Trump Blocks Argentina Tribute To Jimmy Carter
WASHINGTON, April 29, 2017—Argentine President Mauricio Macri planned to award President Jimmy Carter the Order of the Liberator General San Martín, the highest distinction Argentina awards a foreign person, during his visit to Washington this week. However, the award ceremony was cancelled after an explicit request by the Trump administration, according to several reports.
Carter was nominated for the award by former Argentine ambassador to the U.S., Martin Lousteau, for Carter’s work to strengthen human rights during Argentina’s military dictatorship in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The award was announced in the Argentine government’s Official Bulletin in March, and it was later decided that President Macri would preside over an award ceremony during his visit to Washington in April.
The award ceremony was abruptly cancelled days before Macri’s visit. The official explanation for the cancellation was scheduling problems, but a source in the Argentine government who spoke to CNN Español on the condition of anonymity stated that the ceremony was cancelled at the specific request of the Trump administration for a delay.
The source also told CNN that Macri chose to comply with the request to “avoid conflicts” and to discuss issues that were important to both administrations.
Macri was one of the first world leaders to call Trump to congratulate him on his electoral victory in November 2016. According to Argentine newspaper La Nación, Trump asked Macri to expedite the issuance of permits that were holding up a Trump-branded office building project in Buenos Aires during the call. Both Macri and Trump denied that Trump’s building project in Buenos Aires was discussed.
Another source suggests that the Argentine Foreign Ministry asked Macri to present the award to Carter despite Trump’s request, especially since it had already been approved and announced in the country’s official bulletin.
Featured image:European Parliament, Flickr Creative Commons