The elaboration of identity myths, created to explain the origin of a certain people, appears as a trace of the historical formation process of countless nations.
In Brazil, for example, the idea of the three races was forged, an expression that translates a kind of gathering of Indians, Africans and Europeans in a single mixed people, which can hide the secular violence against enslaved blacks and the near decimation of the original populations .
Argentina is no exception to the rule, as the lamentable statement by the country’s president, Alberto Fernández, has once again demonstrated.
The president of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, was welcomed in Buenos Aires, during a press conference on Wednesday (9): “The Mexicans came from the indigenous people, the Brazilians from the jungle, and we, the Argentines, arrived on boats. They were boats that came from Europe”.
In addition to its evident prejudiced character, the statement also conveys the image, manufactured in the 19th century, of Argentina as a nation of strictly European origin, devoid of indigenous or African roots.
Faced with the negative repercussions, Fernández, who mistakenly attributed the phrase to the Mexican writer Octavio Paz, tried to apologize, but the continental quip was already created.
An ideological antagonist of the Argentine and frequently criticized for prejudiced and xenophobic statements, Jair Bolsonaro would not fail to take advantage of the opportunity for easy revenge. He published his picture alongside indigenous people with the caption “Selva!” —Expression of greeting in the Army.
This Thursday (10), he returned to the charge, associating Fernández with the Venezuelan dictator, Nicolás Maduro.
For the Brazilian president, whose popularity was overthrown by the ruinous management of the pandemic, it is convenient to brag about the plight of his counterparts on the left in South America. Although far from the Venezuelan humanitarian catastrophe, Argentina suffers from chronic economic disorder, with serious social and political impacts .
Bolsonaro takes advantage of the difficulty of his biggest domestic adversaries in distancing himself from the mistakes and disasters of such governments.