Skip to main content

As far right takes over, Argentinians protest against changes in labour contract laws

By Harsh Thakor* 

Javier Milei is the new president of Argentina. For the first time a far-right candidate comes to power. His capturing power is victory for neo-fascism nationally and internationally and illustrates how bourgeois parliamentary capitalist democracies, sow the seeds for its germinating. It manifests the escalation of the far right trend or waving of the neo-fascist banner on a global scale, springing from the unparalleled economic crisis.
The weakness or lack of presence of a genuine socialist alternative party or movement has bred the ascendancy or created the ground for the far right. Javier Milei, the candidate of the Liberty Advances far-right libertarian party, triumphed in the second round presidential elections in Argentina held on November 19. Milei accumulated around 55% of the vote, while his opponent, center-left peronist Sergio Massa of the Union for the Homeland coalition, trailed behind with 44.3%. Milei took office as president on December 10.
In his victory speech, Milei told supporters, “The situation in Argentina is critical. There is no space for gradualisms nor for lukewarmness or ambiguities… If we don’t advance rapidly with the structural changes that Argentina needs, will we face the worst crisis in our history.” He added, “Our commitment is with democracy, with free trade, and with peace. We will work elbow to elbow with all of the nations of the free world.”

Impact of Milei

Milei’s victory has made heads roll across Argentina’s progressive and left movements who envisage that many of the country’s hard won rights including free healthcare and higher education will be threatened or even overturned with a Milei government. Furthermore, Milei’s resolve to cut public spending in addition to his promise to dollarize the economy and dissolve the central bank, will send Argentina’s already struggling economy into complete bankruptcy. In 2022, Argentina registered over 100% inflation and the poverty rate currently stands at 40%.
A letter was signed by over 100 economists from across the world ahead of the elections, summarise the fatal consequences of Milei’s proposed economic reforms. They wrote, “In short, Javier Milei’s dollarization and fiscal austerity proposals overlook the complexities of modern economies, ignore lessons from historical crises, and open the door for accentuating already severe inequalities. As Argentina navigates its complex economic landscape, it is crucial to approach policy making with balanced, empirically grounded strategies that are not only appealing in the short run but also sustainable, equitable, and enabling in the long run.”
After the results were released, social leader and pre-presidential candidate Juan Grabois wrote, “Face adversity with fortitude, sustain our organization with wisdom and firmly maintain our convictions because, stronger than ever, with the Constitution in our hands and the People in our hearts, we are going to return… much, much better. No one gives up here, if persecution touches us it will be the forging of the future… and may the dream of a just, free and sovereign country with land, shelter and work for everyone live forever.”
Colombian President Gustavo Petro saluted Milei’s victory but added, “The extreme right has won in Argentina; It is the decision of your society. Sad for Latin America and we’ll see… neoliberalism no longer has a proposal for society, it cannot respond to humanity’s current problems.”

Policies

Milei has pledged to cut all relations with China, Brazil, and leave MercoSur, stating, “I don’t make deals with communists.” Meanwhile at a recent campaign rally Milei waved the Israeli flag and months ago had stated “Should I assume the presidency, I will align with the United States and Israel as key allies. The level of alliance with Israel is so profound that I intend to relocate the Argentine embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”
Milei endorsed more than 11 labour laws and modified 20 aspects of the Labour Contract Law. It will now be easier to fire, protests are curbed if not banned, and surveillance will be the order of the day.
The Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) 70/2023 announced by President Javier Milei on Wednesday December 20, struck a mortal blow on the working class. In proposed deregulation of the economy, a “shock stabilization plan,” and extending the privatization of public companies. Billionaire, Tesla CEO, and owner of X, Elon Musk celebrated Milei’s victory saying: “Prosperity is ahead for Argentina.”
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the return of democracy in Argentina.
Human rights defenders as well as victims and survivors of the country’s last civic-military dictatorship had also anticipated his endorsement to dictatorship. In a presidential debate ahead of the first round, he asserted that the widely accepted number of 30,000 detained and disappeared was incorrect and that it was actually 8,753. He had also stated that there is “a distorted view of history”, and accused people of utilising human rights “ideology” “to make money and carry out shady deals”. His running mate Victoria Villarruel held an event in September in honour of the victims of the left-wing guerrilla groups and to mask the “lie” of human rights organizations of the 30,000 detained and disappeared.

