Argentina: The honeymoon’s already over for Mauricio Macri


“Macri out!” reads a graffito on a shelter in Buenos Aires. It’s a sign of the times for the new so-called president, who’s barely been inaugurated and is already facing calls for his resignation from an indignant, and very large, contingent of Argentines:

Thousands of Argentines marched to their congress today to repudiate the multiple measures taken by president Mauricio Macri during his first week in office.

The congressional plaza overflowed with demonstrators who reject the announced reform of the Law of Audiovisual Communications Services, better known as the “Media Law”, which the president plans to implement.

Just yesterday, according to EFE, the first demonstration in the Plaza de Mayo took place to defend a law which had become one of the symbols of the government of former president Cristina Fernández, who maintained a constant battle with the opposition press, headed by the Clarín Group, the most important multimedia corporation of the land.

One of the first decrees Macri signed after taking office on the 10th was to modify the Federal Authority of Audiovisual Communication Services, so that this organism depends upon the Ministry of Communications, whose head, Oscar Aguad, already anticipated that the “Media Law” be reformed.

“The media law must not be touched”, read the large placard which was hung before the congress building, and under it filed artists and political leaders who ratified the strategy of resistance to the Macri government.

The demonstrators carried hand-written messages or ones printed out on computers, defending the “plurality of voices”. They explained that they “do not want to be prisoners of those who paid for your [Macri’s] candidacy”, and rejected the “dictatorship of grand decrees”.

Rebellion against the new president grew in the most recent hours thanks to other decisions, such as the 50% devaluation of the Argentine peso, which came into effect this Thursday, and which will have a negative impact on incomes and buying power.

“Macri has already stolen 40% of your salary,” warned one placard, while others denounced a wave of layoffs in various businesses and state offices, or recalled that Macri has been on trial for illegal espionage, and that “the judges are not [Macri’s] employees”.

Other messages read “Fight for a return”, alluding to a possible presidential candidacy for Fernández in 2019, or shouts of “They haven’t beaten us”, and “It’s time to fight”, in self-defence against the Macri government.

Militants of the Front for the Victory, the Peronist party of Fernández and that of her late husband and presidential predecessor Néstor Kirchner, which they created, participated in the demonstration.

Translation mine.

So, just for all those who think a great wave of right-wing politics is about to wash over South America, here’s what’s really in store. Massive demos AGAINST right-wing politics, starting immediately, wherever right-wingers supposedly “won” an election. And no end in sight, until the right-wing dictatorship ends. Just as in the late 1970s and early ’80s, when Argentina was under an intensely pro-capitalist, anti-people military “government”…

If the Venezuelan opposition are at all intelligent (ha!), they’d do well to take note of this. And tread very carefully, because their own honeymoon in the National Assembly is bound to be even shorter…and a lot less sweet.

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