Argentina: uniting and renovating the left

May 17, 2019 | Latin America

Less than a month from the deadline for the presentation of alliances for the national elections, the debate among the left forces is ongoing, though, sadly there are no real steps toward unity being taken. The MST insists with a serious proposal, while the FIT delays and divides. What to do now?

Five months of this year have passed, marked by several important struggles and eight provincial elections. This situation takes place within two clear frameworks. On one side, in relation to the struggles, there is a combination of rising social anger and the betrayal and complicity with Macrism of the entire union bureaucracy -those who do nothing as well as those who promote ineffective isolated measures against the austerity plan.

And the political framework is the debacle of Macrism, which was defeated in every one of the provincial elections that has taken place so far. Eight consecutive defeats in a climate of polarization and anti-Macri votes that are being capitalized by the PJ, despite its national fragmentation and a rising promotion of CFK, who is recovering political terrain.

Causes and consequences of the setback of the FIT

Faced with this situation, the left, mostly because of the FIT, has been carrying a serious political problem: the year has so far been wasted without advancing in the political unity we need. With different explanations, the parties of the FIT left the months pass by, struggle after struggle and election after election, without opening up the debate nor taking a serious step in advancing toward unity.

The result is double; on one hand, it facilitated the opposition parties of the regime appearing as the only option against Macri and, on the other hand, that political mistake made the entire left not appear as an alternative. This situation hit the FIT itself hard, pushing it a step back in several elections, mostly in the two main provinces of the interior of the country; losing two representatives in Cordoba and not overcoming the primaries in Santa Fe. At this time of the electoral year, it is clear that the Left Front is not a strong alternative nor is it seen as new or on the rise, it does not attract other sectors and loses part of its own voting base. It seems to have reduced its goals to maintaining, in future results, a part of the previous left votes in the country.

In this context, the internal yet public debates of the PO are not casual, these days they refer in particular to the assessment of the FIT. The retreat of the FIT is so evident that the founder of the PO does not need to make an effort to point it out. But beyond all the issues under discussion in the strong crisis PO is facing, what is very clear is that by not  transforming the FIT into an alternative and having an uncertain future, this affects its parties; it powers the internal debates of PO and also between the two main parties of the FIT, who do not end up agreeing on the candidacies, among other things, because the electoral perspective is unclear. If the FIT were not a mere electoral agreement which acts divided in the class struggle, and it were the necessary tool, there would be no crisis in its components. It is the reality of the whole front that conditions the internal life of its components.

What about the unity of the left?

Recognizing this reality, there is a way to modify this complex moment in a positive way. But the only possible way would be to advance in a true and new unity of the working-class and socialist left of our country. To a clear, integral and motivating national agreement that changes the tendency of setbacks and stagnation and is ready to fight with much more force.

The unity we need is neither at the last moment nor a simulation of integration. It would only be positive if there was a proposal that makes all components visible, so that they can contribute with ideas, political references and militant force. Or the other way is through the primary elections, so that thousands of workers decide.

The problem is that we are only twenty-five days away from the presentation of alliances, and the FIT does not call any meeting nor makes any proposal to unite the left. Concerned only by the prospect of winning a seat in CABA, for now it only dedicates itself to continue being rejected by Zamora and thus, at the same time, furthers the possibilities of winning that seat in the Capital. Because political problems are not solved with electoral parches, but through a solid national strategy that makes the whole left more visible. And that is what the FIT has been denying so far. That is why there is no unity on the left, just when it is most necessary. We hope they reflect on this.

Renew to advance

In the MST, as we have proposed, we are open to talking about a possible and real unity, while there is time. But this does not prevent us from deploying the campaign for our proposals and pre-candidacies throughout the country. This is what we have been doing and this is how we will continue. We have recently achieved an important political leap, conquering an MST representative in the Cordoba Legislature with Luciana Echevarría. We also surpassed the PASO in Entre Ríos, Chubut and San Juan, achieved good electoral results in Santa Fe, close to the FIT and being the first force of the left in most of the departments of that province. Next Sunday in La Pampa we participate with a list of young comrades, while we have launched our campaigns in Mendoza, Tucuman and Jujuy. And we will fight until the end in the general elections in Entre Ríos on June 9th, to win another seat for the left.

On this basis, our young pre-candidate for president Cele Fierro is traveling across the country with our proposals. Because it is increasingly evident that the left needs to be renewed, and it is also being demonstrated that this is a possible task. Because there are thousands of workers, women and young people who want a left far from self-proclamation, sectarianism, internal fights, division in struggles, and lack of self-criticism, and want a perspective of a real and long term common project.

With Cele as pre-candidate for president, with Alejandro and Vilma as pre-candidates for national legislators in CABA and Buenos Aires province, with Luciana and Nadia in Córdoba and Entre Ríos, with Jimena in Santa Fe and with so many comrades from all over the country. We fight against this capitalist system and to renew the left to turn everything upside down. We fight to make way for an anti-capitalist and socialist, working-class, feminist and internationalist political project. We are working on this task and, far from stopping, we are going for much more in this 2019.

Sergio García