Argentina’s serial evasion of its obligations, and refusal to follow international rules and standards,” Lugar concluded.

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Bummer

When Senator Lugar talks about "international rules and standards," he ignores the U.S. policy of drone missile attacks that kill innocent civilian who reside in homes where terrorists are supposedly having meet and greets in Pakistan and Yemen. The USA has yet to respond to requests from Cuba for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles, the mastermind behind the terrorist attack in 1976 on Cubna flight 455, blown up by two C-4 time bombs. Carriles still lives in Miami, protected by the CIA, which apparently still pays his living expenses. Lugar is now looking for a job and vulture fund operator Kenneth Dart has a $700 million lawsuit against Argentina. Dart just scored a $400 million dollar payout on the Greek government bonds he bought at a 60%-70% discount, so Dart can afford to put Lugar on his payroll (and Lugar is already working for him now, off the books).

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Tim

This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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