Venezuela reported that it will file complaints against Argentina and the United States before the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for violating international regulations following the brazen theft of the EMTRASUR Boeing 747 cargo jet. This was announced on Monday, February 12, after the United States stole the Venezuelan state cargo airline’s jet in collusion with Argentina. The plane had been illegally and arbitrarily retained for over 20 months in Argentina while a barrage of fake news was directed against Venezuela to criminalize the nation and legalize the theft by the US.
This week in Argentina, members of congress voted on the highly repressive Omnibus Bill proposed by far-right president Javier Milei. After a general strike and four days of massive mobilizations, the bill was withdrawn. It’s a huge victory for the working class and the movement in the streets. The bill included a series of anti-worker and austerity measures, including massive privatizations, layoffs, and labor reforms. Much to the satisfaction of international capital — and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which supported the reforms — the bill would have opened the country’s resources up to imperialist plunder.
‘The West is in danger’, warned Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland. In his dangerously appealing style, Milei blamed ‘collectivism’ – that is, social welfare, taxes, and the state – as the ‘root cause’ of the world’s problems, leading to widespread impoverishment. The only way forward, Milei declared, is through ‘free enterprise, capitalism, and economic freedom’. Milei’s speech marked a return to the orthodoxy of Milton Friedman and the Chicago Boys, who pushed forward an ideology of social cannibalism as the basis for their neoliberal agenda.
Thousands of people marched this Wednesday in Argentina to join the national strike called by the main unions in repudiation of the policies implemented by President Javier Milei. “The country is not for sale,” “No to the adjustment,” and “No to the labor reform,” were some of the main slogans of the demonstration that filled the Plaza del Congreso in the city of Buenos Aires. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took part in the massive general strike against Milei and his “libertarian” policies. Milei took office on December 10. Some outlets, such as Left Voice and Progressive International, reported that over a million demonstrators took to the streets.
The president of Argentina, Javier Milei, lashed out at Argentina’s public sector workers, threatening to deduct their salary if they join the upcoming national strike that was called by the General Confederation of Workers (CGT) for January 24. In a statement to the press, presidential spokesperson Manuel Adorni announced that the government made the decision to deduct the working day from public sector workers who go on strike. “The salary is a consideration and whoever does not work, it is reasonable that he/she does not get paid,” Adorni said. He further stated that in his opinion there is no reason for the strike. He even described as “childish” the reasons given by the groups of workers for adopting the measure in protest.
Since taking office last month, Javier Milei, the new far-right president of Argentina, has announced a series of economic proposals and attacks on basic democratic rights that, if implemented, will devastate the working class. In response, labor unions and the Left have called for a general strike on January 24. The Partido de los Trabajadores Socialistas (PTS), the sister organization of Left Voice in Argentina, is calling for the working class to take the general strike into its own hands to defeat these proposals and the entire neolibertarian regime. Among the new proposals are changes to more than 300 laws that would weaken labor unions, limit democratic rights, repress protest through a set of new “security protocols,” and allow for the further modification of legislation without the approval of the Argentinian congress.
The Argentine judiciary has granted a request from the National Confederation of Labor (CGT), the country’s main trade union center, and suspended the effects of the labor reform provided for in the “decree” launched by the government of ultra-right Javier Milei last December. The court decision published on January 3 is a precautionary one, i.e. it suspends the measure. The decision was taken by the National Chamber of Labor Appeals, the first instance in the Argentine judiciary for appeals on labor issues. The court argued that there was no proven need or urgency to make the decision without consulting the Argentine Congress, which is responsible for legislation.
The General Confederation of Labor (CGT), Argentina’s largest labor union, has called for a general strike and a march to the Congress on January 24, 2024 to protest against President Javier Milei’s Decree of Necessity and Urgency and the “Omnibus Bill” that grants absolute powers to the far-right president to govern for two years bypassing the Congress. On Thursday, December 28, the CGT, which is the common platform for the largest labor unions of Argentina, announced the general strike against Milei’s neoliberal policies which “intend to drown the country in economic and political instability.”
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Less than two weeks after President Javier Milei took office in Argentina, his term is turning out to be as convulsive as promised. His economic policy is a textbook example of shock therapy, and includes massive cuts to social spending, a drastic currency devaluation–with the consequent depreciation of wages–, the reduction of subsidies on energy and transport, and price liberalization. This program was accompanied last week by the implementation of a new “security protocol” aimed at suppressing social protest and penalizing those who mobilize to reject government policies. In this context, a mass mobilization to Plaza de Mayo last Wednesday, followed by spontaneous pots and pans protests in front of Congress, was the first show of strength by those who vow to resist the onslaught.
The land recovery of the Mapuche people is no living a moment of extreme vulnerability with the entry into government of Javier Milei, a president who vindicates the indigenous massacre headed by General Roca. Although an agreement was reached at the Dialogue Table in June 2023, which recognized the Rewe as a sacred place and authorized the return of Machi Betiana, the outgoing government did not implement the return of the land nor the reconstruction of the houses. In addition, the legislature of Río Negro approved reforms that favor mining companies, without respecting the right to free consultation of the native communities.
Thousands of Argentines demonstrated, this Wednesday December 20, “against the economic austerity measures” implemented by Javier Milei’s government. The day was marked by high tension early on, following a major police operation carried out at the main entrances to the city of Buenos Aires. The Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich, announced that she would debut her “anti-picketing protocol”, presented last Friday December 15, and threatened that they would not allow the demonstration to take place. However, the call to mobilization managed to overcome the fear that the government tried to install.
Yesterday, Javier Milei’s intense life as a panelist came to an end and his new life as president of the nation begins. Now his words and diagnoses will have to become government actions. For this reason, his first speech in front of the Legislative Assembly, at the very moment this mutation was taking place, aroused so much interest. The first surprise was that he did not address the deputies and senators who were constituted as representatives of the people: the two assembled chambers embody the always heterogeneous preferences of our society. Milei preferred instead the esplanade and to speak to his followers, not to the people as a whole but to his own close followers.
Before he won Argentina’s presidential election on 19 November, Javier Milei circulated a video of himself in front of a series of white boards. Pasted on one board were the names of various state institutions, such as the ministries of health, education, women and gender diversities, public works, and culture, all recognised as typical elements of any modern state project. Walking along the board, Milei ripped off the names of these and other ministries while crying afuera! (‘out!’) and declaring that if elected president, he would abolish them. Milei vowed not only to shrink the state but to ‘blow up’ the system, often appearing at campaign events with a chainsaw in hand.