Argentina: A debate on the left: become an alternative united or miss the opportunity divided

Feb 9, 2019 | Debates, Latin America

We’re in the last year of Macri’s term in the middle of a brutal austerity plan designed by the IMF and applied by the government. There are constantly new cuts, utilities hikes, lay-offs, wage delays, budget cuts in public health and education, rapine through the payment of the external debt and now new attempts to advance against pensions and the implementation of the labour reform by sector. This is all happens in the context of the IMF plans for Argentina.

Of course, none of this is easy for the government, thanks to the resistance of thousands of workers, of new generations that fight back in their workplaces and education centers, which is making Cambiemos retreat. Like the teachers of CABA or the thousands of neighbours that make their discontent against the utilities raises heard in several places or the feminist and LGBT+ movement that is on the streets against violence and for the legalization of abortion.

This process of struggles won’t stop and will probably grow even more, complicating the government’s situation. This social process exists despite the regretful role of the political and union leaderships that pose as opponents of Macri yet allowed him to pass several laws in Congress, apply the same austerity plan in the provinces they govern and refuse to organize the plan of struggle that we need.

In this context, it’s clear that the first task of the left is taking to the streets, supporting the struggles against the government, demanding the unions for a national strike with a plan of struggle and trying to create an alternative against the old union bureaucracy. In this sense, we started the year with a new meeting of the Plenary of Combative Syndicalism and called for a day of struggle on February 14 in Plaza de Mayo and every square in the country, this is a positive step that we must deepen.

Social struggle and political struggle

We know that the social and economic struggle by sector isn’t enough; because in the there is a political dispute between two projects for the future of the country. Macri will do anything to be re-elected mounted on his deal with the IMF, and the PJ and its variants aim to appear as his opposition, vut all its different sectors manifest that, albeit with some changes, they would not break the deal with the IMF. This basically means that with these variants the austerity plan will continue.

Because of this, it’s essential that the anticapitalist and socialist left prepare to struggle at every level. For this, we need to be a visible pole and as big as possible, to unite in every struggle, in every union and obviously in the elections. But we haven’t achieved this yet. Because of the denial of the FIT we’re still divided, benefiting the regime´s parties. The question is if we will leave this situation behind or not, and that depends on the political will to modify practices that still today dominate the debate.

The early elections and the dilemma of the FIT

The forces that integrate this front have the responsibility of making up their minds in relation to making a unified call. We’ve done this several times and will continue doing so, but the other forces must take a step too, and this isn’t happening. In addition to that, there are early elections in many provinces. They didn’t accept our unity proposals in Neuquen and Rio Negro, and there are cases like San Juan and La Pampa where we already presented our lists and Entre Rios where we will also do so soon. These are three provinces in which the MST already presented its lists and the FIT wasn´t able to and ended up not participating in the elections. They preferred this abstentionism to discussing a national agreement and participating with through our legalities. In these cases, their sectarianism is synonymous to not wanting to dispute against the regime´s parties. An important mistake.

Now there are presentation of lists upcoming in another three important provinces: Cordoba, Santa Fe and Chubut. In these three cases the MST will present its own lists, and we’re proposing to the FIT to advance on provincial agreements. There are no reasons for not do so. The argument that we have old differences is as inconsistent as it is divisionist. There will always be differences; the point is that there are also many political agreements and we can use them toward a big programmatic agreement. When will they stop evading the unity that thousands demand? It’s time to have a serious debate to avoid more divisions

For a national agreement of the anticapitalist left

With the ongoing struggles and the provincial elections, the different forces will prepare for the elections of strategic districts of Buenos Aires and the presidential election. They will be the last station of a strong political struggle that happens in the streets and in the ballot boxes. The proposal of the MST is clear: against Macri and the variants of the PJ, to conform an independent and strong pole of all the anticapitalist and socialist left, in the struggles and in the elections. Electoralist calculations and partial disagreement should not be more important than the political need of postulating the left as an alternative. And we will not be that while we remain divided. We are wasting the opportunity of taking a big step with the masses of the working people, women and the youth. We repeat once again our proposal. The FIT has the floor now, and the chance of ending the division. Time will tell if they take it.

For now, the MST will continue giving the political fight in every struggle and in every early election. As a reflection of the surge of the working youth and the feminist movement we have Cele Fierro as our pre-candidate for the presidency; for the much needed unity and open to different mechanisms to guarantee it. With her and our militancy we are touring the country and supporting every struggle, and we’ll continue doing so.

                                                                                                                                                                              Sergio Garcia