Obama’s “saddlebags”

What’s behind the colonial visit

Obama’s visit has been presented as the starting point of a process of investment and economic recovery for Argentina, under the tutelage of the country to the north. But all things considered, what Obama danced at last night’s dinner at the Kirchner Cultural Center was a tango, that is, a duel of two needy people. Macri received the political backing for the bailout that he is negotiating with international capital. This bailout will require, on the one hand, a sort of “full stop” (closure) granted by the US justice system. On the other hand, it will also require the recycling of a debt nearly equal to two thirds of the Argentine gross national product, a debt which will have to continue to grow in order to refinance the national Treasury and to shore up the bankrupt finances of the provinces. This bailout will involve usurious interest rates, which will turn Argentina into a dependency of financial capital.

In exchange for this life jacket of lead, Obama left his bill on the table. First, the complacency of Macri’s government regarding the outcome of the Brazilian political crisis, where behind the scenes there is an attempt at economic control of the country in favor of imperialist corporations. That road has been paved by the corrupt games played by the likes of Lázaro Báez in Brazil, with the conniving of their partners from the PT (Workers Party (Brazil).

Outside of these objectives, what Obama actually brought with him in his “saddlebags” must be examined in the light of the world capitalist crisis. The promises of “investment” contrast greatly with the withdrawal of capital from emerging countries, which, amid a general collapse in the prices of raw materials, have lost the guarantees necessary to sustain a process of indebtedness. Citibank, Obama’s compatriot, has announced their retirement from Argentina, and in its trail thousands of unemployed bank clerks thrown out onto the streets.

The promise of “trade expansion” collides with a contraction in international trade, as a result of the same global crisis. Yankee diplomacy is engaged in a dispute over the increasingly meager spoils of that trade, first, against Chinese exports and investments. This is the objective of Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty (TPP), where the integration of some of the co-signing countries in the region into that dispute (Chile, Peru) is proceeding at the price of draconian economic concessions. Any involvement of Argentina (and eventually the Mercosur) in the TPP will have to pay the same price, for instance, the recognition of Monsanto claiming royalties for its “technological package” of pesticides; of international pharmaceutical corporations for their disputed patents, as well as a general opening to the automotive trade, at the expense of jobs and labor gains made by automotive workers and mechanics. This package, which may be connected to the bailout of the national bankruptcy, would require greater industrial breakdown and a collision course with workers.

“Human rights”

This platform of economic and political recolonization has been draped with the banners and flags of “human rights”. It is the alibi used by imperialism throughout the continent, even in the case the restorationist operation in Cuba. Obama has been taken to Memorial Park with the aim of a double-laundering. On the one hand, that of the military intelligence services of the United States to strengthen its continental interference with the pretext of the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism (when the DEA -and their friends among the governors- have stood by and watched the penetration of narcos in northern Argentina for years). On the other, it is washing the dirty faces of the army and Argentine “services”, in order to facilitate collaboration in their colonial meddling. This is what Kirchnerism had begun to set in motion with the anti-terrorism law during the first years of its government.

Kirchnerism laid bare

The colonial nature of Obama’s trip did not prevent the bulk of the opposition from attending the the Yankee president’s dinner with Macri. Including on the list: 95% of the trade union bureaucracy. It is an endorsement of the pact with the vulture funds and all of the economic consequences. But more brutal than this, if you will, is the complete silence of the “Campora”, of their deputies and political partners ahead of Obama’s visit. The mobilization and anti-imperialist rally in Plaza Italia organized by leftist and human rights organizations was boycotted by Kirchnerism. In this absence, include their coat-hanging partners of the Patria Grande (?) group, who have discovered the virtues of the “united marches” to cover up Milani or Pedraza, but not when it comes to repudiating the Guantanamo jailers.

By their silence, the K have defended their own policy of being “serial payers” of usurious debt. In other words, debt restructuring that led to the payment of 200 billion dollars over ten years to end the same mortgage that existed at the time of the Argentina meltdown in 2001. That policy was welcomed by the State Department and the UN, Obama strongholds.

Macri and Obama’s prattle in front of the media have hailed “the entry of Argentina into the world”. In fact, Argentina has entered fully into the global capitalist crisis. Obama’s “saddlebags” will lead to enormous social and political upheavals.