Carlos Escudé, intellectual and specialist in international relations, died this Friday of coronavirus at 72 years of age. Two months ago his wife, the sociologist Mónica La Madrid, had died, and since then the researcher has been hospitalized.
All those who ever attended any of his classes are witnesses of the passion he placed in them. Fun, deep, challenging in his ideas, especially for those who did not share them.
Escudé, who had extensive training in Argentina and abroad, reflected his ideology in numerous publications, his best known book was “Peripheral Realism: Theoretical Bases for a New Argentine Foreign Policy”, and had special influence in the decade of the ’90, during which he was a special advisor to Foreign Minister Guido Di Tella and one of the main defenders of the geopolitical positioning of the Carlos Menem government.
A seasoned speaker and polemicist, he always surprised with his profuse beard and traditional round glasses. He was born on August 10, 1948 in the city of Buenos Aires and completed his higher studies as a sociologist at the Argentine Catholic University (UCA).
Then he did several postgraduate doctoral degrees, including those in Political Science and International Relations at Yale University (Connecticut, United States) and at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, England.
Defender of alignment with the United States, he was pointed out as the “inventor” of “carnal relations” with the North American power, as part of his principle that peripheral or underdeveloped countries should not confront those central nations, but rather be concerned with establishing helpful links with them.
Over the years, he held the same idea when China definitively established itself as one of the world powers in recent decades, asserting that, as with the United States, Argentina should be aligned with the Asian giant. This led him against all odds to praise some of the international initiatives developed by the government of Cristina Kirchner.
He also surprised again, and attest to his intellectual honesty, when he made his voice heard to flatly reject the accusations of the prosecutor Alberto Nisman against the former president and her chancellor Héctor Timerman. “I am not a Kirchnerista and Cristina (Kirchner) is not a saint of my devotion,” he said in 2017, when he described as “terrible scoundrel” the complaint about the cover-up of the alleged Iranian responsible for the attack on the AMIA made by the late prosecutor. Escudé then recalled that Nisman “was the informant for the North American embassy” in Argentina and disqualified the entire investigation into the attack on the Jewish mutual by recognizing that “it was based on information from intelligence services” from the United States and Israel. that they were interested in “isolating Iran internationally.”
He also had a close intellectual and political relationship with the former Menemista vice chancellor Andrés Cisneros, with whom they developed the “History of Foreign Relations of the Argentine Republic”, a work that traverses what happened from the English invasions to the Government of Raúl Alfonsín.