The 2013 legislative elections are taking place in the context of tendencies towards a crisis as a whole, in the framework of the end of the cycle of rule by the Kirchners, set up to divert the 2001 popular rebellion. On the economic plane, tendencies towards a new debt crisis are being exhibited, after having religiously paid the debt for a decade, growing inflation, a record public debt, the gradual emptying of the Central Bank and of the Anses, and an international devaluation of the peso. Once again, Argentina is on the way to a new turn in economic policy that will have serious consequences, again, for the workers.
The capitalist class is demanding that the exchange “trap” and other regulations of the government be ended, that it be followed by a significant devaluation of the peso, and that they should be able to recover the freedom of capitals to enter and leave, and the possibility of gaining access to international indebtedness; they are demanding generalization of the agreement with Chevron.
Through some of their politicians (like Scioli, Massa, Macri or De la Sota), they are trying to reconcile that program with an “orderly transition,” to avoid the repetition of 2001. In reality, they want the Kirchner government to be the one to bear the “pending tasks” of the adjustment.
For their part, the workers are protesting against a growing increase in costs that affects the purchasing power of wages, and retirements of hunger; against the direct and indirect taxes on incomes from work and against job uncertainty, unemployment, the deficit and an increasing cost of housing and the collapse of health care and education. In perspective, the big capitals, on the one hand, and the workers, on the other, will continue to confront each other to determine who pays for the costs of the crisis.
On the political plane, we have witnessed the break up of the governing party, the rule of the Kirchners: on the one hand, there has been an exodus of Kirchner managers; on the other, collisions have appeared within the clique that continues with Cristina F. Kirchner. There are widespread frictions in the different levels of the government (governors and mayors and even in the security apparatuses). The government established a system of special espionage against the popular movements, and it is trying to return political leadership to the armed forces. A repressor from the dictatorship has been appointed a major in the army, which has generated widespread protest, even within the ruling party.
The progress of the Argentinian political process has the world capitalist crisis as a background. World capitalism is increasingly unloading the crisis on the masses; on the one hand, by destroying conquests and rights, and, on the other hand, through increasing repression, it is attempting to silence the popular rebellions.
The Left and Workers’ Front greets and supports the struggle of the entire world working class against imperialist capitalism and its governments. And it highlights the struggle of the people of Brazil and the young people of Chile. In Argentina, over and above the policies of the bureaucratic leaderships of the workers’ movement, the big strikes and demonstrations against the income tax managed to impose a retreat on the Kirchner government. An awakening of the working class and the young people, that includes the entire continent, is growing, and they are expressing themselves in the increasing opposition of the masses to the governments of Dilma or Evo Morales, as well as in Chile.
As an expression of this historic development, in Argentina, the growth of the militant and anti-capitalist left has taken place, the left that in the recent primary elections got almost a million votes – double the results from two years ago. This “rise of the left” has continued in the weeks that followed: it has appeared in the student elections at the University of Buenos Aires, in union elections and those of workplace delegates, in high schools and universities, in the cultural field. The possibility that the workers will find adequate political expression to confront the new stage, is developing. We are calling for voting for the Left and Workers’ Front, with the awareness that it is a matter of the development of a workers’ political alternative and of a political response of hardworking people to the new capitalist crisis. The parliamentary platform of the Left and Workers’ Front will serve the education and development of class consciousness of the workers, the condemnation of the conspiracies of imperialism and the Argentinian employers against the people, through the state apparatus; it will serve the strengthening of the struggle of the workers and young people, and to promote the struggles and mobilizations of a political character.
We will use the electoral platform to strengthen the struggle, at the service of the strikes and the extra-parliamentary mobilization of the workers and the young people in the streets, and as one more means for the strategic aim of defeating the capitalists and their state through the social revolution.
The foreign debt
The President has boasted about having paid, over a decade, 173,000,000,000 dollars in foreign debt – of being, she said, “a serial payer.” What she omitted was that, meanwhile, the public debt (foreign and domestic) has risen by almost a 100 billion dollars, even reaching a sum that greatly exceeds two hundred billion dollars. Since 1975, Argentina has paid some 600 billion dollars and still has an enormous debt. We are clearly facing a usurious debt, that is increasing as a result of a continuous capitalization of interests that they cannot pay. The looting of the country long ago reached a criminal character. In this shady deal, international big banking has intervened, but, above all, the Argentinian capitalists, that have always had in their possession the biggest slice of that debt. This explains the “serial” conduct of all the governments of the last fifty years.