Reactions of a communist leader

“What is coming is very hard, but we communists know very well what we are facing,” said Norberto Champa Galiotti, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, after knowing the results of the runoff that highlighted the far-right candidate, Javier Milei, as the new president of the nation.
“Milei is part of the right, but he is the worst expression of it, that of fascism,” he said and added that “now, with the alliance that he established with Macri, he is also the representative of mafia power in the country.”
 .When asked why Milei won, the PC leader analyzed that “Milei won because the people voted, rightly, with their pockets and daily problems in mind, with the feeling that when you go to the store, the supermarket or the "To load fuel, your income is not enough to survive." In that sense, he explained that "the people voted with the table, the refrigerator and the pocket that this bad Peronist government left them, which on top of that offered them as an electoral alternative to the minister of economy, that minister who could not solve any of the economic problems." that affect the Argentine people.”
And he insisted that “it cannot be ignored under any point of view that today with his salary the worker cannot solve the elementary questions of life” and stressed that “this situation sustained over time generates the worst monsters.” Thus, the paradoxical situation arose that “the people voted for a change, but for the wrong change.” It happens, he pointed out, that "it is evident that there is exhaustion among the people regarding the conciliatory policies of Peronism." However, “it must be said very clearly, it is impossible to solve the problems of capitalism with capitalist measures.”
Given this panorama, one of the reasons that explain the triumph of the fascist right is that “among the options for change, it was not possible to articulate a socialist alternative, which really implies a change in the system, and not its deepening.” Due to this combination of factors, a proposal was voted that instead of a change in the system “represents the exacerbation of its worst dimensions.”
Now, with the electoral consensus achieved, “Milei arrives to end the State reforms that Menem began in the 1990s and that he was unable to expand.” In effect, he "comes to privatize everything and to put the country at the service of multinationals." About, He asserted that “the change that was chosen by society represents a leap into the void but not into the unknown, we communists know well what is coming.”
One of the most worrying data, said the communist leader, is that “from the primaries to the runoff, Milei maintained a floor of seven million votes.” With this floor, “to which the votes and support of Macrism are added, a base of electoral consensus for the extreme right is consolidated, a truly unprecedented situation.” for the history of our country.” What is certain, he said, is that “from now on, beyond the explicit threats of repression, strong resistance will also be displayed by sectors of our people.”

