Oh my. This is just golden:
Venezuelan foreign minister Delcy Rodríguez holds up photos showing the “peaceful” demonstrations of the Venezuelan opposition during the Mercosur summit in Paraguay, shaming the new president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, who defended those demos in his speech.
Of course, the demonstrations in question aren’t peaceful at all. They’re violent guarimbas in which people were killed, Public Ministry buildings and public-utility trucks were set on fire by arsonists, and thugs menaced the public, impeded traffic, and even beheaded motorcyclists with trip-wires. Clearly illegal activity, and in no sense to be tolerated by any government with its collective head on straight.
But Mauricio Macri, being a right-wing extremist thug himself, thinks all this qualifies perfectly well as just a peaceful difference of opinion on the part of legitimate political actors. In the immortal words of Mandy Rice-Davies: He would, wouldn’t he?
But here’s the rub: Just yesterday, I translated a piece from Telesur and Página/12, in which it was reported that Macri was putting out emergency legislation with the ultimate effect of restricting actual, peaceful demonstrations by the various Argentine social movements, leftist parties, and trade unions.
I suppose one can’t blame him for doing so. After all, he’s only been president-elect for a month today, and only in office for little over a week. And already the pitchforks and torches are out for him, because he’s planning to jam through a massive economic “reform” packet, with rate hikes here and service and wage cuts there. Not exactly stuff that sits well with the common Argentines, who’ve seen all this shit all too many times before, from the military dictatorship of the 1970s and ’80s, to the messianic reign of Carlos Menem. Every time a right-winger has taken the reins in Argentina, it’s resulted in disaster for those who actually WORK for their living. And the Argentine political, workers’, and social movements are all notably fractious, and not exactly slow to make their outrages known. So, of course, a crackdown on demonstration is not only understandable, it’s as predictable as the gunshots, tortures, and “disappearances” that followed the rise of the Junta after the fall of Isabelita Perón.
But here’s the OTHER rub: As much as Macri and his flunkies insist that their measures will only “regulate” legitimate protest and keep it peaceful, they also insist that Venezuela put up with a lot more from its right-wing than they are willing to tolerate from their left. And Delcy Rodríguez calls the smarmy little fucker on it in no uncertain terms.
The irony is tasty. So, too, is the Schadenfreude.
Somehow, though, I don’t think Macri is going to enjoy the really chewy bits to come.