Monday, November 23, 2015

Argentine Presidential election, the day after

It's a new political day in Argentina. A good one for the oligarchy. For the others, not so much.

Newly-elected President Mauricio Macri is already talking up neoliberal trade agreements and demanding that the Mercosur commercial alliance continue to exclude Venezuela, adding to the latter buzzwords in favor of the rightwing opposition to the government of Nicolás Maduro. (Excluir a Venezuela y converger en la Alianza del Pacífico Página/12 23.11.2015) He also says he wants to put more emphasis on the Alianza del Pacífico, a trade bloc that currently includes only Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. This set of priorities signals a desire for friendlier relations with the US and Europe.

Macri also indicated he wants to end the agreement with Iran that Cristina Fernández's outgoing government negotiated in pursuit of the still-continuing investigation of the AMIA Jewish Community Center bombing of 1994. (Macri to request AMIA memorandum derogation Buenos Aires Herald 11/23/2015) This seems to be an indication that Macri will further stall that investigation, which has been stalled for far too long.

Macri's expressed desire to devaluate the Argentine peso will be closely watched and speculated about, mentally and financially. He will be inaugurated December 10.

Here are two reports from TV Pública argentina on Macri's electoral victory and his public signals so far about his direction in office.

Visión 7 - Un gabinete económico con seis ministros (1 de 2) 11/23/2015:

Visión 7 - Un gabinete económico con seis ministros (2 de 2) 11/23/2015:

Another interesting development is that Ernesto Sanz, the head of the Unión Cívica Radical (UCR), the main party backing Macri nationally, will not serve in Macri's government. He declined a cabinet position offered by Macri. (Sanz declines Justice minister position Buenos Aires Herald 11/23/2015)

One grim sign of the new times is that on Monday, the day after the election, La Nación, the traditional newspaper (and media group) of the Argentine oligarchy, is running this editorial calling for impunity from prosecution for those who committed crimes during the 1976-83 military dictatorship (murder, torture, kidnapping, etc.): No más venganza 23.11.2015

It says those were "unfortunate actions" but they were fighting TERRORISM aaa-iii-eeee!!! In Argentina, this would be called a "gorila" editorial, definitely not a compliment (also not to be confused with "guerrilla").

Some of the paper's own journalists publicly criticized the editorial. (No más venganza Buenos Aires Herald 11/23/2015)

Also, in a move that sounds a bit ominous to me, Macri said he was going to declare a security emergency, apparently on his first day in office, to "take control of our territory." That's a bit of Trump-like rhetoric, suggestion ludicrously that Argentina today is a failed state. That's just nuts.

This TV Pública argentina report discusses the editorial in La Nación at the first, Visión 7 Resumen - Parte 1 del 23-11-2015 11/23/2015:

The Congress still has a Peronist majority, so they should be able to restrain some of Macri's bad policies.

The TV Pública argentina also discusses the very significant and unusual political situation this election produced in that the same party will control the Presidency, the City of Buenos Aires and the Province of Buenos Aires.

Fernando Cibeira reports on Buenos Aires Province:

Histórico bastión del FpV, en las últimas dos elecciones la provincia de Buenos Aires resultó su talón de Aquiles, justo el distrito que el candidato Daniel Scioli gobernó durante los últimos ocho años.

[The historic bastion of the FpV {the Peronist electoral alliance}, in the last two elections the Province of Buenos Aires turned out to be their Achilles heel, precisely the district the {FpV} candidate Daniel Scioli governed the last eight years.]
Venezuela has national elections on December 6. We'll see if that shows a more conservative voting trend there at well. With Dilma Rousseff in Brazil the target of a serious impeachment drive by the opposition, it's shaping up to be a disappointing year for the left in parts of South America.

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