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hijo, argentina, carta

Letter to my Absent Child

You were not expelled by war, natural disasters, or the rigors of the climate but by a shameful ruling caste that, through several decades, made Argentina first a place without a future and now a place without a present.

[Leer en español]

It was not the pandemic or the eternal quarantine. You left this hell long before; another hell took you away, that of mediocrity and lack of horizon. You left the country in search of a horizon because, in spite of your youth, you understood that here, there would not be one. Years ago Argentina became a hostile place for honest people.

You were not expelled by war, natural disasters, or the rigors of the climate but by a shameful ruling caste that, through several decades, made Argentina first a place without a future and now a place without a present. Among irresponsible politicians, crony businesspeople, and unscrupulous trade unionists, they outlined a country of thugs, arrogant and wealthy illiterates; people of low status who legally but illegitimately occupy the spaces of leadership to the point of making it unviable exercise, trade, and even daily life itself.

A meaningful life

We raised you in our values, on the pillar of liberty, axis in the culture of traditions and respect for moral values, in a framework of personal responsibility that you knew how to incorporate in absolute harmony with what you received at school. We wanted a full life for you: that you would be a good professional in the discipline you chose but, above all, that you would become a good man.

We taught you to walk your own path and to accept, as Jean Piaget said, that “to choose is to lose.” You learned to choose, to leave things along the way so as not to be dispersed in your objectives and to make mistakes, but also to get back up by yourself and continue on. We showed you by example that no one can take away your achievements, to find satisfaction in them and in every progress you attained.

The school gave you knowledge, models of life and taught you the incalculable value of friendship. It was the perfect complement to make you the human being you are today.

But when you came to adult life you realized that the meritocracy and effort we had instilled in you were not valued in the society in which you were to develop. On the contrary; good manners and noble actions had an impact on a world plagued by corruption and venality, and you could not find a place to make your contribution in this immoral and mediocre mess the country has become.

A fake bill
hijo, argentina, dinero, carta
We taught you to walk your own path and to accept, as Jean Piaget said, that “to choose is to lose”. (Flickr)

You shared the same principles with your friends. Once, as a teenager, one of them was given a fake bill; when he tried to use it, it was refused at the store. That episode is a postcard I will never forget. They came home in awe and he said, “Now that I know it’s a fake, I can’t use it.”

“These are the people we are training,” I thought with excitement. But the environment was adverse to their values and behaviors. Perhaps at that time the need for a better world began to germinate in your soul. And one day you succeeded. Since then I celebrate for you that enormous distance that separates us, but I also know that it is not free, that it is not all pleasant. I know that your uprooting entails sacrifice and pain. Not being with your family in Argentina is sad. To assume that you will not be able to see your children grow up in your country is painful.

Screens have a great value among us. We see each other, we smile at each other and we show each other from the phone the place where we are or the gift we have just received. These are moments of intense joy until someone says the first “well…”, which indicates that it is time to cut out. In each communication we take a list of our friends and family and tell you the news about everyone of them. And then we go back to each other. We here, without you; you there, without us.

I celebrate that you are growing personally and professionally elsewhere but, I am not fooled, I am aware of the day to day that we are missing out on our relationship.

Life. That’s why, even in this evicted Argentina, I try to show you that for me the fight for a better society continues. Maybe if there are fruits, they will not be for you, but for the millions of valuable young people who are trapped by a perverse system that holds them hostage. That’s why I’m sending you pictures from Congress while I call on lawmakers to respect life; that’s why I’m joining international causes against 21st century Marxism; that’s why I’m not giving up. Because I want to continue being coherent and because the struggle for just causes dispels the anguish of your absence. And because I know that in one little corner, your soul also suffers.

I extend this letter to the thousands and thousands of parents who share this feeling that I describe today.

Happy New Year, dear child! When the 24 bells ring, when the fireworks light up the sky, here we will be thinking of you. We love you, and the pride we feel for the person you became gives meaning to any sacrifice.


María Zaldívar has a degree in Political Science (Universidad Católica Argentina). Political analyst. Board of Directors of “Federalism and Freedom.” Award for “Courageous Defense of Freedom”, Atlas Foundation. Author of the book: Peronism Demolitions. @MariaZaldivar.

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