Raul Alfonsin was a successful and busy man long before he entered the political arena to ascend the ranks to attain the presidency. After elementary schooling he joined the Liceo Militar (military academy) General San Martin and after 5 years he graduated as a second lieutenant. His career path took a turn at this stage as he went on to study law and obtain a degree for entry to the bar. In his hometown of Chascomús he founded the newspaper El Imparcial and joined the political party UCR in 1946 and proceeded to become a city councillor in Chascomús. His political career really took off when he was elected to the National Congress in 1963. The following 2 decades saw power swinging from democracy to military rule culminating in the infamous "disappearances" of the late 1970's. The unpopular military then invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982 only to be swiftly defeated by the British and all their remaining credibility was completely gone. After the military agreed to a free election Alfonsis led UCR to victory over the Peronist party and went straight to work in restoring democratic process to the state and a judiciary free from the interference of the government and military. He went further than many would believe by actively prosecuting military personnel responsible for the deaths of thousands during the "disappearance" years. His term as president was plagued by economic issues and he stepped down just short of his full 6 year term. Upon his death in 2009 he was awarded a full state funeral and the nation went into 3 days of mourning at his passing. Leading UCR politician Gerardo Morales was quoted as saying after his death; "When we were young in 1983 and sang 'we are life, we are peace', it was more than a slogan, it was a synthesis of our hopes: do not suffer more persecutions, live in democracy, in freedom and peace. We were part of the collective project led by Alfonsín". Great statesmen like Raul make riveting speeches with a depth of meaning to the people. He was also good for a one liner, so here is my compilation of 10 of the best Raul Alfonsin quotes
- Mini Bio
- Name: Raul Ricardo Alfonsin
- Born: 12th March 1927, Chascomús, Argentina
- Died: 31st March 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Alma mater: National University of La Plata and University of Buenos Aires (law degree)
- Occupation: Lawyer, politician and former president of Argentina
- Political party: Radical Civic Union (UCR)
- Presidency: He served as president of Argentina from 10th December 1983 until 8th July 1989
- Awards: For notable international and domestic achievements he received the 1985 Princess of Asturias Award
- Legacy: Bucking the South American trend for corruption he set a good example of not using the state for personal gain
- Parliamentary debut: He was first elected to office in October 1963
- Economy: The economic crisis of the late 1980's proved to be his achilles heel and led to his eventual downfall just 5 months short of his 6 year term as president
- Trivia: During the 1970s military dictatorships he was one of the few politicians brave enough to criticise the ruling regime
- Former foreign minister Dante Caputo was quoted as saying of Alfonsin: "The fundamental accomplishment of Alfonsin has been to prove that we Argentines - not just the Government - were capable of breaking the vicious cycle and constructing a democratic country"
"With democracy we eat, with democracy we educate, with democracy we heal"
"Democracy is the validity of freedom and rights, but also the existence of equal opportunities and equitable distribution of wealth. We have freedom but we lack equality"
"The worst enemy of democracy is the persistence within the society of dissolving values ??of individual or group egoism, of prejudices and dogmatisms"
"The house is in order, and there’s no blood in Argentina"
"Those were five very good years, for they served to tire me of military officials"
"I came from a home atmosphere where liberty was not only learned from books"
"Ideas go on; men don't go on. Men succeed or fail, but it is the ideas that transform themselves into torches that keep democracy alive"
"The military must remember that they are servants of the Republic and not their masters. And instead of keeping the ballot boxes they must better preserve the national heritage and human rights"
"We must make the revolution first of the expectations and hopes in Argentina"
"I do not care about the votes, I care about the future of our children"