Strike and Election in Argentina
Julio Fernández Baraibar
julfb at SPAMsinectis.com.ar
Mon May 8 11:36:23 MDT 2000
Answering what Nestor is claiming I can begin this message with the vers of
Lope de Vega: "Un soneto me manda hacer Violante..." (I'm sorry but this
point is only understandable for spanish speakers).
Ok. In only three days (between 5 and 7 May) we have had a general strike
and an important election in Buenos Aires City.
On the first, the lists have received a wide piece of information from
Nestor. The only what I can add is that the leaders of CGT who appeal to the
strike were notoriously satisfied. More than this, they expressed the
feeling that the result was better than the most optimistic prognostics. The
strike was a success. And this success was not expected by the government,
who had negotiated the sanction of the labour law with the collaborator
leadership and the peronist diputies and senators. The government, simply,
did not know, or believe in, the capacity of Moyano to do a political
general strike. The politicians in Argentina -I mean, what people called
"the politicians- live in a kind of marihuana cloud, where the reality is
theirs reality within the walls of the Congress or the bars and restaurants
around it, where theirs will is the will of people and theirs pacts are the
"real world". And this is shared by journalists, newspapers and, inclusive,
the low ranks of militants (peronism and Alianza have a wide rank of
militants) who live in the special world of "politics".
Inmediately after the sanction of the labour law by the Senate, all the
political "world" stated that Moyano had resulted isolated, alone, without
relations with the "politics", the commun sense, the racionality of a
democratic system (yes, indeed, they thought in this way). He had tried to
resist what had the unanimity of the representants of the "volonte general".
The ultracorrupted clique of union leaders that accepted the new law were,
contrary, intelligent and astute.
The strike call was the prove of the absolut lack of realism in Moyano and
All this argumentation went to hell on friday 5th. of May.
Moyano, and with him workers and people, hit on this idyllic landscape built
by the stablishment. The observers had had to acept that the strike caused
comotion in the government. In the weekly analisis of Clarin yesterday, the
writer (a known journalist) recognize that the government is divided in two
fields: the "number's men" (the four ministers who are economists) and the
others, the politicians. Some papers began to circulate in the high levels
of government in order to propose some changes, some corrections, above all
in the social areas. But, as president De la Rua said in the evening of the
strike day: "I don't know why they did this strike". For him, in his narrow
liberal, election-fixed mentality the strike had been only an electoral
maneuver of peronism in order to defeat guvernment's Alianza in the Buenos
Aires City's election of sunday 7th.
A few words about this election. Buenos Aires city has today the rank of a
federal state. Its mayor has the rank of a province guvernor. We must add
that Buenos Aires City is, besides, the place were the federal guvernment
lies. And that today the president has not one own guvernor in all the
country. The most important provinces are in the hands of peronist guvernors
and the province that are managed by Alianza, the guvernor don't belong
president's faction. A defeat in the Capital of the country would have been
catastrophic for De la Rua, six months after his assumption as president,
letting him as a painter without stair, hung only by his brush.
But, and this is wht a want to remark, the two main candidates to mayor post
in Buenos Aires City were: Anibal Ibarra, a colourless, tasteless and
odorless "progresist" young man of Alianza (guv.'s party) in one side, and
nothing less than Domingo Cavallo (the man who destroyed the industrial
Argentina and open the doors for the wildest and most pitiless capitulation
to the financial capital and IMF) as the candidate of the opposition.
What did people do? They striked on friday and they vote Ibarra on sunday.
It means they hit against the IMF inspired politics of the president with
the strike and against the most dangerous IMF's agent voting for the
innocuous candidate Ibarra. This won the election with around the 50% of
votes. The question is that efter the city constitution the winner must have
more than the 50%. If not there is a ballotage. Of course the difference
between the two main forces indicates that in this second turn Cavallo can't
This is the result:
Aníbal Ibarra: 49.42 %
Domingo Felipe Cavallo: 33.26 %
The veteran actress Irma Roy, who tried to express some kind of historic
peronism obtained an interesting:
Irma Roy: 4.43 %
And, as Nestor comented yesterday, the party and candidate of Menem get this
Granillo Ocampo: 1.61%
Without decisive proposals, people voted against the worst, who run hold by
the arch corrupted peronist leaders who wanted to take distance from the
political cadaver of Menem and obtained a new dead: Domingo Cavallo.
But it is yet more interestig. In the election for the City congress
(Legislatura) the votes expressed a real dispersion, and its percentages are
Ibarra 35.13 %
Cavallo 29.4 %
Irma Roy 6.2 %
Izquierda Unida (an alliance of the rests of the Comunist Party and other
"progresists") 4.25 %
UCEDE (ultra conservative neoliberalism) 3.89 %
Juliana Marino (peronist) 2.49 %
Partido Humanista - Ecologista (a kind of not marxist leftism) 2.13 %
Movimiento De Jubilados y Juventud (can you true it; movement of pensioned
and youth !) 2.79 %
Alianza Buenos Aires Para Todos (reformist socialists) 2.92 %
Partido Obrero (Worker Party - a sectarian ultra trotskyst group)1.96 %
Partido Justicialista (Menemism) 1.93 %
This has produced that the Legislatura will have a such composition:
Ibarra 24 deputies
Cavallo 20 deputies
Irma Roy 4 deputies
Alianza Izquierda Unida 3 deputies
Alianza Buenos Aires Para Todos 2 deputies
UCEDE 2 deputies
Partido Justicialista 1 deputy
Juliana Marino 1 deputy
Partido Humanista - Ecologista 1 deputy
Movimiento De Jubilados y Juventud 1 deputy
Partido Obrero 1 deputy
This means that the new mayor will not have own majority in the Legislatura.
But it also means the deepest crisis of peronism in all its history.
The results for this groups of the left are, IMHO, not significatives. They
don't grow. It is only that the constitution doesn't stablish some kind of
floor in order to enter. This kind of leftism has been traditional in Buenos
Aires. Think about the Partido Obrero, with one deputy, in the city with,
perhaps, less workers in the country. And I am going to have funny seeing
this terrible revolutionary discussing about the state of the streets or the
problems of trafic.
In resume, if the government tries to translate this result as a "charte
blanche" for continuing its politics, they are very wrong. On fifteen days
we shall have the ballotage. Untill it the government have to care itself.
After it, we will come back to the routine of the crisis, the claims, the
strikes and the struggle. But now with the new hope that this CGT represents
for the deepest layers of our society.
FN:Fernández Baraibar, Julio
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