He will take many accomplishments from his time as ambassador to the United States, but without a doubt the world championship, which as one fan experiences, will be a memory he will never forget. It helped him to know the true passion of Argentina and to realize that when the team works in the country, things will come. Possessor of a great joke, he also bet the US ambassadors of the seven countries that the National Team was facing in the World Cup: whoever lost had to donate the balls. And to this day, Marc Stanley – this Texan Democrat, who left his hometown of Dallas to venture to the “end of the world”, distributed it, as much as it is valuable, and made Lionel Messi’s legacy revered only in these. lands as from the greatest stars of North America.
But Stanley, who shares a last name with the country’s most famous dunks and uses the coveted symbol as a mnemonic, wants to understand Argentina beyond its soccer deity. For this reason, Buenos Aires proposed to visit 23 Argentine provinces over two years beyond the Autonomous City. It does not take him sleep to measure what defines Argentina’s open wounds: the victims of the last military dictatorship and the attacks on AMIA and the Israeli Embassy. He wants to understand this land of permanent contradictions. And in 2023 he dreams of “throwing the house through the window” – an ambitious mission in the legendary Bosch Palatine – to celebrate 200 years of bilateral relations between the two countries.
In that very large residence that filled his family and friends with human warmth this summer, Marc CARAS receives together with his wife Wendy Hillebrand, with whom he celebrates 40 years of marriage.
– What do you know about Argentina before assuming the ambassadorship?
– We had visited Argentina five years ago. We had a few weeks of experience and did not know the whole country. We visited Buenos Aires, Bariloche and Iguazú. Before I came, my favorite place was New Zealand, incredible, but when I got to know your country, I fell in love with my wife and Argentina. One of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to.
What did you find here when you decided?
– What I got was how pious and sweet people are. When you see friends hugging each other, families walking together, even in heated debates about politics and empanadas (laughter), this shows how much people value friendship and family love. Wendy and I feel very identified.
– Were you able to adjust from life in Dallas to life in Buenos Aires?
-It is very simple. And even my family and friends want to visit us and get to know the country. In December alone, about 75 people visited us. That helps. And many people come to know that they want to enjoy the summer, when it is winter time in the United States of America, we help the economy!
So how do you tell your friends what Argentina is like?
– I tell you that of all the places in Latin America, Argentina is the one that most closely matches the United States of America. We are both democracies built by young immigrants, we have a similar history, the people here are incredible and very different in the north, in the center and in the south. I tell them to spend the weekend in Buenos Aires with me and then go to Mendoza, Cafayate, Iguazú, Ushuaia or Cordoba, to name a few wonderful places. Jump up, Jujuy too. I know the country very well and each place has something genuine worth knowing.
What is it like to live in Dallas?
– It is a place where it is easy to live, like Buenos Aires. This city is very simple, you can easily get anywhere, there are malls, supermarkets, service stations, within easy reach. Certainly, it helps to confirm that Argentina is not just Buenos Aires. Much more. I can’t compare Dallas to my hometown, but I can compare it to Buenos Aires. The weather in Dallas is very similar to Buenos Aires except that in January and February we usually have snow and sometimes even a tornado.
-Do I need a gastrology in Dallas?
– That is one of the points where I feel that I am ready to compete with Argentina (laughter). The smoked steak is incredible, of great quality, although Argentine steak is also delicious. That for us is spicy food, and this is what is not used much here. A friend says that the Spanish and the Italians came but they forgot the peppers. I love and miss pepper. We also eat fresh fish.
What potential does Argentina have in the global context?
– In the current context, because of what (Vladimir) Putin did in Ukraine, the world needs the resources that Argentina has too. You have oil and gas, the second largest resource in the world, among the five largest producers of soybeans, you have large agricultural and livestock production, the third lithium reservoir, and the world needs fuel and fuel and lithium to move towards a cleaner one. Argentina has all the answers. If Argentina and the United States cooperate together in political and market terms, we can promote these sectors of the economy, feed the world and supply them with nutrients.
– What is the problem, why Argentina is not growing?
– Talking with rural producers, I know it can grow. F.DeBartolo/Through tensions between the government and producers about how much they get, but I know the ability to do it. And I know that producers see investments in infrastructure as well, roads, trains and river dredging, to export more.
What advice do you give to the Argentinian government?
– The first thing I would like to say is that they don’t want my plan (laughter), but that’s the only thing I can say, as in the country there are also political divisions here. My advice if you ask me is to wait and not go back. “Crack” left a scar looking at him with respect. People tend to fight, it happens in my country between the democrats and the republicans, but now this country has many opportunities to promote the parties that I mentioned earlier, and it can lead Argentina to be among the 20 most powerful economic countries speaking. This is the result of considering how the production of these provinces will grow. That would be my advice.
“What do you want to do when you’re not an ambassador?”
– I have a very busy schedule, because for some three years, the time I left as a legate, is a long time, but for me it is a short time. I’ve been here for a year, but it feels like I came yesterday. So I take my time to take in every moment. In my spare time, I exercise and spend time with my family. I still didn’t usually have dinner before eleven o’clock at night because we didn’t usually have dinner that late and then go to sleep. Ride a bike every day. One of my biggest personal challenges is not being able to control my WhatsApp messages and my email even at the moment.
“What does your wife do?”
-Wendy is dedicated to finance and is now a “made mother”, that is, a mother (laughter). On the board of several non-profit organizations in the United States of America, he is also in charge of coordinating the logistics of the Bosch Palace and embassy activities.
Production: Sol Miranda
Photos: Federico de Bartolo
Courtesy of the United States Embassy Press.