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Argentines Protest NYU Appt. of Former Finance Minister

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Argentines Protest NYU Appointment of Former Finance Minister

by [email protected] 11:22pm Fri Dec 20 '02

phone: 718-834-7396 [email protected]

Members of New York's Argentine community have begun to organize protests against NYU's hiring of former finance minister Domingo Cavallo as a guest lecturer. While in office (1991-1996), Cavallo spearheaded the neoliberal reforms blamed for triggering the severe economic crisis now affecting Argentina.

Members of New York’s Argentine community gathered at New York University today to protest the hiring of Argentina’s former finance minister Domingo Cavallo as a guest lecturer at the Stern School of Business this spring semester. Considered one of the country’s primary architects of neoliberal reforms, Cavallo oversaw the implementation of IMF-recommended measures including widespread privatizations and the pegging of the peso to the US dollar. These moves are now widely blamed for causing widespread unemployment and overvaluing Argentina’s currency, thereby contributing to the crippling economic crisis that has plagued the country since last year.

Although a protest scheduled to take place in Washington Square Park was aborted due to today’s downpour, protestors attended a teach-in at NYU where they discussed plans to circulate a petition asking the university to withdraw its offer to Cavallo. The petition will be turned in to the university administration in late January, just after the spring semester begins.

NYU student and activist Marcela Fuentes emphasized that while Cavallo was the immediate focus of the protest, protestors hoped to spark a broader criticism of the devastating impact of neoliberal economic policies in the developing world. Fuentes also denounced the tendency of elite institutions to hire neoliberal Latin American politicians – even those who plunged their countries into crises – as “expert†lecturers on political economy. “People have to be responsible for who they hire,†Fuentes said.

For more information about the petition and upcoming protests, see www.otraargentinaesposible.com and www.hemi.nyu.edu/eng/events/escrache.html

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