Wed Jun 19, 2024
June 19, 2024

Argentina: The PSTU Facing the Ballot Box

Who do we vote for to prepare ourselves for the coming attacks?

Massa has “turned the corner,” against all the pollsters’ predictions. Faced with Milei’s stagnation and Bullrich’s setback, Unión por la Patria gained about 3 million more votes, which put it in first place where it shares the ballot with the Liberal party.

By PSTU – Argentina

This leaves things open, and there are possibilities for everyone.

The Argentine people have to choose between two projects proposed by the bosses that are both subservient to the IMF. This only promises more suffering for working people.

What has changed?

Some of those who abstained or voted a blank ballot in the first round of voting called PASO went to the polls for the second round. And in general, they voted for Massa.

What the results of the PASO made clear is that there is widespread anger against the two alliances that have governed the country for the last 20 years. This anger was expressed in two ways.

One sector, which has significant weight among depoliticized youth, allowed Milei to come out ahead in the PASO against all odds.

The sentiments of another sector were expressed in the very high rate of abstentions and blank ballots. These were millions of former voters of Alberto and Cristina who are completely disappointed with the current government and did not want to vote for the right wing.

Some of them saw the danger of Milei and his plan. So they went to vote for Massa instead so that Milei wouldn’t win. However, these votes have no serious expectations for Massa and instead view him with a sense of contempt, as he has been characterized by his willingness to change his political principles based on expediency.

The PASO was marked by a “wave” of voters who rejected both the UP and the JxC. While the following round of votes was characterized by a “counter wave” that confronted Milei and raised the prospects of a Massa presidency. In the process, Juntos por el Cambio suffered terrible results and could cease to exist as a party.  

This phenomenon occurred because of a combination of factors. One of the factors is Milei himself, who never hid his anti-worker program and objectives, which are contrary to the most elementary democratic rights.

Secondly, Peronism was able to highlight the most reactionary aspects of this discourse.

In addition, a majority sector of the big bosses and imperialism actively supported Bullrich and attacked Milei, fearing that his government would try to confront the whole of the working class and the people.

Despite the betrayals of Peronism and the trade union bureaucracy, Argentine workers have not been defeated. An attack that is quick and merciless can provoke a reaction that is difficult to control. The year 2001 is still remembered by many for this reason. The same might be said of the days of December 2017 which, according to Macri, were responsible for “breaking” his government. TN and La Nación fought hard to damage the liberals.

The result has remained as it was, open-ended and uncertain.

And what about now?

We will see if the “counter-wave” of rejection of Milei will be maintained and deepened, or whether it will fade.  In any case, it is a dark project in its vindication of the military dictatorship and the worst economic recipes copied from Martínez de Hoz or Menen-Cavallo, which are the governments that did the most damage to working people.

It includes a project to reverse the democratic victories that have cost us so much, including the right to struggle, abortion, sex and health education, etc.

No worker, young person, or woman who demands positive change and who is suffering due to the country’s current crisis should vote for Milei. It is true that millions of young people and even workers voted for him, believing that he represents a change. It would indeed be a change, but a negative one.

Many voted for him to confront the “caste” of politicians and trade unionists. But he wants to change one caste for another: he is an admirer of the military caste, an employee of the big businessmen, and he joined forces with Barrionuevo.

The majority of the working class, on the other hand, will vote for Massa so that Milei or the “right wing” does not win. They will do this without any confidence that Massa will change things. No one is unaware that Massa has ties to Washington, the IMF, and U.S. imperial interests. The people are also aware that he is a spoiled child of the big national and foreign capitalists in Argentina. He is their agent. Besides, Kirchnerism, which still has a certain prestige in a sector of workers, will be even weaker in a Massa government.

Massa and Milei are not the same, they have different projects, but neither of them is a friend to  workers.

With all due respect, Massa will not give us a way out. He will pay the national debt with our efforts. He will take away our rights, he will not stop inflation. That is to say, we will continue to lose wages and our working conditions will continue to deteriorate, in spite of the partial and insufficient measures taken in recent months, which were part of the electoral campaign. With Massa we will continue along the same path that we are already on. With him, the bosses’ usurpers will continue to lead the unions. And the worst is his promise of a government of “national unity”: a plan to govern with radicals like Gerardo Morales, PRO leaders, big businessmen and union bureaucrats.

Unfortunately, a vote for Massa supports and strengthens a future government that will only bring more hardship. He will continue being subservient to the IMF, a situation which has driven inflation through the roof and caused a brutal increase in poverty. In addition, he has already spoken of labor reform, of “rewarding teachers for attendance,” and he has promised to persecute those who engage in struggles.

It is a lie that his presidency would be able to stop the rise of the right in Argentina because Massa himself is a right-wing leader.

To confront the right wing, we revolutionary socialists will be in the streets, together with hundreds of thousands of workers and young Peronists, as we did in 2001. We will march as we did against Macri, when our party paid the price with the persecution and imprisonment of two leaders: Sebastián Romero (the one with the mortar) and Daniel Ruiz.

We did not vote for either of them.

For this reason, we call on you to not vote, to vote with a blank ballot, or to spoil your ballot. We ask you to confront Milei and reject Massa at the same time. Because, although they are different, they are both bosses and responsible for the disaster that Argentina is currently experiencing. We insist that our only way out is a socialist revolution with a government of the workers and the people.

The day after the elections, whoever wins, we will be together in the factories and in the streets, in the universities and in the schools, in every neighborhood, facing together the project of poverty that has been imposed on us by the IMF and its politicians.

WILL THE LEFT VOTE FOR MASSA?

In the face of brutal polarization, the left has maintained its electoral flow. However, we cannot ignore that these were elections that rejected the very terms on which the game has been played over the last 15 years. The people’s anger and rejection was strong, as was the demand for change. It is clear that people want not gradual or relative change, but profound change.

This was an opportunity for the left. Beyond the question of whether it would give Massa more or less votes, there was an opportunity to present a clear revolutionary profile, one that is willing to take on a total confrontation with how politics is being done. It could have presented a program for workers and socialist revolution that expropriates all the big capitalists for the benefit of the majorities. It could have given a clear, categorical defense of the struggle of the Palestinian people. In short, it could have been a revolutionary campaign.

The opportunity was missed. Some witty phrases cannot hide the fact that the left did not manage to position itself as a broader point of reference, either in the elections or in the future.

Now a debate has been opened in the main parties about the ballot. The possibility has been raised that some or all of the left-wing parties could vote for Massa. It would be serious if the FIT-U, pressured by the character of this vote, decided to abandon its main capital: class independence. Besides adapting to the regime of bosses’ democracy, it would be a vote for a bosses’ variant, for Peronism no less. And it would be a vote for a Peronism that is a government already in power. In other words, it would be a vote for the current government. They cannot do so in the name of those of us who voted for them years ago. Not in our name.

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