Millions of foreign books, newspapers and magazines are rotting in warehouses throughout Argentina, because of import restriction introduced by the Government of President Maria Estela Peron.
Millions of foreign books, newspapers and magazines are rotting in warehouses throughout Argentina, because of import restriction introduced by the Government of President Maria Estela Peron. The practical effect of the restrictions has been to isolate the country culturally from the rest of the world.
Although many book-shelves in shops and libraries are still full, the distributors do not know how long it will be before they are emptied. The flow of foreign publications was reduced to a virtual tricklo when the Government suspended all imports to halt a heavy drain on hard cash reserves.
Books ordered for school, universities and the flourishing market for foreign language literature, have been held in Customs sheds in Buenos Aires, the capital, and other major ports.
Consequently, Argentina's cultural life has become one of the first victims of the troubles facing the economy. The influential daily newspaper "La Nacion" (The Nation) said in a recent editorial, "We science, literature, though and art".
The problem has had its most immediate effect on the 47 universities around the country. Normally they are supplied with foreign literature from Spain, Mexico, France, England, Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union.