In one of her endless speeches delivered by nationwide TV chain, the Argentinian president Cristina Kirchner shows us a picture of a country that is marvelous for the people, where it is supposed that only the rich and powerful people complain. And yet everyday reality reveals a totally different picture: there is increasing unemployment, inflation “gobbles up” wages, there is shortage of housing, schools and public hospitals fall to pieces and there are still energy blackouts…

 Behind this everyday reality there is the fact that throughout its thirteen year in the office, Kirchnerism [1] maintained the submission of the country to the looting of the imperialists, of the vulture funds, the bankers and the multinationals. The foreign debt soared from US$140 billion that the government could account for after the swaps in 2005 and 2010 to more than US$300 billion now, with the maturity of the outstanding principal and unpayable interests of tens of billions of dollars.

The greatest wealth of the country, agriculture, is still controlled by the big multinationals that control the production and the export of soy beans and grain. Imperialist enterprises and investors are the owners of the best lands in the country on a surface equivalent to that of the Province of Buenos Aires.

The “nationalisation” of 51% of the YPF still leaves 70% of oil and gas in the hands of the big private oil companies. The government re-nationalised the administration of the railways, but leaves the transport system intact and controlled by private business of trucks and buses. The big manufacture, especially automakers and electronics, is in the hands of multinationals and their local partners. The agreements with Russia and China, far from modifying this situation so as to favour the toiling masses make the surrender much more damaging. Just one example: the purchase of coaches and locomotives from China leads us to the bankruptcy of what still remained of the national railway manufacture that used to be run by Fabricaciones Militares or the own railway transport companies.

As long as the prices of the soybean remained high and many dollars flowed into the country because of the exports, the administration could allow tax exemptions – up to a great extent – to increase the profit of companies or some anti-povertyinitiatives for the poor and workers in precarious jobs. Now that the world crisis pours into Latin America and Argentina by means of falling raw materials prices in the world market, the administration makes severe cuts in subsidies and produces further shrinking of the budget for education and health while the toiling masses suffer the adjustments that serve the purpose of maintaining the profits of bankers and multinationals and of paying the public debt. That is why millions of workers, of young people, of women and men, of the common people lose their expectations in Cristina and her administration. Kirchnerism is getting weaker.

Sharks on the lookout

Powers such as US and UK, bankers and multinationals, all of them can see the increasing weakness of the government and the submissive behaviour of the main presidential candidates, whether Scioli, Macri or Massa, all of whom agree to pay up to the last cent claimed by the creditors, particularly the vulture funds, accepting meekly all the impositions of the imperialist.

Considering the above, all the sharks rush to bite everything they can from Argentina. Newspapers are full of news exposing that five oil companies have been busy exploring oil fields around the Falklands on the Argentine continental shelf. The administration promises to start a criminal charge in the court but this does not bother the multinationals in the least.

Considering that Cristina has agreed to pay multimillionaire sums to the Spanish pirates for the expropriation of the YPF and promised to pay the alleged debt with Paris Club (see box), the French company Suez, which was licensee to Aguas Argentinas (current AYSA), a water-supply company to Great Buenos Aires, also claims US$400 million compensation.

The Citibank, which until a few days ago was the paying agent of the Argentine debt to creditors in New York, paid the vulture funds who won a case against Argentina, against the government’s will. It reacted by removing the CEO of Citibank’s legal authority to act in Argentina, but allows the bank to continue operating in the country.

Cristina boasted in the Summit of Americas held in Panama about her economic agreements with Russia and China and showed them off as an example of Argentina’s independence of the great powers. But just as we’ve explained above, these agreements mean nothing but more handover of our natural resources and industries to Russian and Chinese companies who have, among their major shareholders many big American and European investors.

That is why Cristina abandoned her fake campaign of the Second Independence. Her policy is increasingly hitting the toiling masses through wage cuts, dismissals and layoffs, reduction of budgets for health and education to keep on paying the debt and support the profits of bankers and multinationals. All the bourgeois opposition parties, all the Argentine capitalists and the different wings of the union bureaucracy support her through a real pact of submission, adjustment and repression against those who dare to protest.

Expropriate the plunderers

The way to save the Argentine people from a new disaster as that of fifteen years ago [2] due to the increasing looting of our natural wealth, the control of economy by the bankers and multinationals and the payment of the fraudulent foreign debt is to get back on track of Independence that was taught by the patriots [3] two hundred years ago.

It is the Left, supported by the working class and the people, which must take over the banner of the Second Independence and lift it up high. The expropriation of the looters, nationalizing – under workers control – natural resources, banking, foreign trade and big industry, it is the way to liberate ourselves from imperialism.

All this in the perspective of imposing a workers’ government, to put the country’s resources to serve the needs of the workers and the people.

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How much is the debt and how much is due by 2016?

The data provided by the administration regarding the total amount of the fraudulent foreign debt and the annual maturities are deliberately confusing. Cristina Kirchner’s government states that the 2005-2010 renegotiations left a public debt of US$ 140 billion dollars. Later on the lady president stated that in their 12 years, the Kirchners in office have paid over US$ 190 billion. And the official accounts indicate that the current total debt (central government plus provinces) far exceeds US$ 300 billion.

At the same time the government assures that all the maturities of the principal and interests this and the forthcoming years would be covered by means of negotiations and refinancing.

The daily La Nación, that has always been the spokesperson of the entrepreneurs who claim full payment of what every creditor demand, including the vulture funds, recently published a summary of the maturity dates of the principal and interests for 2016, which the forthcoming administration would have to either pay or renegotiate. The figures for 2016 would be nothing less than around US$ 20 billion.

Regardless of how we can analyse such data, the conclusion can only be one: Cristina leaves office [4] and the country more submissive to the bankers and vulture funds than ever.

Payments for 2016 (million dollars)       

Principal      6,887

Interests      6,255

Bonds         4,208

Others         2,400

Total        19,750

Notes:

[1] – Nestor Kirchner was president ofArgentinafrom 2003 to 2007, when he died, followed by his wife, Cristina Kirchner, who is currently the president.

[2] – The author refers to the economic crisis in 2001/2002 responsible for the overthrow of 5 presidents in a few weeks.

[3] – Mainly José de San Martín(1778 – 1850) and Manuel Belgrano (1770 – 1820), the fathers of Independence of Argentina (1816).

[4] – Presidential elections will happen on October 2015