The Danger of Minimizing the Lethal Power of Mauricio Macri

By Carlos Aznárez on January 9, 2016

(Resumen Latinoamericano)

Photo: Kaloian Santos Cabrera, Mass Demonstration in La Plata, Jan 11, 2016

Photo: Kaloian Santos Cabrera, Mass Demonstration in La Plata, Jan 11, 2016

In addition to being a partner of merit in the current Latin American right-wing offensive, Mauricio Macri knows very well that what a president does in the first 100 days of a newly elected government is fundamental in establishing a style as well as a theme for the rest of the way. A good example of this is the price of commodities of necessity that once they go up it is difficult for them to return to their original price. Macri’s unilateral establishment of National Emergency Decrees (DNU) so soon in office is because he knows there is no possibility they will be cancelled by any decision of parliament.

Once again, as it was when Macri was the mayor of Buenos Aires, the so called “opposition party” has underestimated the power behind macrismo and only now, after a month of arrogant management, they are realizing how many things have changed for the worse. Primary in this is the effect that his presidency has had on important factors of the economic crisis. This obviously did not begin with Macri but he has accelerated the process based on the recipes taken from the worst pages of the manual on Neo-liberalism.

Now the list of grievances, including measures of provocation, repressive actions, and attacks on our sovereignty and culture, is so apparent that few hold on to any doubts that Macri’s electoral slogans are now turning into a nightmare that has an indefinite duration.

The devaluation of the peso, that was ignored during the time of Macri the candidate, is now being implemented day by day because it was a plan of the business corporations that was already in place well in advance. Similar to what is happening in Venezuela, speculation now over the price of essential goods are bouncing around like they were puppets. The release of the dollar, that is so essential to these unscrupulous financial sectors, has been accompanied with other initiatives like the lifting of withholdings to the agricultural/livestock oligarchy and their new pot of gold, soy production. This has already resulted in millions of dollars in profits that comes with a debt of eternal gratitude to macrismo.

Similarly, other decrees are in place that calls for a review of the hiring process of public employees during the last years of the outgoing government. This measure could affect more than 60 thousand workers. It is true that all governments use employment in the capacity of the state in its own interests. Kirchner wasted no time doing the same thing but what is different now is the arrogant bulldozer approach of macrismo whose aim is to lay off, with dictatorial methodology, thousands of men and women who hold legal contracts. The future of these workers should be based on their knowledge and delivery of the tasks they were hired for not on political affiliation. It is paradoxical to talk about preferential placement in state jobs when the Macri government has already given them away to his family, friends, close collaborators of his own party and to the great battalion of bureaucrats and ineffective people in all the different areas.

The new reality has been well reported by the Association of State Workers; in the first fifteen days of the new Government 10 thousand people have been laid-off. In addition is the implementation of policies that purposefully demonize the public sector to justify in the short-term the dismantling of public services and shrink the State, just as Carlos Menem did in the devastating 1990’s.

Already there have been 2035 people who work in the senate who have been thrown to the street by Vice President Gabriela Michetti, a decision that featured the shameful complicity of Miguel Pichetto, the head of the Kirchner Parliamentarian group Front for the Victory. This comes on top of more than 600 workers fired from the Kirchner Cultural Center, and others at the offices of the Federal Authority for Audiovisual Communication Services. A ripple effect of the federal layoffs is also beginning to happen to hundreds of workers in the municipalities of Buenos Aires, Lanus, Quilmes, Chascomús, Coronel Vidal, Colonel Suárez, and Adolfo Alsina.  In La Plata 4,500 terminated workers began a series of demonstrations that culminated this week with harsh repressive attacks by local police.

The Macrista economic team has also made it clear to union leaders that they will face a tough time in upcoming negotiations with the bosses including the firing of employees who complain and protest any of the new terms and conditions.

The overall applied social policy of macrismo is transparent and in general is the same blueprint used by other repressive regimes on the continent to generate fear to those who still have jobs by showing scenes to remind them that they too could soon become one of the new unemployed. As we can see some are accepting this without question while others with more dignity and a fighting spirit are resisting in the streets against the boss – police attacks.

Another item that macrismo has targeted is in the field of communication. On the one hand dissolving the AFSCA and intervening in nodal aspects of the Media Law, putting all that structure under the command of a Ministry of Communications. On the other hand Macri is giving a greater green light than usual to the concentrated media, led by Clarin, La Nacion and Infobae. These are the managers of the “new image” of a government that prides itself in exercising power without consulting, not even with their own parliamentarians.

Meanwhile in Washington the empire is smiling on Macri. The U.S. government likes  the anti-Chávez tone of the new President of Argentina, his carnal relations with Venezuela prisoners Leopoldo López and Capriles Radonsky or former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Vélez. It also celebrates Macri’s complicity with Zionism when they displayed their hostility against Iran. In the eyes of the empire Macri is a good boy.

There are also other endearing friends have emerged in favor of the Argentine ruler. The former President of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, who years ago was on the verge of asking Bush for military assistance in their conflict with Argentina due to the dispute of Botnia plant on the Plata River and the resistance of people in the town of Gualeguaychu. Today Vazquez has become a sweet colleague of Macri and promises commendable relations.

The macrista offensive is primarily taking place without much institutional opposition getting in its way because the parliamentary process in Argentina moves at such an unexplained slowness. It is well known that Kirchner’s Front for the Victory has a majority in the Senate and a good percentage of seats in Parliament, but beyond some statements and some feeble attempts at opposing Macri they are all but frozen and have not called for an extraordinary session of Congress. Most are too busy enjoying their warm vacations while others are shamelessly trying to find their way into the fabric of the ruling party.

Finally, there is the street. The fight has to be in the street which can determine the destiny of a country. There are many who are already resisting the Government maneuvers. Several unions and social organizations are doing so. Some are responding to the repressive agenda of the Pink House while others are more conscious and looking for a key to build a broad spectrum of forces to the left of the current regime. This coalition would have to bring in many, including thousands of young kichneristas, and it would have to possess the humble understanding that to fight against this right wing pro-imperialist government nobody has earned the leadership in advance. It also needs to understand that on December 10 a new era began, and the struggle against it cannot win with wishful expressions of returning to a problematic past.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano