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The Fate of Freedom ElsewhereHuman Rights and U.S. Cold War Policy toward Argentina$
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William Michael Schmidli

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451966

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451966.001.0001

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“Tilting Against Gray-Flannel Windmills”

“Tilting Against Gray-Flannel Windmills”

U.S.-Argentine Relations, 1979–1980

(p.156) 6 “Tilting Against Gray-Flannel Windmills”
The Fate of Freedom Elsewhere

William Michael Schmidli

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses human rights and the U.S.–Argentine relations in 1979–1980. Having spearheaded U.S. efforts to promote human rights in Argentina for three years, Patricia Derian was outraged when she discovered that the Carter administration had decided to initiate “a major policy shift” toward the South American nation in order to “normalize relations and end our official criticism of the regime.” It was evident that the Carter administration’s success in organizing the Argentine military junta’s invitation to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) had come at a heavy political cost. Indeed, the administration’s decision to make Export–Import (Exim) Bank approval of the $270 million Allis-Chalmers sale of a hydroelectric turbine factory to Argentina contingent on the junta’s invitation to the IACHR sparked criticism from American business leaders and conservative journalists, who accused the Carter administration of obstructing profitable bilateral trade relations in the interest of a poorly defined and badly executed human rights policy.

Keywords:   human rights, U.S.–Argentine relations, Patricia Derian, Carter administration, IACHR, Argentine military junta, human rights policy

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