The racist statement of Argentine President Alberto Fernández this Wednesday (9), according to which “Mexicans came from the natives, the Brazilians, from the jungle, and we [os argentinos], we arrived on boats from Europe, ”is part of a song by 72-year-old singer-songwriter Litto Nebbia.
The phrase was mistakenly attributed by the Argentine ruler to Mexican writer Octávio Paz, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990. The phrase, in fact, was created by Nebbia, a musician born in Rosario and who became one of the main references in Argentinian rock.
Although it contains the passage mentioned by Fernández, the song “Llegamos de Los Barcos” also has a verse that preaches miscegenation: “I would like to write a samba / that talks about us [os argentinos]/ and this land that we love / and which is a mixture of everything “.
Nebbia’s first group, Los Gatos, helped popularize the first places in Buenos Aires where rock music was performed in the 1960s and 1970s, such as La Cueva, the most famous in the Argentine capital. He is also known for bringing elements of local folklore to progressive rock and jazz.
Militant against the last military dictatorship in the country, between 1976 and 1983, Nebbia moved to Mexico, where he also became famous by composing songs with political themes. Back in Argentina, his career becomes even more prolific and varied: he composes songs with tango accents and joins forces with local artists.
His shows filled the great traditional halls of Buenos Aires like San Martín and Rex.
The relationship between Nebbia and Fernández goes back over 30 years and began, of course, with music. “I am fond of his work,” the Argentine president said in an interview. The two played the guitar together informally, and the Peronist invited the musician to perform at his inauguration ceremony.
During one of the singer’s visits to Casa Rosada, he even sat in the presidential chair. The musician is also mentioned by Fernández with some frequency. On April 23, the president told Santa Fé: “After so much pain and so much melancholy, all we have to do is try to live.” There, the context was the coronavirus pandemic, and Nebbia was correctly mentioned as the author of the sentence.