Street protest

Thousands of Argentines splurged on the streets on December 20, “against the economic austerity measures” implemented by Javier Milei’s government. The day was escalated by high tension early on, following a major police operation undertaken at the main entrances to the city of Buenos Aires.
The Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich, announced that she would debut her “anti-picketing protocol”, presented last Friday December 15, and threatened that they would not allow the demonstration to take place. However, the call to mobilization managed to overcome the fear that the government tried to install.
The peaceful mobilization was organized by left-wing social movements and political organizations, though social movements and parties linked to Peronism did not participate. The dominant slogans of the mobilization were in condemnation of economic adjustment and austerity, the agreement with the IMF, and the new restrictions on the right to protest.
In addition to marking 10 days since the start of Milei’s right-wing government, December 20 is a commemorative date of mobilization for social movements and left parties of Argentina as it marks the start of the December 2001 uprising which compelled the then president Fernando de la Rúa to resign. The mobilizations in December 2001 took place after De la Rúa declared a state of siege and undertook heavy repression that left 39 protesters dead.
The official document of the mobilization, read in Plaza de Mayo, condemned Milei’s economic plan intends to “fill the coffers of the IMF, the creditors of the fraudulent external debt and the most concentrated sectors of the capitalist class.” Adding that the plan patronises concentrated economic sectors was being carried out “while people are being told that ‘there is no money’.”
Furthermore, the document denounced that “Milei, together with Patricia Bullrich, is carving an illegal protocol to prohibit popular mobilizations and social protests. This is a plan to strip all basic democratic and resurrect the path of the genocidal military dictatorship 40 years ago, an illegitimate, illegal and undemocratic initiative. They know that the Argentine people will not take lying down of these merciless attacks on our rights.”Police several times tried to block protesters from reaching Plaza de Mayo. At the end of the mobilization, social organizations reported that the police arrested three protesters.
While the event was taking place, the president of Argentina, Javier Milei, went to the headquarters of the Argentine Federal Police along with several of his ministers. The protests sent shivers down the spine of the ruling party .A most significant polarisation against forces of neo-fascism.
The weakness or lack of presence of a genuine Socialist alternative party or movement has bred the ascendancy or created the ground for the far right.
---
*Freelance journalist

Comments

TRENDING

देशव्यापी ग्रामीण भारत बंध में उतरे मध्य प्रदेश के आदिवासी, किया केंद्र सरकार का विरोध

- हरसिंग जमरे, भिखला सोलंकी, रतन अलावे*  15 और 16 फरवरी को निमाड के बड़वानी, खरगोन और बुरहानपुर में जागृत आदिवासी दलित संगठन के नेतृत्व में आदिवासी महिला-पुरुषों ग्रामीण भारत बंद में रैली एवं विरोध प्रदर्शन किया । प्रधान मंत्री द्वारा 2014 में फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने का वादा किया गया था, 2016 में किसानों की आय दुगना करने का वादा किया गया था । आज, फसलों का दाम नहीं बढ़ रहा है, लेकिन खेती में खर्च बढ़ता जा रहा है! खाद, बीज और दवाइयों का दाम, तीन-चार गुना बढ़ चुका है! किसानों को लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने के बजाए, खेती को कंपनियों के हवाले करने के लिए 3 काले कृषि कानून लाए गए । 3 काले कानून वापस लेते समय प्रधान मंत्री ने फिर वादा किया था कि फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव की कानूनी गारंटी के लिए कानून बनाएँगे, लेकिन वो भी झूठ निकला! आज जब देश के किसान दिल्ली में आपको अपना वादा याद दिलाने आए है, तब आप उनका रास्ता रोक रहें है, उनके साथ मारपीट कर उन पर आँसू गैस फेंक रहें हैं, उन पर छर्रों से फायरिंग कर रहें है! देश को खिलाने वाला किसान खुद भूखा रहे, क्या यही विकास है?

Only 15% businesses provide employees real-time sustainability dashboards: Study

Kyndryl in collaboration with Microsoft has released the findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer study. The study, conducted by Ecosystm, finds that while 85% of organizations place a high strategic level of importance on achieving their sustainability goals, only 16% have integrated sustainability into their strategies and data. A Kyndryl note: *** Kyndryl (NYSE: KD), the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, in collaboration with Microsoft , today released the findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer study. The study, conducted by Ecosystm , finds that while 85% of organizations place a high strategic level of importance on achieving their sustainability goals, only 16% have integrated sustainability into their strategies and data.

How the slogan Jai Bhim gained momentum as movement of popularity and revolution

By Dr Kapilendra Das*  India is an incomprehensible plural country loaded with diversities of religions, castes, cultures, languages, dialects, tribes, societies, costumes, etc. The Indians have good manners/etiquette (decent social conduct, gesture, courtesy, politeness) that build healthy relationships and take them ahead to life. In many parts of India, in many situations, and on formal occasions, it is common for people of India to express and exchange respect, greetings, and salutation for which we people usually use words and phrases like- Namaskar, Namaste, Pranam, Ram Ram, Jai Ram ji, Jai Sriram, Good morning, shubha sakal, Radhe Radhe, Jai Bajarangabali, Jai Gopal, Jai Jai, Supravat, Good night, Shuvaratri, Jai Bhole, Salaam walekam, Walekam salaam, Radhaswami, Namo Buddhaya, Jai Bhim, Hello, and so on.

