A year after Argentina commemorated the first anniversary of the tragic train crash that killed 51 people and injured 600 others, President Cristina Kirchner continues to dress in black.
Yet it is noteworthy that on this anniversary the president dressed in black not to mourn the country’s loss but rather to mourn her own.
The president’s husband and predecessor in power, Nestor Kirchner, died in October, 2010, and Mrs. Kirchner has donned dark attire ever since.
The train wreck, which occurred at the Once de Septiembre station in Buenos Aires, became for many a symbol of everything that is wrong with Argentina – corruption, greed, abuse of power, incompetence, injustice. Many people, especially critics of the government, accused the Kirchner administration of spending billions on a public transportation system that is, by all accounts, worse off now than it has been in years.
One of the things that bothered people about the tragedy was the fact that the president avoided all mention of it for five days. As each day passed, her silence seemed even more inexplicable. She completely ignored the event, behaving as if it hadn’t happened. Her silence on the subject was, to use a literary cliché, deafening. (more…)
For a broader look at Argentina’s controversial agreement with Iran to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, check out my colleague Shane’s article for The Wall Street Journal here. The terrorist attack killed 85 people and injured hundreds.
Argentina’s government last week told leading supermarkets and electronics retailers to stop advertising in the country’s biggest newspapers. You can read all about it in my article for The Wall Street Journal here.
A couple of weeks ago I interviewed Cablevisión CEO Carlos Moltini for my day job. You can read all about it here.
The article looks at Cablevisión’s investment plans and sheds light on how Argentina’s political context is affecting the company. For example, government import barriers forced the company to temporarily stop offering WiFi modems and other equipment last year.
But one thing that didn’t make it into the published article was the company’s plans for its high-speed Internet service, Fibertel.
Moltini said Cablevisión plans to raise its popular 6-megabit broadband service to 10-megabits, possibly as early as March though no date has been set. That’s good news for most surfers those who feel the need for speed.
Fans of the company’s high-end broadband product, Evolution, which offers 30-megabit download speeds, may not be so pleased, however, since the company has no plans to increase the speed.
Moltini said that while Cablevisión has the technical capacity to raise speeds to 100MB, Argentina’s market simply doesn’t demand higher velocities. Argentine companies and consumers don’t yet use enough video and other multimedia products to warrant flying at a faster pace.
So while Evolution has been a big breakthrough for Argentines wanting to surf the Internet at a quicker clip, the country’s speedsters will have to keep waiting before they can browse, download and stream as fast as people can in Asia, the U.S. and Europe.