Ahead of Argentina’s presidential election, the U.S. ambassador to the country invited all presidential candidates to meet with him to discuss “bilateral relations.” Only one candidate declined this invitation, Myriam Bregman of the Left and Workers Unity Front, and member of our sister organization, Partido de los Trabajadores Socialistas. Below, we republish a letter Myriam Bregman sent to the ambassador explaining her reasons for not meeting, originally published in La Izquierda Diario on September 25, 2023.
Buenos Aires, September 24, 2023
Ambassador to Argentina from the United States of America
Marc R. Stanley
I have received your letter inviting me, in my capacity as the presidential candidate for the Left and Workers Unity Front, to meet with you in order “to discuss and deepen our bilateral relations.” Along with the leadership of my party, I wish to inform you that we have decided to decline your invitation. I wish to explain the political reasons behind this decision, without implying any personal animosity.
Firstly, we do not believe that presidential candidates in our country should engage in debates about our proposals with diplomatic representatives of other nations. We consider this to be a fundamental aspect of national sovereignty. Presidential candidates in your country, for example, do not meet to debate their proposals with the Argentine ambassador. We fail to see why we should act differently, especially when we are a political force that rejects the economic and political interference of your country in ours.
Our decision is not against the workers and people of the United States. To the contrary, we consider ourselves part of the same tradition as the historical struggles against slavery, which reached their apex during the Civil War, and the labor struggles for the reduction of the workday that led to the execution of the “Haymarket Martyrs” in 1886 – an event commemorated by the working class of nearly all countries every May 1. We also stand with the struggles against racial segregation and its leaders like Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., the latter two callously assassinated with the complicity of the government you represent. Today, this fight continues through the Black Lives Matter movement, born as a form of protest against racist police [and vigilante] violence against Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, any many others. Throughout its history, the Left and Workers Unity Front in Argentina has consistently shown solidarity with these movements. We recently learned about a historic strike by workers at the three major American automakers (Ford, General Motors, at Stellantis) for wage increases and better working conditions, which greatly encouraged us. This occurs in a context in which the other presidential candidates in Argentina seek to limit the right to strike and erode the historical gains of the working class. Furthermore, we have been following with great interest the unionization process led by various sectors of young American workers.
We have always denounced the political and economic interference that your country has exercised and continues to exercise in our region, including numerous military interventions to overthrow governments that were not to your liking. In the case of Ukraine, we have criticized both the Russian invasion and NATO’s intervention in the conflict. To this day, there remains a U.S.-led blockade against the Republic of Cuba that began over sixty years ago, and a U.S. occupation of Guantánamo, where your country maintains an illegal detention center offering detainees not even the minimal right to legal defense. Your country has also consistently opposed our country’s sovereign claim over the Malvinas Islands, supporting Great Britain during the 1982 war.
Lastly, we are not oblivious to the fact that your government wields significant influence in international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which provides loans to countries like Argentina in order to maintain U.S. dominance at the expense of further hardships for the working and poor majority in my country. Despite it being public knowledge that the debt incurred illegally and illegitimately by the Macri government in 2018 was facilitated by the Trump administration for political gain, it is now the Argentine people who are paying the costs of that action due to the recognition of this debt by the current Argentine government.
We do not overlook the fact that the rest of the presidential candidates in this election in our country have a preferential relationship with you and the U.S. government, an attitude that contradicts the fundamentals of national sovereignty and independence.
Myriam Bregman National Deputy Presidential Candidate for the Left and Workers Unity Front