On April 7th 2015 I have organized a lunch meeting for the classical liberal politically minded young people. Though bearing my name, it was dedicated to the memory of the recently assassinated Boris Nemtsov. The participants mostly belonged to the Juventud Unión por la Libertad organization and the center-right PRO party, currently in opposition to the government. Most of the attendants were future lawyers who, due to their rightist views, oppose the Justicialists in general and Cristina Kirchner in particular. My colleagues, journalists sympathizing with the PRO, looked in from time to time.
Normally the Latin Americans take little interest in the events of some far away land; they are tightly focused on their own country’s fate and, by extension, that of the Ibero-American world. People of the younger generation, however, have more open mind and are guided by curiosity and a globalist approach. The students listened attentively to my stories about the 1990s Nemtsov’s life and bombarded me with questions – mostly about the position of the assassinated politician’s in the Russian opposition, but also about the budding democracy of Yeltsin’s period and the beginning of the market economy in the post-soviet Russia. They immediately noted and commented upon the similarity of these processes to those of post-Peronist and post-war Argentina. The resemblance between the murders of Boris Nemtsov in Moscow and Alberto Nisman in Buenos Aires were also discussed.
Though the meeting had started on a minor note, the mood had soon swung in the opposite direction. Satiric comparisons were made between Nemtsov and Putin, the students told jokes about the Fuhrer-wannabes, such as Maduro, Morales and Putin, holding the reins of power. The young people learned a lot about the USSR and Russia and affirmed their understanding of the uselessness and impotence of any kind of socialism.
One of those jokes I have mentioned was based on an old Soviet jest about a food shop selling chicken so cyanotic they were probably not slaughtered but died of old age. Later, when in connection to a different topic I had shown them a political collage made of Putin’s and Nemtsov’s half-naked pictures, the students immediately compared the former with that blueish chicken!
Somehow I have no doubt Nemtsov, a lively and good-humored man, would have found this quite funny.
I am planning a series of political speeches dedicated to his memory in several Latin American countries.
Kitty Sanders, 2015