Violent incidents in Haldwani: CPDRS on dubious role of Uttarakhand government

By DN Rath  Center for Democratic Rights and Secularism (CPDRS) unequivocally condemns the dubious role of Uttarakhand Government and its administration in the incidents that happened in Haldwani of Nanital district of the state.

Tamil Nadu brahmins are at cross roads, their future scenario remains uncertain

By NS Venkataraman*  For over 70 years now, brahmin community in Tamil Nadu have been abused, insulted and even physically attacked on some occasions by those who claimed that they were part of the so called dravidian movement. However, brahmin community silently and helplessly ducked under pressure and showed no signs of resistance or fight back.

Ethiopian ruling classes, political masters in West have their hands soaked in blood

By Harsh Thakor  Over two hundred were killed in recent weeks in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Amhara region. After peace-talks between the Oromo Liberation Army and the Ethiopian government did not materialise tensions are escalating in the Oromia region. Earlier, on November 22, least 25 civilians were massacred in a government aerial drone strike, in Chawaka districts of the Buno Bedelle zone. This incident took place only two days after a fierce battle arose between the OLA and governmental troops in the Sulula Fincha district of the Horro Guduru Wollega zone.

Soviet army crossed rarely transcended barriers in Leningrad to overpower Nazis

By Harsh Thakor  St Petersburg -- previously Leningrad -- has been commemorating the 80th anniversary of its complete liberation from the Nazis and the conclusion of one of the most brutal sieges in history. 80 years ago, a spectacular turn of events in Leningrad played major role in shaping the destiny or determining the path of the Great Patriotic War.

Regretful: Kapil Dev retired not leaving Indian cricket with integrity he upheld

By Harsh Thakor  Kapil Dev scaled heights as an entertainer and a player upholding the spirit of the game almost unparalleled in his era. In his time he was cricket’s ultimate mascot of sportsmanship On his day Kapil could dazzle in all departments to turn the tempo of game in the manner of a Tsunami breaking in. He radiated r energy, at a level rarely scaled in his era on a cricket field. Few ever blended aggression with artistry so comprehenisively. Although fast medium, he could be as daunting with the ball as the very best, with his crafty outswinger, offcutter, slower ball and ball that kicked from a good length. Inspite of bowling on docile tracks on the subcontinent, Kapil had 434 scalps, with virtually no assistance. I can never forget how he obtained pace and movement on flat pancakes, trapping the great Vivian Richards in Front or getting Geoff Boycott or Zaheer Abbas caught behind. No paceman carried the workload of his team’s bowling attack on his shoulders in his eras muc

Landlords' armed bandits launched merciless attack in Brazil but face resistance

By Harsh Thakor  Armed bandits called the “zero invasion movement” comprising of landowners, gunmen and police marched into   Bahia with support from the PM [Military Police]. On January 21st, indigenous Maria de Fátima Muniz, known as Nega Pataxó, shaman of the Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe people, was shot dead in the Caramuru Catarina Paraguassu Indigenous Land and chief Nailton Muniz was seriously injured by gunshots, as were others indigenous people during an attack by the notorious  paramilitary group.

Landslide early warning system: Odisha Govt, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham collaborate

By Divya Saini  In a strategic move to mitigate the impact of landslides during storms, the Odisha government in collaboration with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is gearing up to establish a user-friendly Landslide Early Warning System (EWS) in Gajapati district. This initiative aims to provide advanced information, especially regarding landslides caused by disturbances in the natural stability of a slope.