What began with teachers’ protests over pay rises has expanded into a week-long police riot and a grassroots rebellion of teachers, health, energy and other state workers in the province of Misiones, in the far northeast of the country, 1,000 km from the capital Buenos Aires.

The government of Javier Milei is once more accelerating the deterioration of workers’ living and working conditions. Adding to the list of government subsidies which have been eliminated over the past few months, today he is attacking subsidies for long-distance train fares as well as those that serve the suburbs of Buenos Aires, which many poor workers depend on for their daily commute. Ticket prices will rise an average of 54 percent, although they will rise by 2,000 percent for long-distance trains.

1.5 million people marched in Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Rosario, Santiago del Estero, Mendoza, Neuquen, and all the big cities of Argentina to reject the new president Javier Milei’s Necessity and Urgency Decree (DNU) and Omnibus Bill, which represent an all-out ultraliberal assault on workers’ rights and conditions. This is the second massive mobilisation against Milei’s government, which has been in power for fewer than 50 days, and the first general strike called in five years by Argentina’s largest trade union confederations. It provided an outlet for the enormous rage that has built up against this government, and demonstrated yet again the working class’ willingness to fight.

Some on the left draw a parallel between Milei's authoritarian drift in Argentina and the "fujimorazo" in Peru in 1992, when Fujimori used his constitutional powers to establish a de facto dictatorship in the Andean country. But this does not hold up. On the contrary, in Argentina we are heading for a process of mass upheaval.

As we were about to publish the latest editorial of the Argentine section of the IMT, concerning the first budget announcements of the new government of far-right demagogue president Milei, he doubled down: announcing by decree the abolition of over 300 pieces of legislation, which regulate economic activity in a wide range of fields. This is an unprecedented, ultra-liberal assault on the rights and living conditions of the working masses, introduced using undemocratic emergency decree powers. The announcement provoked a spontaneous movement of protest, with thousands coming out into the streets of Buenos Aires, as Alejandro Spezia describes in this special update (the original article


Far-right "libertarian" candidate Javier Milei has won the presidential run-off election in Argentina with almost 56 percent of the vote, beating Peronist candidate Massa (who got 44 percent), the country's outgoing Finance Minister who had renewed a deal with the IMF and promised a government of national unity.

After the results of Argentina’s general elections last month, the two leading candidates, Peronist Sergio Massa and far-right Javier Milei, will contest the presidency in a run-off election on 19 November. The prospect of a run-off election, a device of bourgeois democracy that is meant to force working-class voters to support one of two capitalist candidates who do not represent their interests, has revealed enormous confusion among Argentina’s largest left parties.

On Sunday 22 October, Argentinians went to the polls to determine the next president. The elections occurred in the context of an increasingly desperate economic situation, with 40 percent of the country living in poverty, triple-digit inflation, and crippling state debt. This is the expression of the global crisis of capitalism in Argentina, a country with a backwards capitalist economy dependent on the export of primary materials.

The last few weeks in Argentina have seen an increase in the struggle of workers, particularly teachers and healthcare workers. This movement has reached the most acute proportions in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy, in the extreme northwest of the country. In both cases, the struggle for wages has been combined with the fight against anti-protest and anti-strike legislation that the regional governments want to impose.

On 12 May, the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) reported that inflation in April was 6%, pushing annualised inflation up to 58%, its highest level in thirty years. On the same day, hundreds of thousands of protesters arrived in Buenos Aires from all over the country, filling the Plaza de Mayo to participate in the Federal March organised by the unemployed workers’ organisation, Unidad Piquetera. The protest denounced hunger and poverty, and demanded work and wages.

This article was produced several months ago by our Italian comrades of Sinistra, Classe, Rivoluzione in response to a polemic by Francesco Ricci concerning the counter-revolutionary demonstration in Cuba last year, which he supported. Ricci’s organisation (the PDAC) inherits the tradition of Nahuel Moreno, a leader of the Argentine Trotskyist movement who historically swung back and forth between ultra leftism and opportunism.

The recent agreement between the IMF and Argentina, passed against the backdrop of mass protests, avoids through postponement what would otherwise have been an imminent default of its 2018 loan. The conditionalities of the agreement will mean a severe austerity programme, and the further subjection of the country to the IMF through quarterly inspections. The two parties are actually extremely unlikely to achieve their stated aims. The passing of the IMF agreement has opened up deep rifts within the ruling coalition Frente de Todos and is exerting powerful pressure towards national unity at the top to prevent a social explosion at the bottom.

Argentina’s approval of a one-off wealth tax has been presented as a model by some on the left in Britain, as well as in other Latin American countries – where the idea is very popular. What is its real content, however, and is it a useful proposal to deal with the crisis of capitalism and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created one disaster after another in Latin America, exposing the naked contempt of the ruling class for the workers of the region. But with the memory of Red October still fresh, this explosive new development is preparing revolutionary upheaval in the near future.

We republish here an article Alan Woods wrote on 9 February 2002 as a polemic with the Argentinean Partido Obrero (PO - Workers’ Party) on the question of the slogan of a Constituent Assembly. The debate took place in the aftermath of the Argentinazo: the powerful uprising on 19-20 December 2001 against the government of De la Rúa, under the slogan of ¡Que se vayan todos! (Kick them all out). The mass uprising managed to overthrow one president after another and clearly posed the question of who ruled Argentina: the official institutions or the masses on the streets.

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