Letter from Argentina: The situation in Argentina

Dear comrades,
I am a sociology student and a supporter of Marxism-Leninism. With this very short letter I would like to explain the situation in Argentina to all revolutionary Marxist comrades around the world, to all those who are struggling against the exploitative capitalist system and who are following every turn in the events in my country.

President Duhalde appeared tonight on television to make a speech on the country's political situation. Significantly, he should have announced the government's new economic plan, but in the end, he refrained from doing so.

This hesitancy undoubtedly underlines the reactionary and anti-working class nature of his plan. Duhalde knows what the political reaction to the announcement of the economic plan will be. It is common knowledge that it is a plan at the behest of American and European imperialism designed to save capitalism in Argentina and to continue fleecing the Argentine people. In fact, he doesn't actually need to announce this plan, as it is has already been in existence for the last month thanks to the support of the Church, the pro-bourgeois trade union leaders (Moyano, Daer) and the conciliators of the CTA, the Frenapo, etc. This petit-bourgeoisie that is demanding that the private property of the bankers and the capitalist exploiters be protected is completely different from the petit-bourgeoisie that, side by side with the workers, the piqueteros (militant organised unemployed workers), the unemployed and the Marxist left, has already toppled two governments within the space of one month.

It was surprising to see Duhalde criticise the Supreme Court for having ruled in favour of lifting the ban on cash withdrawals (corralito) for many people who had begun legal proceedings against the confiscation of their savings. The president denounced this ruling as "irresponsible", adding demagogically that he didn't care if "one or two banks had to go to the wall".

In any case, if he did let a few banks collapse, it would undoubtedly be at the request of his bosses in Washington who would very much like to replace the European banks with Uncle Sam's finest.

It must be underlined however that the Supreme Court has by no means suddenly gone over to the side of the people and those citizens that have been "expropriated" by the regime. This is because whilst ruling that the ban on cash withdrawals was unconstitutional, it also re-introduced a law brought in by Menem back in 1995. According to this law, workers cannot take their employers to court if they have an accident at work. This is clearly a law that favours the most brutal exploitation of the workers, to be used by this "national bourgeoisie" that the CTA and the parties of the regime are so fond of imitating. This so-called "national" and "patriotic" bourgeoisie has caused, between 1989 and 2002, the destruction of millions of jobs and the flight of billions of dollars out of the country, hand in hand with American imperialism and the multinational banks.

Following his pathetic performance in front of the media, during which Duhalde made another step towards the abyss, whilst at the same time denying that his government was "weak" (sic!), a demonstration started to converge on "Plaza de Mayo" square. The "Peoples' Assemblies", which have sprung up in a rapid and spectacular fashion in districts and towns all around the country in the recent period, taking on the form of embryonic organs of power, called a march whose slogans showed quite clearly just how much support Duhalde and his bourgeois pro-imperialist government enjoys amongst the population. The slogans of the moment are "Down with them all!" and "For a Peoples' Constituent Assembly!".

These two slogans state clearly what the fraudsters that support the government refuse to accept; i.e. that it is necessary to reorganise the country from scratch, basing it on fresh social, institutional, political and economic foundations. Those trade union and political leaders at the service of the bourgeoisie are also progressively more frustrated by the increasing strong and enthusiastic level of organisation demonstrated by the militant middle classes, the unemployed and the working class. They are using all their strength to disorganise and demoralise these forces and introduce indiscipline and political apathy into their ranks. They have realised that the regime that they want to save, the regime of private property of the exploiting class that they wish to protect, is in a more and more dangerous situation, due to the intensifying class conflict. The Church, the centre-lefts, the CTA, Moyano, Daer, all call for "dialogue" with a government bent on confiscating peoples' savings, continuing the exploitation of the workers and worsening the poverty and hunger that nearly 15 million Argentines suffer at the hands of a merciless and degenerate capitalist system.

Given the strength of the current mass mobilisation, which is getting more powerful day by day, it is perfectly possible that this government will be overthrown and that the Peoples' Constituent Assembly will be called for at a national, municipal and district level, to deal with the complete bankruptcy of an unpopular government with no way out. However, we must at first watch very closely the moves that the imperialists will make in Argentina and the rest of Latin America. The rescue and stabilisation of the bourgeois regime is a matter of fundamental importance for Washington, given that the risks of the "political contagion" spreading throughout the explosive region of Latin America are getting ever more real; a "political contagion" that might kick off the start of a revolutionary and initially anti-imperialist era in our continent.

For the moment the masses have not formulated political slogans such as "political power for the construction of socialism", but this is not important as the example of the Cuban Revolution shows us that a revolution that starts out as a mainly "national and popular" one can progressively evolve towards the construction of a socialist society, due to the historical and dialectical interaction between a people with ever more politically conscious demands and a bourgeoisie increasingly tied to imperialism and ever more reactionary. Out of an anti-imperialist government can spring a socialist regime.

It is of utmost importance that a situation of "dual power" crystallises in the country with, on the one hand, a government with no way out and a weak basis of support within society and, on the other hand, power in the hands of the people expressed through assemblies the length and breadth of the country. The masses must be lead to victory by the working class and the piqueteros, who through their heroic and exemplary struggle, laid the ground for the revolutionary days of the 19 and 20 December 2001. It is essential that more and more of these assemblies be set up. Despite having their own specific characteristics, these assemblies, which are being formed throughout the country, are similar to the soviets that were set up in Russia between 1905 and 1917. And we all know the important role played by soviet power in the overthrow of Czarism at first and then in the toppling of Kerensky's bourgeois regime! To quote Alan Woods, "the Argentine people will either win the biggest victory in history or obtain the worst of all defeats".

Down with them all!

For a Peoples' Constituent Assembly to nationalise the banks, to exercise a monopoly on foreign trade, to lift the ban on cash withdrawals, to expropriate the capitalist bosses, to impose workers' control and to introduce unemployment benefit of 500 pesos.

For a Union of Socialist Republics of Latin America!