17 Jun 2008

Newsflash - Trouble in Buenos Aires!

In the present moment, June 2008

For visitors planning to visit Buenos Aires this week, DON'T. My recommendations - postpone your plans for this week and perhaps for the next week too.

Remember "El Paro del Campo", the footnote in my last entry? El Paro del Campo was the strike by the agricultural sector to protest the rise in exportation taxes by the Argentine government.

The current atmosphere in Buenos Aires aren't so quite nonchalant as previously described. Over the last few weeks, the situation has slowly but steadily deteriorated. Food items like meat, vegetables, milk etc. are running low once again. These dietary stables have been increasingly hard to come by in the city. Of course with food scarcity, rising prices just fuel the overall sense of disquiet in the city.

The escalating tension between the warring factions have spread to the street level. People are still out and about on the streets but the mood is subdued. There is a certain wariness in their behaviour not seen earlier during the food shortage in March. What I mean by "wariness" is that the portenos are being very careful right now about spending money, except where absolutely necessary. It is a reflection of the sense of uncertainty, perhaps in anticipation of bad times ahead. The riots in year 2000 and the following decimation of Argentina's economy are still fresh in people's mind.

With the coming summer holidays in the northern hemisphere, the peak tourist season for European tango visitors to Buenos Aires is fast approaching. My suggestion to visitors and tango friends - it may be more prudent to buy an airticket with some flexibility for date changes. In the meantime, monitor BA's situation closely.

Newsflash, Take Note!!
Strikes / riots are expected in the city centre tomorrow, Wednesday 18 June. For visitors already in the city, venture out with alertness.

We love tango and Buenos Aires. Just remember to keep safe.

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