Forwarded from Anthony (part 2 of Frontline article)

Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at
Tue Dec 25 07:04:22 MST 2001

En relación a Forwarded from Anthony (part 2 of Frontline artic, 
el 24 Dec 01, a las 21:28, Louis Proyect dijo:

> This is the second part of the report on Argentina from Frontline 
> newspaper.
> Update: December 21, 2001
> Today, the Peronist majority in both chambers of Congress agreed on 
> the game plan for tomorrow's Legislative Assembly:
> 1. Elect Governor Saa President for 60 days.

Rodríguez Saá. Not Saa. This is not exactly a minor point. While C. Wright 
Mills is Mills, Rodríguez Saá is Rodríguez. But the insistence in the "Saá" has 
a strong poltical meaning. BTW, a close relative of the current president, the 
"Lobito" Rodríguez Saá, was a martyr in the Peronist resistence against the 
oligarchic regimes. And the President has also declared that he would govern 
along the lines set by that resistence.

> 2. Vote on their proposal for new elections for President and Vice 
> President that will be held on Sunday, March 3
> 3. Establish that the electoral system for this particular election 
> be shifted to "Single Transferable Voting" system or the "Sistema de 
> Lemas."


> This system has never been used in Argentina before, 

Not at the national level, but very often at the provincial level after the 
"democratic restoration" of 1983.

> though it was 
> employed in neighboring Uruguay for decades, before being dropped for 
> being "confusing."

A true revolutionist would not care about it being "confusing", but about its 
intrinsical reactionary essence, in that it freezes history through a careful 
cover-up of irreconciliable differences among the large parties. Cdes. in 
Frontlines, in a very typical petty bourgeois way, can only think of the 
influence of money in politics. And this, after the extraordinary demonstration 
of political independence by the masses on the 19th and 20th!. See below: 

> The selection of this voting system indicates that the Peronists will 
> only agree to take over the Executive and call elections. They want 
> to decide their internal differences through a general election 
> rather than a primary, as is the custom in Argentina. This will 
> partially offset the mobilizing character of the apparatus that is 
> required to win a primary and will give more power to money and 
> publicity.

Next paragraph is quite wrong (and slightly outdated, since the decission has 
already been made) :

> 4. The Legislative Assembly has also to decide whether this election 
> will be to elect a formula to complete the 2-year period left from De 
> la Rua's term or if they wish to make this a complete new term 
> (improbable).

The proposition by the Peronists was a different one. Nobody wanted the next 
president to rule for a complete new term (no Peronist boss would have accepted 
that). The debate was whether the new President had to rule in a provisional 
way up to a new call to elections, or up to 2003. The powers-that-be, who have 
clearly sensed the mood of the masses, would have preferred to transfer the 
elections to 2003 (to 3003, if possible!). The final decission was to call to 
elections on March, 2002. But the course that Rodríguez Saá has taken may well 
bring in a surprise. Maybe he can win the elections after these first 70 days.

> De la Rua, before leaving the Government House, lifted the State of 
> Siege. But Puerta, the interim President, re- imposed it, but just 
> for the Province of Buenos Aires, where looting of supermarkets and 
> businesses continued today. According to the local electronic media, 
> over a dozen supermarkets were assaulted on Friday.

Not only in Buenos Aires, in Entre Ríos and San Juan as well (in San Juan by 
request of the local authorities). The assaults on the supermarkets are over, 
and the State of Siege has been lifted everywhere. It is interesting to note 
the repugnant attitude of De la Rúa, who wanted to clean the last spot of shit 
that he had left behind...

> At least two judges ordered De La Rua and his former Minister of 
> Interior not to leave the country and announced their intention to 
> investigate the responsibility of both in the killings and violence 
> of the last few days.
> This followed the announcement that Cavallo, De la Rua's Minister of 
> Economy left the country in a presidential aircraft immediately after 
> resigning on Thursday. He did so despite a court order requiring him 
> to request permission before leaving the capital. The outstanding 
> court order was related to the investigation of arms trafficking to 
> Croatia and Ecuador underway for the last year or so. Menem was also 
> indicted and cleared of the same charges.

Cavallo has not fled the country. He could not abandon it.

