Brazilians ‘came from the jungle’: Argentine president
Published: 11:47 AM, 10 June 2021 Updated: 11:48 AM, 10 June 2021
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez made the controversial remarks when he and visiting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met business leaders in Buenos Aires. Photo: Collected
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said that Brazilians were "from the jungle" in remarks about his country's European heritage.
"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," he said, referring to the country's many European migrants.
The statement - a quote from a song - caused a storm on social media. Fernandez later apologized for the comments and said his country's diversity was something to be proud of.
He made the controversial remarks as he and visiting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met business leaders in Buenos Aires.
Fernandez said he was quoting the Mexican poet Octavio Paz, but commentators later said the offending phrase was taken from a song by Argentine musician Lito Nebbia, of whom the president is a keen admirer.
"I am a Europeanist. I am someone who believes in Europe," Fernandez said.
The statement was aired on Brazilian media, drawing a tweet from right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro that included a photograph of himself wearing a native head-dress among a group of indigenous people.
The only text in the tweet was the word "Selva" (jungle) in capital letters.