Last Friday night, the Embassy of Argentina in Barbados opened its doors to celebrate their National Day. In a relaxed environment, Ambassador Gustavo Martinez Pandiani received in his residence, dyed blue and white for the occasion, “the dearest friends of Argentina”, as he described the more than 200 hundred distinguished guests.
Among those present, the Governor General of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason; Prime Minister Mia Mottley, President of the Senate, Sir Richard Cheltenham; Speaker of the House, Arthur Holder; Leader of the Opposition, Bishop Joseph Atherley, and former Foreign Minister, Maxine McClean, along with ministers, senators, members of Parliament, diplomats, businessman and a wide range of community leaders, were seen chatting and enjoying the amazing Argentine-style beef barbeque and the Malbec Wine, already a tradition in every event held by the Embassy.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Pandiani pointed out that the gathering was “in fact a celebration of our friendship” and went over the bilateral initiatives put into practice by the Embassy of Argentina within only one year, which include cooperation projects in Agriculture, Fishing, Public Health, Environment, Sports, Arts and Language; the signing of agreements in humanitarian assistance, football, and cricket, among others; and a variety of cultural and artistic activities, such as a film festival, art exhibitions, theatre and dancing (all of them free of charge and open to the community). He also mentioned the participation of his country in Crop Over, with an Argentine reggae singer and a couple of Tango dancers who specially came from Buenos Aires.
Pandiani, who expressed his gratitude to his many Barbadian friends for partnering up since his arrival in the island, also recalled that last year´s Argentine National Day celebration, on May 25th, counted with the presence of the “just-sworn in” Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley “after an exhausting campaign and with almost no sleep”. Such a gesture, described as “a clear sign of the willingness of Barbados to strengthen its bilateral relation with Argentina” was interpreted by the Ambassador “both a privilege and a call to responsibility”.
Finally and visibly emotional, he expressed his joy “at the affection I receive every day from the Bajan people, in the streets in Town, in Black Rock, on the football fields at the Garrison, and everywhere I go within the community”. Such recognition, the envoy said, “represents to me the best award a foreign diplomat can ever receive”.
On behalf of the Barbadian government, Minister Ronald Toppin expressed her recognition to the government of Argentina and highlighted the “Outstanding work done by its Embassy in Bridgetown, sharing Argentina´s culture, art, sports, and wines with us”, and underlined Pandiani´s closeness to the community “as a token of his commitment not only to this country, but also to its people”.
It was certainly an evening full of laughter and friendship, enlivened by Andre Ford and his fusion of melodies from the steel pan. After the welcoming remarks from the Ambassador, two couples of dancers showed up and demonstrated their Tango skills. But the icing on the cake was the performance of the talented local singer Ch´An, who captivated the audience with her rendition of “Don´t cry for me Argentina” from the balcony of the official residence. Without a doubt, it was a night to be remembered for a long time. (PR)