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Fri Mar 25, 2016, 02:40 PM

After spending afternoon in Bariloche, Obama leaves Argentina.

Source: Buenos Aires Herald

U.S. President Barack Obama and his family spent the afternoon in the beautiful city of Bariloche in the Argentine Patagonia. They walked the gardens of the Llao Llao Hotel and navigated the waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi.

The first family and the U.S. delegation, as well as U.S. journalists, arrived in San Carlos de Bariloche at 2:21 pm on board Air Force One.

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, their two daughters Sasha and Malia, and his mother-in-law Marian Robinson enjoyed their last hours in Argentina before flying back to Washington tonight.

President Mauricio Macri, meanwhile, was scheduled to head to neighboring Villa La Angostura cwhere he will be spending the Easter Holidays along with his family at the Cumelen Country Club.

Read more: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/211341/after-spending-afternoon-in-bariloche-obama-leaves-argentina



Can't say I approve of his waiting until a corporatist puppet like Macri took office to visit Argentina; but I'm glad they had a great time.



[center]Hotel Llao Llao, where the Obamas stayed last night.[/center]

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Reply After spending afternoon in Bariloche, Obama leaves Argentina. (Original post)
forest444 Mar 2016 OP
Ghost Dog Mar 2016 #1
forest444 Mar 2016 #3
Ghost Dog Mar 2016 #4
forest444 Mar 2016 #6
Judi Lynn Mar 2016 #2
forest444 Mar 2016 #5
Turbineguy Mar 2016 #7
forest444 Mar 2016 #8
Buzz505 Mar 2016 #9

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 03:14 PM

1. Fine environment and handsome hotel.

Where and how do the employees of such an enterprise live, and on what terms would they be employed?

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:05 PM

3. Good question, Ghost Dog.

The hotel currently has 392 employees, all of whom belong to the Argentine Union of Tourism and Restaurant Employees (UTHGRA). From what I read, the collective bargaining agreement for last year included a minimum pay of 6,000 pesos ($700 at the time) and a bonus of five 900-peso gift cards for different retail stores (food, gas, etc.).

It's modest pay, of course; but in Argentina (at least, as of last year) it's enough to keep a small family out of poverty. And it must be hard work: the hotel has 200 rooms, sits on 35 acres, and includes a small harbor on the lake and an 18-hole golf course.

The hotel was originally built by the state in 1940 by way of promoting tourism to the Argentine lake country. And it succeeded; one if first guests, in fact, was Walt Disney, who stopped there on the way to nearby Los Arrayanes National Park (on which he based the setting for Bambi).

The dictatorship, penny-wise and pound foolish as they were, closed the hotel in 1979. Menem privatized it in 1993 (he practically gave it away to Citigroup), and today it's owned 50/50 by the Sutton Group (the largest hotel firm in Argentina, best known for the Alvear Palace in Buenos Aires) and IRSA (one of the leading real estate developers in the country, although its finances were nearly driven under recently by a bad investment in Israel).

Among the Llao Llao's many famous guests over the years were Presidents Eisenhower (March 1960) and Bill Clinton (October 1997), both of whom specifically asked to visit Bariloche during their state visits.

Thanks, Ghost Dog, for thinking of the people who made all that possible: its (overworked and underpaid) workers.

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Response to forest444 (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:27 PM

4. I live among overexploited workers in the tourism trade.

It's good to see workers at that hotel at least are unionised; not so here.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:32 PM

6. I see. I'm sorry to hear that.

Those people work so hard to give everyone a perfect vacation experience - or least as close to it as humanly possible. They truly deserve better.

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 03:53 PM

2. Unbelievable location for Hotel Llao Llao. Could it be more perfect?

Here's a photo of the hotel during winter. I had to go see more images:

[center][/center]
Hope like hell they don't decide to change even one more inch of the land up there. It must be preserved.

Thank you for your info. and image.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:30 PM

5. Judi, you have the best eye for beauty. Amazing find!

You'll be happy to know the hotel sits on a 2 million-acre national park, Nahuel Huapi (named for the lake surrounding the hotel).

But yes: it's no secret that some developers - both Argentine and foreign - have been eyeing that land, or parts of it, for many years. Shortly after Menem privatized the hotel in 1993 (he sold it to Citigroup for $4 million - for what was then a 170,000 ft² hotel!), a series of devastating forest fires besieged the park.

What was suspicious wasn't so much the fires (those are frequent in that heavily wooded area); but the fact that Menem's "Environment" Secretary (and notorious privatization handmaiden, María Julia Alsogaray) waited for days to react. 15,000 prime acres went up in flames in 1996, and another 30,000 in 1999 (the hotel, fortunately, was not impacted). Was there actual arson and government collusion? We may never know.

The hotel is currently owned a local firm -the Sutton Group - and they've reportedly been good managers (they added a detached wing in 2005) and good stewards of the land.

Here's hoping you'll visit someday!

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:48 PM

7. He walked the Gardens?

Surely there must have been an outrage occurring somewhere. Did he wear a hair-shirt to offset any appearance of enjoyment?

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:56 PM

8. Come to think of it, I'm surprised the Rethugs haven't made an issue of the "cost."

Or worse: "Obama living it up in the Argentine lake country, where scholars believe Hitler escaped to at the end of World War II!! Aargh!!!"

Anyway, back on planet Earth, here's one of the photos President Obama took during his hike:

https://www.facebook.com/potus/posts/468986983291147:0

National Geographic, there's your next month's cover!

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Response to forest444 (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 02:07 PM

9. Glad that President Obama took this trip.

This country needs to build more good will around the world for sure, just too bad that the ignorant repubs scorn every move he made. Maybe he should have gone to a ranch in Texas and ridden a bike.

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