Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner always made the impounding of her country’s warship, the ARA Libertad, a populist issue — now it’s a feel good movie (h/t FT Alphaville).
It’s simply titled: Primeras imágenes desde la Fragata Libertad en su regreso a la Argentina, or The First images from the ARA Libertad on its way to Argentina.
Argentina won its boat back from hedge fund manager Paul Singer who, along with other unpaid holders of Argentine sovereign debt, got a order from a Ghanaian Court to detain the boat when it was docked in a Ghanaian port back in October.
Argentina won’t pay the bondholders (or, “vultures, as the Preisdent calls them) because they’ve refused two opportunities to restructure their debt since 2005 and are looking to make 100 cents on the dollar on their investment. The bond issue rages on in a NYC Appeals Court, but the boat matter was settled with International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in December.
So now the ARA’s crew is going home after having been stuck in a Ghanaian port for months. It wasn’t easy, to be sure, Ghanaian officials once tried to board the boat (the Argentine’s drew their guns) and eventually shut off water to the 40-person skeleton crew aboard.
Perhaps that’s why Argentina’s equivalent of the White House (La Casa Rosada — The Pink House) felt this epic 2 minute commercial/movie with its gorgeous shots of the boat and the sea, it’s fiery rhetoric from President Fernandez in the background, and the touching personal stories of the crew was completely in order. The music is nothing to sneeze at either.
Here’s what Fernandez is saying:
I have ordered the Ministry of defence that the ARA Libertad return to the Port of Mar de Plata so that all Argentine’s can see the ARA Libertad which is also their liberty!
The crew, via webcast, is essentially saying hello to their country, talking about how excited they are, and sending shout-outs to their family members (one guy mentions his wife Veronica and his newborn son). Another crew member says they’re about halfway home at the time of the recording.
So if you feel like getting the same feeling you get when you watch the end of Rudy (err maybe if you close your eyes), watch the video below: