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Argentina: A Quiet Neoliberal Coup d’Etat in Latin America’s Southern Cone
December 1, 2015
by Peter Koenig
For the past few weeks the world has been and still is focusing all attention on Syria, the NATO-Turkey downing of a Russian SU-24 fighter jet, the bombing of a Russian airliner over Sinai (224 dead), the alleged ISIS-Daesh Paris massacre (132), the Islamic terror attack on the Bamako (Mali) Radisson Blu hotel (27) – plus the endless fear mongering of more terror in Brussels, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Copenhagen — you name it. The mainstream media is in over-drive. And the neoliberal European (non)-Union uses the shock doctrine to cut civil rights and install police states with ‘temporary’ Martial laws – mind you, they are basically asked for by the populace – for their protection, they are made to believe.
Absorbed by their own fate and fear, Europeans have hardly eyes to see beyond their Continent, their sphere of self-interest. The neoliberal coup d’état in Argentina happened almost unnoticed. Never mind that it is just about bringing some 42.5 million people (2015 pop. estimate) under Washington’s rule.
Argentina’s general election 2015 ended on Sunday 22 November in a run-off – the first in Argentina’s history – between Daniel Scioli, the incumbent Governor of Buenos Aires Province, a Kirchnerite from the ruling Front for Victory Party (FPV – Frente para la Victoria), and Mauricio Macri, a neoliberal multi-billionaire and Mayor of Buenos Aires from the right-wing Cambiemos party. Against all odds, Macri won with 51.4% against Scioli’s 48.6% – a margin of 2.8%. A margin small enough no to raise many questions of fraud.
And here are the odds: Two days before the 25 October ballot The Guardian polls predicted an 8.5% lead for Scioli (38.41%) vs. Macri (30.07%). Nevertheless, the 25 October real election results reduced Scioli’s lead to a mere 2.4% (36.8% vs. 34.4%).
At the end of July, three months before the first election run, Scioli was leading with a 13.6% margin (38.8% vs. 25.2%). The outcome of the 9 August Primaries left Scioli still with a more than 12 point lead (36.8% vs 24.7%).
There is definitely something fishy with a deterioration of a candidate’s lead so crass as to convert an almost 14 point lead into a 3 point loss in 4 months, a 17% percent difference. This is not a typical pattern of error for pollsters, nor an indication for a public opinion change, a public that has benefited from their government to the extent Argentinians did within the last 15 years, since the economic collapse in 2001: An average annual growth of between 6% and 8%, a highly distributive economic development, helping reducing poverty from 65% in 2002 to less than 10% in early 2015 and with a massive increase in countrywide free education and health services, including in rural areas; not to mention the elimination of foreign debt.
A simple question of logic: Would a people of which 80% to 90% have massively benefited from the ruling government policies vote with more than 50% against the continuation of such policies – and instead for a neoliberal politician, who promised to turn the clock back? Hardly. Unless they have been subjected to a massive media brainwashing and slander campaign, vote buying and other democracy-destroying measures, through foreign induced destabilization.
We know about the NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and other US based think tanks (sic), receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from the State Department to train and fund “NGOs” throughout the world, to infiltrate in counties’ internal affairs, where Washington wants to achieve soft regime change, as opposed to hard-core regime change – which involves the US military, proxy-armies, mercenaries and – of course – the ever present NATO. – So far the election fraud worked in Argentina without bloodshed.
Such destabilization movements, soft and less soft, abound around the globe during the last 20 years, coinciding with the ever stronger onset of the all controlling globalized neoliberal doctrine. Suffice it to mention the invented Arab Spring , the Color Revolutions of Central Asia and the former Soviet Republics. If propaganda alone doesn’t do the trick, the Washington imposed changes are being helped with false flags, inducing armed conflicts and ‘civil wars’. Recent cases in point are the Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, to name just a few.
Argentina’s Constitution does not allow for more than two consecutive presidential terms. Before the mid-term elections in 2013, the ruling FPV hoped for a two third majority to be able to amend the Constitution allowing unlimited re-elections. Due to strong resistance from the opposition parties, the FPV did not win the necessary supermajority.
The president is elected with a modified two-stage system, whereby a candidate wins when he / she receives at least 45% in the first run, or 40% with a margin of at least 10% to the runner-up. A run-off election, like the one on 22 November 2015, has never happened before in Argentina’s history.
With a lead of more almost 14 points by Scioli over Macri, the right-wing Cambiemos candidate, it was absolutely necessary for the Macri camp to reduce the lead difference by the first round of balloting to less than 10% to provoke a run-off, allowing more time to manipulate voter opinion and committing more election fraud. Despite the polls indicating an 8.5% lead for Scioli two days before the 25 October first election run, the actual election count resulted in Scioli winning with only 2.4%. Again, this is an unusual margin of error that should have attracted the attention of the election organizers and supervisors.
In 2011 Wikileaks revealed that Mauricio Macri asked the US Embassy in Buenos Aires to launch a strong anti-Kirchner campaign, slandering her and her political alliances, thereby massively discrediting Cristina Kirchner’s Presidency. It did not work for Macri in 2011, as Cristina Kirchner was re-elected. But the Washington-driven anti-Kirchner and anti-FPV campaign expanded massively until this past election. And it paid off.
The international investigative journalist, Estela Calloni, who followed the elections closely, concluded that there was not only massive manipulation with lies and defamation by an important media elite, but a brutal campaign against the Kirchner legacy – ‘putting the future of Argentina at risk.’ She went on saying that ‘our societies are being hammered by information coming from the United States and that they are worse than disinformation.’ She warned that Argentina should stay alert not to lose any of the progressive achievements made in the past 15 years.
Who is Mauricio Macri? – He was born in 1959 into a family of owners of the country’s most important industrial and economic groups. In 1975, the Macri family possessed 7 enterprises; at the end of the military dictatorship the Macri fleet of companies had grown to 46. The Macri family benefited greatly from business relations with the totalitarian military government of Videla. In connivance with US banks, they built up false debt which later had to be assumed by the Argentine government.
Nevertheless, the new President-elect in one of his recent observations has insisted that the Kirchner Government reopen negotiations with the IMF and pay the infamous vulture funds in full.
As Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires, Macri leaves behind a highly questionable legacy; mismanagement of public funds, huge budget overruns and never ending public works. He has also allegedly diverted public funds into his political campaigns and accepted contributions from prostitution rings.
Mr. Macri is known as an extreme conservative, right-wing politician following neoliberal policies, who will most likely turn the wheel of progress of the Kirchner Administration back by seeking reduction of public expenditures to the detriment of labor, privatization of public services and ending fiscal policies aiming at redistribution of wealth.
As to Mr. Macri’s views on human rights, it can best be described by his observation in 2014, “Conmigo se termina el curro de los derechos humanos” – “with me the chants of ‘human rights’ will end;” – meaning that protests against his government will be repressed.
South America had proudly achieved over the past 20 years a degree of independence from its Washington masters, no other western region has reached – least the vassal states of Europe. With this neoliberal, largely unnoticed coup d’état in Argentina, the Subcontinent of South America, is, indeed, gradually turning into what President Obama calls his ‘backyard’. In the Center-North are Peru and Colombia, neoliberal strongholds of the US; and now the Southern Cone is gone.
All the while the Great Dictator and its paid foreign minions are diligently working at discrediting the Governments of Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela, and of Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil; the former with infiltrated and local mercenaries spreading unrest and violence; the latter with defamation of corruption linked to the oil giant Petrobras, all manufactured via henchmen and associated banks in Florida and New York. Corruption is always an easy accusation – difficult to prove, yet very effective with the common people – in discrediting their government. An accusation coming from the most corrupt, criminal rogue state of this globe – the United States of America.
[Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, CounterPunch, TeleSur, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance]