Argentina: What is the Right Wing Afraid of?

By Luis Bruschtein on September 3, 2022 from Buenos Aires

you are responsible for the hatred you generate photo: Bernardino Avila

A country at risk: the underlying reasons for the assassination attempt against Cristina Kirchner

It is not metaphorical, it is literal: overnight, hundreds of thousands of people burst the Plaza de Mayo and its surroundings to repudiate the attempted assassination of Cristina Kirchner. With a call of just a few hours, with no time to organize or communicate, the crowds flocked to the city center. Paradoxically, this capacity of mobilization of the Argentine people was the underlying motive for the assassination attempt. It is what the right wing fears the most. Because it has always been the main obstacle to their interests. Most of the media, political, judicial and other operations sought to neutralize this tool of popular resistance either with repression, terror, proscription or imprisonment of its leaders, in this case Vice President Cristina Kirchner who was the target of an assassination attempt.

The opposition was not up to the facts. It was not aware of the tragedy that was about to happen. If the assassination attempt had succeeded, the country would be in flames right now and the level of rage and violence that the assassination would have unleashed would have been impossible to stop. The future of the Argentine people would have entered into a band of darkness and uncertainty.

A new cycle of rising violence, like the one that began in 1955 and which everyone thought had ended in 1984, was about to begin. The judicial persecution against Cristina Kirchner, against former officials of her governments and social leaders and the defamatory and aggressive media speeches were going to trigger at some point acts of violence.

Whether it was an individual act or part of a destabilizing plan, either of these two possibilities is based on the hate speech that has been the way the opposition and its media expressions communicate today. The message has been insulting against Peronists and outrageous for anti-Kirchnerists. The violence is leaked on both sides and generates the famous rift. A rift that has always existed in terms of the interests represented by each side. But this discourse has turned  into a trench of hatred in which the opponents seek the extermination and disappearance of the opposing party. From there to attempted murder is just one step.

Someone suggested that both Peronists and Kirchnerists as well as their counterpart -the anti-Kirchnerist Macristas and the media in general- should make a self-criticism, as if the responsibility were shared equally. This is not so, there were never kirchnerist demonstrations with mortuary bags or with gallows or guillotines or posters calling for the death of Macrista leaders. In the Macrista marches, on the other hand, those images and signs saying “Death to Cristina” are common. There has not been a single Macrista local attacked, on the other hand, there have been numerous Frente de Todos locals attacked with gunshots or firebombs.

The day before the assassination attempt, a delivery man on a bicycle had attacked the militants who were in front of the vice-president’s house with a wrench. He said he had no regrets and that he had done it “out of hatred for Peronism”.

If the opposition really criticizes the assassination attempt on Cristina Kirchner and repudiates the possible return of the country to the hell of political violence, it has to start by changing the message of hatred that drove it. But neither the president of the PRO, Patricia Bullrich, nor the ultra-right-wing leader Javier Milei repudiated the attack on the vice-president. And in the case of Bullrich, she tried to make political capital by criticizing the decision of President Alberto Fernandez to declare a national holiday.

The dastardly arguments used to criticize this measure showed the cowardly approach given by an important sector of the Macrism to the possibility of the country being involved in a new cycle of political violence.

The difficulties of the Macrista leadership to repudiate the attempted murder of their adversary reflected the campaign launched by their operators in the networks, where they directly assured that the whole thing had been a theater staged by the victim herself. Amalia Granata, provincial deputy of Santa Fe, published a message making that statement. And PRO legislators suggested the same.

In a few more days, the media operators of Macriism will already be saying the assassination attempt was a hoax. It is a predictable discourse because its objective is always the same: to generate indignation and hatred.

The delivery man has no real reason to hate Peronism. He does it because of the reality painted by the hegemonic media. Cristina’s attacker is a marginal guy and hates those who are like him and subsist only with a plan. Instead of identifying with those who suffer the same situation as him, he hates them.

Those who have reasons to hate Peronism do not appear in these events. They are the powerful interests that would like Peronism not to exist and thus be able to structure a society made up of a few rich and many poor. And the journalists of the hegemonic media speak according to those interests. Throughout Friday they suggested that “the attack favored the President” and “how strange” that the shot had not been fired.

The government announced that it will convene today the Chamber of Deputies to repudiate the assassination attempt against the Vice-President. But up to the closing of this article the opposition bloc was still deliberating and hesitating whether to attend or not. The argument was that they did not accept responsibility for the hate speech. Some legislators of the ruling party in Santa Fe had also proposed the expulsion of Deputy Amalia Granata for the messages in which she accused Cristina Kirchner of having staged a false attack against herself. In the same way, Patricia Bullrich blocked a declaration of repudiation by Juntos por el Cambio.

If the opposition was contemplative with the assassination attempt against its main adversary, in a few hours, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in the main cities of the country to repudiate the attack, even in those localities where Peronism or Kirchnerism are not in government.

Without the necessary time to communicate with each other or to hire vehicles, everyone went to the meeting points. And many people mobilized on their own spontaneously. The demonstrators were shocked, as were many of those who stayed at home.

The right wing has two ways it could go: either it accepts to live in peace with that tradition of the Argentine people to take to the streets in defense of their interests, or it resumes the path of violence to repress it and try to erase the popular mobilization. That path has bloodied the country and finally failed.

Source: Pagina 12 translation Resumen Latinoamericano – US