In order to continue that “serial” payment, the “national and popular” government has been emptying the Central Bank and the Anses. This explains the fact that 75% of those retired will collect 25% of the cost of the family food basket. The Kirchner government has taken money from these institutions, in exchange for public securities that will never be cancelled, only refinanced in an indefinite manner. Those public bonds are recorded at a theoretical valuation, not a real one. Right now, the government is selling the bonds inherited by the Anses from the AFJP at a despicable price, with the base intention of lowering the exchange rate of the dollar. The Anses has in its possession the biggest amount of the debt in pesos, that is being liquified as a result of inflation and of the indexation by the values of the Indec. “Serial payment” is leading to the bankruptcy of the retirement and monetary systems.
The “report” on “getting out of debt” is simply a lie. The decrease in the foreign debt, postulated by the 2005 restructuring, was a fiction, because with the addition of the so-called “GDP coupons,” it has not changed at all. It has only served to “stabilize” the relationships with the capitalist creditors, at the expense of the workers. The result is that we are at a potential suspension of payments, in the context of an imminent crisis with the so-called “vulture” funds. The main beam of what claimed to be “the reconstruction of the national bourgeoisie” has turned out to be a farce. The government that rose in 2003 to act as an administrator of the 2001-2002 bankruptcy, now faces another crisis, that requires a new administrator, that will be selected before 2015, by election or outside of an election. The enormous failure of the laundering of capitals (“Cedin”) constitutes an open vote of no confidence in the government, by national and international capital. It is another expression of the change of front of the greater part of the national and foreign big businessmen and bankers, that backed rule by the Kirchners, with highs and lows, for a decade.
The fiscal deficit, to pay the foreign debt and grant every kind of subsidies to the employers, is the main reason for the inflation that is impoverishing the workers. The government is also financing that deficit with confiscation of the funds from the Anses, and the employers are taking advantage of so-called “free enterprise” to raise prices and speculate with inflation.
The other misleading “report” is that of the “redistribution” of incomes. The administrators of the 2001-2002 bankruptcy took charge of emphasizing job uncertainty, under the pretext of “creating jobs.” Even with this recourse, unemployment continues to be very high – 15%, if the workers of the “plans” are added to the calculation, and even more with the underemployed. This explains the high level of poverty – 70% if the family basket is taken, 35% below the basic basket. The allowance per child, conceived and financed by the World Bank, aims at supporting a social assistance of hunger for a long time. We are demanding “a job for everyone” (distribution of the hours of work) and a minimum wage equal to the cost of the family basket.
Structural poverty includes the collapse of health care and education and the enormous price increase of private health care. The Left and Workers’ Front is proposing the defense of education and public health care; a single, government-sponsored, free, secular national education program, and a national system of universal public health, in the care of the state, both under the leadership of the workers. We demand the opening of the books of the Obras Sociales and of private medicine. We reject the nationalization of the Obras Sociales (in large part, front organizations of private medicine) by the capitalist state, since it would only be a step towards the essential privatization of health care.
The Left and Workers’ Front sets out non-payment of the usurious foreign debt; determining those responsible for this shady deal, with the corresponding compensation; and the establishment of an extraordinary tax on the big capitals, to cover the confiscation of assets suffered by the Central Bank and the Anses.
Privatizations and Nationalizations
The most important function of the syndicate that Duhalde-Lavagna-Kirchner formed, was to proceed to the rescue of the privatizations of Menem’s rule and to rescue the banks from bankruptcy. To that end, a phenomenal system of subsidies was resorted to. The main result of the operation was (together with payment of the public debt) the economic crisis, that precisely the Anses and the Central Bank are financing. The freezing of the tariffs was a phenomenal gift to the national and foreign bourgeoisie, because it lowered the price of services that they use and the nominal wages, that remained below those that a higher family basket would have required.
The precariousness of this rescue was shown in the crisis of service-sector investments and in isolated nationalizations, the main one of which was that of the AFJP, that was put at the service of paying the foreign debt. The emptying out of the Anses for payment of international usury is an extraordinary example of using the nationalizations to rescue capital, through the confiscation of the workers’ incomes. As a result of this, the Anses was changed into a state-owned AFJP, that conditions the level of the pensions on payment of the debt and on the financial subsidies to capital. Other nationalizations (water, airlines) reinforced the fiscal crisis.
