Barbados’ democratic process has come in for high praise from one of its Latin American allies, following the May 24, 2018 general election.
In welcoming Barbados’ first female Prime Minister Mia Mottley to office, Argentina’s Ambassador to Barbados Gustavo Pandiani commended the country for the way in which the election was conducted.
He was addressing members of the Mottley-led Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration, diplomats and other specially invited guests at his Christ Church residence last Friday night, as they joined in celebrating Argentina’s National Day.
“When the people speak, we must all listen. And, when the people make a decision by using their freedom, it’s always a cause to celebrate. For this reason, tonight we are not just commemorating Argentina’s National Day, but we are also celebrating the exercise of democracy in beautiful Barbados,” said Pandiani.
“This election, conducted freely, orderly and peacefully, is a reflection of a country that enjoys a strong and consistent rule of law,” he said.
Argentina’s National Day or May Revolution Day, is celebrated on May 25 each year to mark the anniversary of the first independent government of the South American nation.
Recalling that the diplomatic relations between Bridgetown and Buenos Aires dated back to the late 1960’s, Pandiani said he was satisfied that the bilateral relationship continued to be one that was filled with vitality.
“Our countries are enjoying today, a period of intense activity and dynamism,” said Pandiani.
While pointing to some of the agreements between the two nations over the years, Pandiani pledged Argentina’s continued support to Barbados’ development in several areas, as he announced several planned activities to celebrate the diplomatic ties.
“In order to commemorate our 50 years of diplomatic relations, the Embassy has organized a complete programme of cultural activities. Under the theme Celebrating Our Friendship, Sharing Our Culture, this programme includes all our artistic expressions – film, music, dance, theatre, performing arts, gastronomy, painting and photography,” he announced.
“Between July 9 and 11, we will have an Argentine film festival at the facilities of the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination of the University of the West Indies. Then we will showcase three Argentine movies, with free admission and open to the community,” he added.
The Argentine diplomat also pointed out that for the first time a reggae singer from that country would be part of this year Crop Over festival.
“Fidel Nadal will perform at Pan Fusion at the Prime Minister’s residence and at Pan Pun De Sand on Brandons Beach, on July 14 and 15 respectively,” he said.
“On August 4 and 5, and as proof of our creativity and risk taking approach, there will be a fusion of Tango and Soca at Bridgetown Market. Together with the National Cultural Foundation, we will be offering, free of charge as well, a Tango show and clinics by a fantastic couple of professional dancers from Buenos Aires, just before Kadooment Day,” he added.
He also announced that the embassy would be hosting a play at the Frank Collymore Hall on August 10 and 11, which will be followed by a series of training seminars for the Performing Arts community at Queen’s Park the following week.
As part of the celebrations, the embassy will also host an exhibit of intervened photography by an Argentine visual artist on September 16 and 22.
“This beautiful programme to celebrate our 50 years as friends symbolizes our closeness, and also represents the way we conceive diplomacy – being on the ground, gaining first-hand knowledge of our cultures, idiosyncrasies and artistic expressions – always with our peoples as the main protagonists of the relationship between our countries,” he said. (MM)