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“Internationalism is About What We’re Doing Here”: Speech Outside the Argentinian Consulate in NYC

Left Voice member Luigi Morris highlights the rise of the Far Right in Argentina, its connection to Zionism and U.S. imperialism, the role of Peronism in creating space for the Right, and how the revolutionary Left is fighting back.

Luigi Morris

February 1, 2024
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Photo: @tomass.nieto (Instagram)

Left Voice member Luigi Morris addressed a protest at the Consulate of Argentina in New York On January 24, in solidarity with Argentina’s national strike. The following is an edited transcript.

Argentina’s new right-wing libertarian and Zionist president, Javier Milei, is launching a massive attack on the working class and oppressed in Argentina. He told his electorate that he was coming to fight the “political caste,” but instead he has been trying to show the world how to crush workers’ rights and impose austerity measures.

Through authoritarian and bonapartist measures, Milei is trying to impose his program by a Decree of Necessity and Urgency, the “Omnibus Law,” and a “security protocol” to repress street protest.

He discusses this plan with capitalists, the U.S. government, and international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund. He is invested in making Argentina lose what little we have of political independence and national sovereignty. He is ready to privatize public companies, give away our natural resources, dollarize the economy, and deepen the country’s debt to the IMF.

As an example, Argentina has a lot of lithium, a key resource for electronic devices, which the U.S. wants to control in any way possible. Milei, with the complicity of Peronism, will let this happen. The fight against climate change is also a fight against imperialism.

The $42 billion debt that [former president Mauricio] Macri contracted with the IMF is unpayable. It has been used to force American interests upon Argentina, a historical mechanism of domination. That’s why we demand an end to the payment of Argentina’s debt to the IMF.

To make this plan, his administration will have to give more power to the police and criminalize the right to protest.

Milei has expressed multiple times his unwavering support for Israel and his intention to move the Argentinian embassy to Jerusalem. To wave the Israeli flag after being elected is an insult to the almost 30,000 Palestinian lives lost, the tens of thousands wounded, and the millions displaced since October 7. We call for an end to the bombardment, siege, occupation, and genocide that continues thanks to the bipartisan support of the U.S.

The Milei administration supports the legacy of the Argentinian dictatorship, which disappeared and killed 30,000 activists, workers, Leftists. All this backed by the U.S. and Israel. Israel provided military assistance to Argentina. It is reported that Israel supplied weapons, intelligence, and training to the Argentinian military. Meanwhile, the dictatorship was targeting Jewish people. Over and over again, we see how the interests of the U.S. and Israel are not about defending Jewish people but defending imperialism, plunder of natural resources, and a system based on oppression and exploitation.

It would be impossible to explain Milei’s victory without talking about how the supposedly progressive Peronists and right-wing Macrists led the country into misery.

[Former president Alberto] Fernández was elected promising to shift away from Macri’s right-wing austerity politics. As is often the case in Latin American politics, it is through the relationship with imperialism that leaders reveal their true colors. Fernández maintained the austerity regime, and did not even challenge the brutal submission of Argentina’s economy to U.S. interests. This is felt to the bones all over Argentinian society.

Fernández ended his term with 40 percent of the population living in poverty, over 150 percent inflation, and a significant devaluation of the Argentinean currency. This election, the Peronists asked for the support of the masses to stop Milei but offered no solutions to the crisis. It proves yet again that lesser evilism doesn’t stop the Right. Liberal capitalist politicians don’t stop the Right. The working class stops the Right.

Not even a month after Milei started his term, he faced “cacerolazos,” massive mobilizations, and now this national strike. This was just a first step in a difficult but possible battle against Milei’s draconian plan, and it shows us a path of how to fight the Far Right.

During the previous Peronist and Macrist administrations, the union leaders allowed all types of attacks to happen, and now they are calling for a national strike without a plan to continue this fight until all of Milei’s plans fail. That’s why we need to organize from below, with assemblies, using our power as the working class to stop production, using a program to make the capitalists pay for the crises.

Stopping the right wing and giving an answer to the problems of the working class and the popular sectors can only be won through struggle and self-organization from below for an anti-capitalist solution. That is the fight of our comrades of the PTS as part of the FIT-U there, and it is the road that must be followed here.

It’s important for all left, anti-imperialist organizations to follow and cover the initiatives of the FIT-U. Internationalism is about what we’re doing here, showing active support for the strike in Argentina, but it is also following and supporting those revolutionary youth, workers, students, and the FIT-U congress members who are an example of revolutionary parliamentarism. They systematically denounce Milei, call for actions of the working class and the oppressed, and reverberate these struggles in Congress.

In the U.S. we also need a party that defends our interests as workers, fights for socialist ideas, and fights on the side of our struggles. A party that is not one of capitalism and imperialism like the Democrats and Republicans. A party that we need to organize ourselves internationally in the context of the war in Ukraine, genocide in Palestine, crisis in Argentina.

Milei went to Davos to say that the “Western World” is in danger from “socialism,” “feminism,” and “environmentalism,” and that Western capitalists need to guarantee “free competition.” One of his slogans is “freedom,” but when he talks about freedom, he is talking about the freedom to exploit workers, enrich a minority, and continue this inequity. As [PTS congressional deputy] Christian Castillo said, “We are going to recover the word ‘freedom’ for the working class, for the people, and not for those who want to impose authoritarian neoliberalism against popular interests.”

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Luigi Morris

Luigi Morris is a member of Left Voice, freelance photographer and socialist journalist.

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