The ‘nationalizations’ went up a step with the partial expropriation of Repsol (subject to compensation in international courts) and with an increasing intervention in the railroad system after the murder of our comrade Mariano Ferreyra, the rebellion of thousands of subcontracted railway workers and the massacre of Once. It is a matter of fictitious nationalizations and even of re-privatizations (Chevron). The partial expropriation of YPF, which the Left and Workers’ Front condemned from the first moment, began a trail of intensifying the surrender of hydrocarbons to foreign capital, an advance in environmental contamination and a complete turn towards indebtedness in the international markets.
We condemn the relentless increase in the rates that the oil companies are collecting, their right to charge international prices, the growing slice of the gas-oil income that they are accumulating, and the gigantic increase of environmental contamination. We are proposing immediate compensation for the enormous environmental liability left by these monopolies.
The Left and Workers’ Front condemns the pseudo-nationalizations that have been carried out and those that are being announced, as a policy of bailing out capitalism, at the cost of a bigger fiscal crisis, and even in the service of the Kirchner shady deals (like those of La Cámpora in Aerolíneas), that will be paid for by the workers. The bourgeois nationalizations have served to tie the union bureaucracy even more profoundly to the state and to the employers, and even to their businesses. It is necessary to distinguish bourgeois nationalization, that procures the rescue of the capitalist system and of the businessmen they become partners with (TBA, Metrovías, Repsol, among others), from nationalization that effectively converts private exploitation into a real state-owned public service of the working people. In this case, nationalization or re-nationalization should be without compensation to capital (in reality, the compensation should be from capital to the public power) and to operate under the control and management of the workers, with financing through extraordinary taxes on big capital.
The Left and Workers’ Front promotes the 100% re-nationalization of YPF and all the oil companies. In the case of gas and oil, it would be about a national emergency measure, to reverse the capitalist draining brought about in the past two decades. We are setting out a national energy plan controlled by the workers. We fight for the re-nationalization of all the privatized firms, under the control, administration and management of the workers and users. We propose a real re-nationalization of the entire railway system and of the subways under the control and management of the workers and the riders. We promote the nationalization of the capitalist monopolies, under the leadership of the workers, especially nationalization of banking and foreign commerce and big agrarian property. The capitalist monopolies are an expression of the relative exhaustion of capitalist development (“free competition”), and a method of economic expropriation, by monopolized capital, essentially against the workers. A policy of nationalizations, thus understood, should be prepared methodically, through opening the books of the big companies, under the control and planning of the urban and rural workers. What matters in the nationalizations is that they should be a transition towards management of the economy by the workers, and, by this means, towards a planning of national development. This perspective sets out the government of the workers and the exploited people.
The capitalists, and not the workers, must pay for the crisis
The tendency towards suspension of payments, the fiscal crisis, inflation and overpricing, are testimony to the crisis of “national and popular” interventionism. The same thing is happening with the failure of the exchange “trap” and of commerce, and of laundering illegal money (“Cedin”).
The government is seeking to lessen the importance of an electoral defeat in October, with cosmetic measures. It is the case of the rise of the nontaxable minimum to the income tax, that will be quickly devoured by inflation and leaves more than a million workers encumbered. The repression in Neuquén to seal the secret agreement with Chevron, the appointment of the repressor Milani in the army or the nomination of a personage of the “firm hand,” like Granados in Buenos Aires, has permanently demolished Kirchner’s claimed progressivism. The Kirchner government thinks about how the coming months with less power will be, where it should implement an adjustment that could include increases in the rates and less “social expenditure.” The governors, whatever color they are, would do the same thing. They are throwing everything for after the elections, while millions continue in poverty and without discerning any solution to the serious social problems.
Over and above the fact that they will attempt an orderly transition, a capitalist solution to the crisis will involve blows against the working people, as we have seen historically, with the Rodrigazo, hyper-inflation, the “corralito,” or the devaluation of Duhalde-Lavagna.
For their part, the bosses’ opposition of Sergio Massa, Binner-Alfonsín, or Macri, are essentially going along with the pro-bosses policies of the government. They all voted, except for some, for opening the exchange to pay the foreign debt to the vulture funds. They all governed or are governing for the big businessmen and multinationals. Although with different nuances, all the opposition parties, without exception, and especially the FAP and UNEN, are demanding a bigger devaluation of the official exchange market, probably preceded by a devaluation in the financial exchange. The result would be a colossal increase of the foreign debt measured in pesos, that would worsen the fiscal crisis, and a gigantic devaluation of wages and fixed incomes and of the assets of the Anses. They also postulate a freeing of rates, with lethal consequences for wages. The conventional capitalist method for containing hyper-inflation, that would result from these measures, is the so-called “cooling” of the economy, or greater unemployment. The expectation is to generate a stream of income from foreign capitals.