> Friday's demonstrations were much smaller in the Capital. The MST, 
> the CP and their electoral block organized a small demo. So did 
> another dozen or so different left and Peronist groups. But the 
> demands, for the most part, did not exceed the call for a moratorium 
> and/or cancellation of the foreign debt.

Which had already been announced. By the way "did not exceed" is a very queer 
thing to write on this issue here and now. What else would have been 
acceptable. Immediate instalation of a government of the workers and the 

> Both the PTP/RCP and different groups of the Peronist Party were 
> actively intervening in neighborhood assemblies. The Peronists had 
> the line of cooling off the situation. The line of the PTP/RCP is not 
> clear, but reports indicated that they were mobilizing numerous 
> cadres to intervene.

All this has to do with the CCC (the Corriente Clasista y Combativa). The most 
important datum with the CCC is that Alderete, their local leader in La 
Matanza, visited Rodríguez Saá together with D'Elía, the other leader of the 
piqueteros in La Matanza. And the other important piece of info that these kids 
at Frontlines ignore is that the PCR has been cultivating a long friendship 
with Adolfo Rodríguez Saá and his brother Alberto.

> Senator Yoma, of the Peronist Party announced that they were looking 
> for a) moratorium and/or re-negotiation of the foreign debt; 2) 
> floating the peso in relation to the dollar and the "pesoization" of 
> the economy, including the transfer of all contracts in dollars to 
> pesos; c) protection of money from small investors in banks and d) 
> establishment of an emergency food program. Yoma offered no details. 
> Others in Congress, however, insisted that devaluing the peso was a 
> must do. This could trigger yet another catastrophe for workers.

Ah, the last sentence was Rodríguez Saá's argument to keep the currency board 
working while a Third Currency is injected. A smart move if it leads up to 
where I suspect.

> It is unlikely Saa would continue running for office, thus his 
> election as President for 60 days. Interim President Puerta gave a 
> press conference and announced that he was taking over until 
> tomorrow's legislative assembly and informed the media that the new 
> president may look into the formation of a government of "National 
> Unity" for sixty days, inviting all sectors and political parties to 
> participate.

This is, however, a very different kind of National Unity. This is National 
Unity against the debt. 

> The US government declared that Argentina must follow the 
> instructions and plans proposed by the IMF without hesitation. But it 
> is clear that whatever the plans of the ruling class, Argentinean or 
> otherwise, Argentina's future will be decided in the streets rather 
> than the government houses.

Yes and no. Because the streets have a strong reflection within the government 
houses, and particularly within Peronism.

> Update: December 22
> Anger at the killings of over 30 people last Thursday grew 
> exponentially today when it was disclosed that many of those killed 
> by the police were children 9-14 years old. In one case, a 14 years 
> old girl was shot point blank on the back of the head when she was 
> running away from a super-market with one package of dry pasta. Her 
> family, was disclosed, had been eating only bread for the previous 
> week.
> A sector of the "piqueteros" was calling to a national conference for 
> today, Saturday, to respond to the political situation. The 
> ¨piqueteros" is a national movement that organizes picket lines at 
> super-markets and negotiate with their owners free distribution of 
> food. At this writing, delegates from different cities and 
> coordinating groups were arriving at the meeting. Meanwhile, the 
> legislative assembly approved all the Peronist proposals: elected Saa 
> Rodriguez President, called presidential elections in 90 days under 
> the single transferable voting system and announced that they were 
> intent in forming a government of "national unity." 

It is not altogether clear whether the transferable voting system will remain. 
And if you ask me, I have the impression that Rodríguez Saá may well move all 
levers at hand in order to break this proviso of the decission in the Assembly. 
As to the "national unity" government, there has been not a single mention of 
this idea, which has been left to the de la Rúa administration. What we shall 
have is a Peronist government which, of course, has called to "national unity" 
to confront the tasks ahead. But this is quite natural and has no implications 
in the sense of sharing government with anyone.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at


Compañeros del exercito de los Andes. 

...La guerra se la tenemos de hacer del modo que podamos: 
sino tenemos dinero, carne y un pedazo de tabaco no nos 
tiene de faltar: cuando se acaben los vestuarios, nos 
vestiremos con la bayetilla que nos trabajen nuestras mugeres, 
y sino andaremos en pelota como nuestros paisanos los indios: 
seamos libres, y lo demás no importa nada...

Jose de San Martín, 27 de julio de 1819.


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