…and they are getting sorer. This gentleman……is the Uruguayan minister of defence. Like his president, he’s a former leftist guerrilla who did jail time during the military dictatorship. And he had to fend off a protest recently that appeared to be about one thing, but was really about another:
Translation mine.A “Machiavellian plan”? No, Colonel, that would be what you and yours did during the dictatorship. This isn’t really about the budgeting for the Military Hospital, is it? No, of course not. Even an old Tupamaro wouldn’t deny his worst enemy decent healthcare, lest he prove to be just as bad as the fascists who once jailed him. That’s not what this is about at all. It’s a “protest” against popular opinion, which in two separate referenda now has called for lifting the immunity of military repressors and putting them on trial for crimes against humanity. That’s what’s really at stake. Uruguay, like its neighbor, Argentina, had a dictatorship problem during the 1970s and ’80s that has yet to be fully resolved. And what this small bunch of ex-military officers is really protesting against, is the chance that it WILL be resolved…and not in their favor, either. In Uruguay, the military repressed more than just Tupamaros, it jailed and killed a lot of innocent people. And to deny them the chance to seek redress is just perpetuating the problem. Who’s the real revanchist here?
A group of ex-militaries and their family members confronted the Uruguayan defence minister, Luis Rosadilla, in a march to protest the poor conditions of the Military Hospital, and called him a “liar” and a “Tupamaro assassin”, according the local press.Some 500 people, gathered by the National Union of Retired Members of the Armed Forces (Unir-FFAA), marched on Saturday afternoon to the ministry office to be received by the minister, who during the 1973-1985 dictatorship had spent several years in prison for belonging to the Tupamaro guerrillas. According to the newspaper El País’s digital edition, the minister arrived especially to be on hand to meet the demonstrators, who seemed to arrive in a heated temper, and who had shaken their fists during the march at various motorists along the way.Upon arriving at the ministry, the ex-militaries changed their chants of “Long live our country and the Armed Forces” to “Free the military prisoners” and “liar”, while Unir-FFAA authorities appealed for calm from the group.As well, the former military members protested the intention of the ruling Frente Amplio (Broad Front) coalition to do away with the Immunity Law, which prevents crimes committed by uniformed military members during the dictatorship from going to trial, despite the fact that the citizens have twice indicated in referendums that they would support such a measure.While the Unir-FFAA leaders explained to Rosadilla “the emergency situation” of the Military Hospital, which places the medical coverage of its 160,000 users at risk, the angry shouts against the minster interrupted the conversation.Rosadilla appeared angry, and called the talks over. As he headed back inside the building, the shouts of “Tupa liar”, “assassin”, “son of a bitch” and “revanchist” grew louder.Colonel Jorge Puente, president of Unir-FFAA, told the newspaper El Observador that the Budgetary Law approved by the government of president José (Pepe) Mujica, also a former Tupamaro guerrilla, “is destroying” the armed forces. “Sometimes I can’t sleep for thinking it’s a Machiavellian plan, but I hope I’m wrong about this and would like to think the authorities understand the importance of the armed forces,” said the former officer.