The government is going in the same direction. The rise of the official dollar and the blue near ten pesos shows that. The devaluation of the official peso marches to a tempo higher than the inflation of prices. The secret agreement with Chevron anticipates the freedom to rotate capital and dividends, and receive international prices in the domestic market. The reopening of the exchange with the vulture funds also involves dismantling the interventionist policy, because it requires the entry of foreign capitals to face a considerable increase of the foreign debt. A very strong tendency, in the government, has been setting out the division (devaluation) of the exchange market, as is now happening with the “Cedin.” It is necessary to warn that the law that reforms the capitals market, seek to develop conditions to turn the local stock exchange into a setting that will welcome international financial capital, on a scale similar to Brazil. All this is leading to a mega devaluation of the peso.
The Left and Workers’ Front warns against this attempt, common to all the parties of the system, to make the workers pay for the crisis. We propose monthly adjustment of wages and pensions; the occupation of every firm that suspends, lays off or closes; the non-payment of the foreign debt; an extraordinary tax on the big capitalists, to wipe out the fiscal crisis and pay the government’s debt with the Anses and the Central Bank.
Repression and insecurity
Cristina scarcely took office with 54% of the votes in 2011; the first thing she passed in Parliament, by order of imperialism, was the anti-terrorist law, to persecute militants and continue the criminalization of the struggles.
Since the bankruptcy of 2001-2002, the measures of exception have been emphasized; they have served to bail out banks, AFJP’s and privatized firms, and to expropriate savers and wage earners. Since the world crisis, beginning in 2008, this method has been stressed. After failing in the attempts at a government of the center-left, or with the famous mainstreaming of the Cobos, the ruling party emphasized its Bonapartist traits, in an advanced stage of its decline. It acted on a broad, unstable coalition, that goes from right-wing provincial leaders like Insfrán, to organizations like the Evita Movement and the Tupac Amaru. Despite having a parliamentary majority, the government has been intensified by decree or resolutions of the AFIP and from abuse of the national network and from favoritism to the “friendly” media. The precariousness of this type of government was made clear in the judicial verdicts that favored the Clarín Group. The political crisis is now a crisis of state.
To this state of exception and crisis, and to government by means of decrees – as the expression of a crisis of government and of a political system – the Left and Workers’ Front counterposes the government of the workers, deeply rooted in all the levels of social and political management, based on the workers’ and people’s self-organization. It is a matter of initiating a process of transition towards socialism and the abolition of every form of social discrimination and exploitation. The “defense of the Republic,” that the traditional opposition brandishes, is sheer hypocrisy, since all that opposition always governed behind the back of their own Constitution (the Olivos Pact, Duhalde’s de facto government, a minority government in 2003, Necessity and Urgency Decrees). The Constitution is a fig leaf of injustice, since 50% of the national legislation is originally from the dictatorship, just like the military, judicial and repressive bureaucracy of the state. The governments that have emerged since 1983 have claimed juridical continuity from the military dictatorship, especially the international political, military and economic commitments, like payment of the debt. The archives of the dictatorship have not been opened. The armed forces, that have absolutely not been affected, act as an occupation force in Haiti, in the service of US imperialism.
The matter of “security” is another larger manifestation of the decomposition of the state, because it conceals the union between the apparatuses of security and the leaders and parties of the system, on the one hand, and the criminal organizations, on the other. This union is seen every day in every neighborhood of the people and was clearly exposed in the murder of our comrade Mariano Ferreyra. It serves to victimize the jobless young people and to justify the “trigger happy” police. The alternative offered by the “progressivism” of the ruling party, “democratic security,” consisted in favoring spying against the people’s organizations, under the pretext of “preventing, so as not to repress.” Now it is proposed to create “municipal police” and lower the age of legal responsibility.This means, neither more nor less than surrendering civil security to the group most intertwined with the different criminal organizations, including human trafficking; we are referring to the Mayors.
The appointment of César Milani, as chief of the army, is much more than a whitewashing of a genocidal killer. It is an obvious attempt to return political leadership to the armed forces, an intention that the different governments have been pursuing since 1983, with the Law of Due Obedience, the Full Stop Law, and the Pardon. Now the army’s support for the “national and popular project” is being invoked. The “reintegration” of the armed forces aims at strengthening the tasks of espionage and the state’s capacity for repression, facing the crisis. The Argentinian armed forces have been training in these duties for a decade, in Haiti. The army of Argentina and the Latin American armies (with the exception of Venezuela and Cuba), out of Haiti!
