Argentina: Macri strikes at South American integration and unity

Source:  TeleSUR
23 November 2015

In his first press release since the elections president-elect Mauricio Macri has made his position very clear.  He wants to go back to the period of free trade which was rejected by Latin America and he wants to start undoing the historic Latin American unity and integration achieved in recent years.

mauricio macri 2

Mauricio Macri

President-elect Mauricio Macri has pledged to open the economy to free trade while requesting Venezuela be suspended from Mercosur.

Critics say Macri’s proposals will turn the country back to 1990s neoliberalism, rolling back the social welfare programs of President Cristina Fernandez and her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, which have benefited poor and working class Argentines.

The president-elect said he wants to see Venezuela suspended from the South American regional bloc Mercosur and has promised to introduce a “democratic clause” against Venezuela, a country with which President Fernandez cultivated close ties with the regional goal of strengthening Latin American integration.

According to attorney Eva Golinger, Macri’s decision to attack Venezuela through Mercosur is a clear attempt to strike at South American integration and unity.

Macri to strengthen relations with the United States and the European Union

Macri is expected to strengthen relations with the United States and the European Union. His first international visit will be to Brazil to discuss with President Dilma Rousseff reinvigorating trade relations between the two South American countries.

One of Macri’s first steps will be to select his cabinet of ministers, including a new economy chief. Speculation suggests the new minister of the economy will have ties to business elites and be well-positioned to head corporate-friendly economic development.

RELATED: Latin American Right Wing Celebrates Win in Argentina

Macri has been a director of his father’s corporate conglomerate Socma since a young age. Socma has been shown to have benefited economically from dictatorship rule in Argentina, and Macri’s close relationship to business elites, which historically propped up right-wing military regimes in the country, also signals dictatorship ties.

Macri will enter Argentina’s Casa Rosada as president on Dec. 10.

ANALYSIS: The New Contours of Latin America’s Right

Source:  Argentina’s Mauricio Macri Vows to Boost Trade, Shun Venezuela

One thought on “Argentina: Macri strikes at South American integration and unity

  1. Sometimes in the political evolution of the class and national struggles in a country, it appears that setbacks for ordinary people like the one in Argentina marked by the election of Macri is better that a victory.
    There are a few points to be made about Macri’s presidential victory.
    First, it should be underlined that Macri’s victory is the victory of the Argentine oligarchy and imperialism. In other words, Macri’s victory will usher in more of the same failed neo-liberal policies which will put the so-called free market front and center again in Argentina. The latter will mean that those who can afford the ” market prices” for foods, health care, education, housing and a range of other necessities will have access to them and those who cannot will simply fall by the way side.
    That is the logic of so-called free market capitalism that Macri’s presidential victory will mean for Argentinians particularly those who are made into the “Wretched of the Earth” to borrow a phrase from the legendary revolutionary psychiatrist Franz Fanon.
    Second, one of the implications of the unleashing of the “market system” on Argentina once again under Macri’s presidency is that the country is likely to see the deregulation of international trade between Argentina and the rest of the world including more industrialized countries like the US, the EU and Japan.
    The deregulation of trade is more likely than not to facilitate unfair competition between less cost-efficient Argentine companies/industries and those more cost-efficient ones located in the industrialized pole of the global economy. Indeed, there is a very strong likelihood that some Argentine companies and industries could experience severe financial problems, bankruptcies and other difficulties in “competing” with their entrenched and highly subsidized multinational competitors in agribusiness, manufacturing, finance and other companies from the US and the EU.
    There is no doubt that these multinational corporations from the industrialized pole of the global economy and their governments will insist that the neoliberal Macri government provide their corporations with “investor friendly” conditions which typically mean unfair advantages like tax holidays, transfer pricing benefits which are disguises to loot the Argentine treasury, removal of any tariffs and or non-tariff barriers like quotas on certain imports and subsidies to defray their operational costs. Should the latter come to past, it is likely that the process of deindustrialization and its attendant job and income losses will accelerate in Argentina.
    The foregoing point is probably more so relevant in the context of Macri’s pronouncement to effectively try to dismantle Mercosur as a critical trading bloc designed to foster Latin America’s integration. However, it’s worthy to bear in mind that Macri does not have all the cards or even most of the cards in his favor. So yes he will likely be a political headache for Latin American integration since he is evidently not Christina Fernandez but he has to be mindful of the political balance of forces in the region particularly as it relates to his right wing plan to boot Venezuela, a founding member of Mercosur from this bloc. If Macri acts as stupidly as he speaks to satisfy the reactionary agenda of the regional oligarchy and his imperial bosses, the plan could backfire for him and the empire given the prevailing balance of forces which are decidedly in favor of progress and against being “America’s backyard.”
    Third, it is also very likely that as a part of Macri’s right wing policy agenda, the greedy hedge funds or so-called Vulture Funds on Wall Street that have been battling the Fernandez government to collect payments from Argentina’s debt that were cheaply bought in order to make multi-billion dollar profits at the expense of the Argentine people will get their way. The likelihood of the Wall Street vultures collecting on their cheaply bought debt will ultimately depend on whether the Argentine people will fight or give in to the multi-billionaire vultures who are intent on collecting billions under their champion who will occupy the presidency on December 10th.
    Finally, it would appear that for Macri to have won it is either that he and his campaign did a more effective job convincing the country or at least a sufficient portion of the poorer electorate who benefitted from President Fernandez’s populist programs or alternatively, it appears that President Fernandez’s pick Señor Scioli did a very poor job defending her legacy of progressive changes.
    Whatever the reason or reasons for the right-wing victory personified by president-elect Macri, those who voted for his victory particularly those in the lower middle and working classes as well as the nationalist movement will sooner or later learn the lessons of what they did wrong in in organizing and mobilizing the population against Macri’s right wing and reactionary agenda for Argentina. The unravelling of his right wing agenda will inevitably come to pass and those who will lose most are the poor and middle classes who were hoodwinked by his campaign.
    Time will tell and the demise of Macri’s right wing agenda will depend on the will of the Argentine people to organize and fight Macri’s reforms which can only mean more hell for those at the bottom of Argentine society!

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