Argentina President Alberto Fernandez Apologizes for Brazil Comments: 'Brazilians Came From the Jungle'
Argentina President Alberto Fernandez apologized on Twitter for his tone-deaf comments about people in Brazil on Wednesday, June 9. He said that "Brazilians came from the jungle."
The comments of the Argentina president caused outrage on Twitter, with people online slamming him for being racially insensitive.
Alberto Fernandez's comments came when he was speaking with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who is visiting the country to play up the South American country's ties with Europe, Reuters reported.
Referring to the country's many European migrants, Fernandez said: "The Mexicans came from the Indians, the Brazilians came from the jungle, but we Argentines came from the ships. And they were ships that came from Europe."
It looks like a line from his favorite local musician Lito Nebbia. But the president attributed the passage from Mexican writer Octavio Paz.
Argentina President Apologizes for Brazil Comments
Because of what happened, Alberto Fernandez expressed his apology on Twitter, saying he did not mean to offend anyone with what he said.
"In any case, who has felt offended or invisible, I offer my apologies," a translated tweet from the Argentine President said.
Fernandez further noted that he was only highlighting the diversity of his country, adding that "our diversity is a pride."
However, people who got offended by what he said seemed not satisfied with his apology. One Twitter user pointed out that the president's communication team should be fired for not preparing him to speak in public.
No se trata de lo que quisiste decir, se trata de lo que dijiste. Despedí a todo ese equipo de comunicación que no te prepara para hablar en público. No se puede así Presidente.— Nicolás Vazzano (@nvazzano) June 9, 2021
Another user reminded the Argentine president about being careful with what he has to say as he was preceded by an extraordinary speaker who set the bar very high.
Tenés que ser más cuidadoso con lo que decís. No olvides que en el cargo te precedió un orador extraordinario que dejó la vara altísima.— Juan Faerman (@JuanFaerman) June 9, 2021
Reuters reported that an Argentine YouTube user expressed the embarrassment they felt for what the president had said.
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro's Take on the Insensitive Comments of Argentina President
The Brazilian government has yet to issue an official statement regarding Alberto Fernandez's comments on their citizens.
However, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro also joined the Twitter outrage as he posts his sarcastic take on the tone-deaf comments of the Argentine president.
Jair Bolsonaro posted a photo of him with the indigenous people of Brazil while wearing a native headdress with brown feathers. The president captioned "SELVA" in his tweet, meaning "jungle" in the English language.
- SELVA! 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/cT9AGjdj5K— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) June 10, 2021
Meanwhile, Brazilian Senator Ciro Nogueira said on Twitter that because of what Fernandez said, he understood why Nazi war criminals hid in Argentina after the second world war.
Depois de ler na Folha a declaração do presidente argentino de esquerda Fernández sobre os brasileiros terem vindo da selva e argentinos de barco da Europa, passei a entender melhor porque depois da II Guerra Mundial, criminosos de guerra nazistas se esconderam na Argentina.— Ciro Nogueira (@ciro_nogueira) June 9, 2021
On the other hand, opposition deputy Franciso Sanchez said that what Fernandez said was irreproducible, DW reported.
Sanchez recalled what the writer Octavio Paz said was, "Mexicans are from Aztecs, Peruvians are from Incas, and Argentines from ships."
Former Minister of Culture in the government of Mauricio Macri also commented on the statement of Argentina's president, saying that writer Octavio Paz should not be blamed.
WATCH: Bolsonaro in Argentina: Brazilian President's First Visit - From Al Jazeera English
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