The Left and Workers’ Front calls for popular organization in the neighborhoods and in the places of work and study, to fight against the “trigger-happy” police and human trafficking. To combat the penetration of drug trafficking, with police support, in the neighborhoods, or police and political complicity with organized crime. No to the municipal police of the Mayors of corruption and crime: to put an end to the leaders’ apparatus, it is necessary to end the social misery that capitalism causes and replace the repressive apparatus of this state, that is at the service of the exploiters, by organizations of the workers themselves on the path of struggle for their own government. Down with Project X, and espionage and infiltration of the people’s organizations! For the dissolution of all the intelligence organs placed in order to spy on and infiltrate the people’s organizations!
The Left to the Congress, to the Legislatures, to the City Councils
The Left and Workers’ Front aspires to enter the parliaments of the country, in order to develop a workers’ political alternative.
To change the parliaments into a political platform, to condemn the conspiracy among the capitalists, their regime and their parties, and to develop the struggles and the extra-parliamentary mobilization of the workers and the people. To put our Deputies, legislators or city councillors at the service of the workers’, popular and young people’s struggles, as we have already been doing with our legislators and city councilors in Córdoba, Neuquén, Salta and Santa Fe. To do propaganda and agitation on the methods of the workers’ government. An even larger vote for the Left and Workers’ Front, over and above the almost one million votes from the primaries, will be, most of all, a powerful stimulus for massive organization against the adjustments that are being prepared for after the elections.
In contrast to the development of the militant and socialist left, the country is witnessing the disintegration of the so-called “plural left,” part of the so-called center-left (Pino Solanas, Libres del Sur) with obvious ties to the representatives of banking and soy capital (Prat Gay, Binner, UCR). The same thing has occurred with the tendencies that, under the cover of chavismo, dedicated the best of their time to supporting rule by the Kirchners. The rise of the left is the result of an entire political experience.
The Left and Workers’ Front is promoting the class political independence of the people’s organizations and especially of the unions in relation to the government. Union bureaucracy, out of the unions; for the formation of class-conscious leaderships, to transform the unions and impose union democracy. We fight for including the unemployed workers, subcontracted workers, and those suffering job uncertainty, in the unions, and we promote the broadest workers’ and popular self-organization. Uniting the revolutionary left with the workers’ movement will change the workers into a leading force, the first step to change the history of the country and open up the perspective of revolution and of the transition to socialism in the country and in the world.
Platform of urgent demands
Abolition of the direct tax on wages and pensions; elimination of the VAT; no tax on the worker’s only housing.
For a minimum wage equal to the cost of the family basket; for the 82% sliding scale in pensions, beginning with the comprehensive fulfilment of the judicial verdicts in favour of the retired.
The ART’s, get out; for committees of safety and hygiene, organized democratically by the workers themselves. Abolition of job uncertainty and hiring under the table; inclusion of all the workers, in every enterprise, in the collective contracts with more favourable clauses.
Government, out of the ANSES: for an elected leadership, subject to recall by the workers and the retired. Non-payment of the foreign debt: for an extraordinary tax on the big capitals, to recover the assets in the possession of the Anses and the Central Bank.
Chevron, get out; no to “fracking”; no to open-air mining; reimbursement for the environmental damages; nationalization of these industries, under workers’ control.
No more deplorable public services, or massacres with deaths and corruption. For the re-nationalization of the trains and subways under control and management of the workers and riders.
Nullification of the Kirchner judicial reform. Popular election of judges and prosecutors.
Every legislator, government official or judge should earn the same as a skilled worker or a teacher. For the right to recall all elected officials. All directors of publicly-owned enterprises should be elected.
For the right to legal, safe abortion and free of charge.
No to lowering the age of legal responsibility. For a national campaign of the workers’ and popular organizations for the dismantling, trial and punishment of the organizations involved in human trafficking; for support to all the mobilizations against “the sons of power,” that are responsible for the disappearance and murder of women.
For the independence of the unions from the state; union democracy; bureaucracy, out of the unions! For the fullest union democracy. For the workers’ right to organize themselves without government interference and control.
Armed forces, out of Haiti! For support of the workers’ and popular rebellion throughout the world, that is growing and spreading, as the capitalist crisis advances.
We call on the workers, the young people, the groups of the poor, and those that claim to belong to the left, to join and support the campaign for voting for the Left and Workers’ Front on October 27.
Left and Workers’ Front (PO – PTS – IS)