Wednesday, May 24, 2017

El retorno de Cristina?

Cristina Fernández, that is, the President of Argentina 2007-2015.

Not that's she really been absent from the political scene since leaving office in 2015. Her successor Maricio Macri campaigned on a moderate program, or at least a moderate-sounding one. Since assuming office in December 2015, he has instead instituted a standard neoliberal/IMF/Washington Consensus economic menu. And the results are what should have been expected: falling real wages, higher unemployment, cutbacks of essential government services, a cave-in to the blackmail from vulture funds that had bought up defaulted Argentine debt, and taking on new debt, some of which reportedly uses Argentine state property as security. Dropping capital controls has contributed to a high inflation rate, even by Argentine standards. (It's not the kind of triple-digit hyperinflation that Argentina experienced in the late 1980s, at least.)

Cristina has been a regular, public critic of Macri's government. And she still has strong support within the Peronist Partido Justicialista (PJ) and the broader electoral coalition of the Frente para la Victoria, (FpV). This photo and slogan has been popping up in hard copies and online.

The slogan says, "The sun of the 25th is appearing." Or, "Sunrise of the 25th is coming" probably works, too. That's a reference to the 25th of May, a national holiday celebrating the official proclamation of a new national government on that date in 1810, displacing the Spanish Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros (1756–1829). It's known as May Revolution Day, a key event in the establishment of Argentina as an independent nation. Argentine Independence Day is celebrated on July 9, commemorating the formal declaration of independence of 1816.

May 25 took on a particular political and patriotic significance for the kichneristas. Cristina's late husband Néstor Kirchner became President on May 25, 2003, the beginning of a dramatically new reformist direction for Argentina in which neoliberal political prescriptions were largely rejected in favor of a more activist government aggressively promoting Keynesian policies and recovering the language and spirit of left Peronist populism. (Martín Granovsky, “Llegamos sin rencores y con memoria” Página/12 06.05.2003) The 25th of May was treated as a major day of celebration of what they called the "national and popular" tradition of Argentina, i.e., left-nationalist, democratic and militant social-democratic ones.

Cristina took part in a meeting with other political leaders this week working to form an effective political coalition in Buenos Aires Province for the 2017 legislative elections. (Sin definiciones, pero con afiches Página/12 24.05.2017)

Former Finance Minister and current Deputy in the lower House of the Argentine Congress Axel Kiciloff considers Cristina to be the leader of the movement (kircherista/peronista/FpV), 22/05/17 - Kicillof: "Cristina es la jefa del movimiento y yo soy parte de él":

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