In recent times, Argentina has accelerated its slide towards a condition neocolonial. If we had to mark a milestone in this process, we would say that this trend bursts in strongly during the civil-military dictatorship with the outbreak of the crisis in the external debt, in August 1982. This spread like wildfire throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and accentuated the external vulnerability of our countries. Because, as you shrewdly observed John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, “there are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation: one is the sword; the other is debt.”
The recovery of democracy witnessed an initial attempt by the government of Raul Alfonsin to collectively face the issue of foreign debt by creating a “Club of Debtors” (the Cartagena Group) to negotiate, with a certain parity of forces, with the “Club of Creditors”. The Reagan Administration struck down this initiative and soon his radical questioning caused the departure of the Minister of Economy, Bernardo Grinspun, and with it the end of heterodox macroeconomic management trials. The foreseeable collapse of the Alfonsinista government opened the way for the neoliberal reincarnation of Peronism. Indeed, the menemismo was the second act of a project whose first chapter had been carried out by the genocidal dictatorship. Together with the deep neoliberal reforms of the government of Carlos Menemmuch of which still survive to this day, was accentuated Argentina’s dependence on the United Statess, reducing the margins of national autonomy in economic matters and in foreign policy. With Kirchnerism, this trend towards the “neocolonization” of Argentina stopped its march but without being completely reversed, despite undoubted progress such as ending the dictatorship of the IMF or the nationalization of AFJP and the adoption of an independent foreign policy.
Currently there are multiple indicators of the increased seriousness of this process of growing heteronomy and neocolonial submission. The scandal of private ports on the Paraná Riverthe absolute lack of control over our agricultural exports (but also mining) and the weakness of the State to control the devastating dynamics of the markets (in the case of inflation, for example) are so many other signs, to which many more could be added, of this progressive loss of sovereignty. But in recent days a few more elements have been added: the striking magnanimity of US government authorities and corporations during the Economy Minister’s tour, Serge Massa, will not require a counterpart from us? Or is it that without our noticing the empire became a philanthropic entity? I don’t think so. It would be a geopolitical watershed, but until now it has not been noticed.
If we carefully observe some recent news, we will find resounding indications of the aforementioned “neo-colonization”. For example, Argentina is consenting to the stealthy installation of a United States military base a few kilometers from Vaca Muerta, without the issue having been discussed in the National Congress or in the Legislature of Neuquén, and without having been reported to public opinion. Second: the open interference of the United States ambassador, Mark Stanleyrecommending a strategy of “coalition building”, where all the political forces converge with the exception of thirty percent that, coincidentally, is the electoral flow of Kirchnerism. An interference that, unfortunately, did not receive from our Foreign Ministry the reply that the diplomatic norms of the Vienna Convention required. Third, the repeated statements by the head of the Southern Command, Laura Richardson, about the need to preserve this true emporium of natural resources that is Latin America for the exclusive use of those of us who inhabit this part of the world and not for, in his words, “our adversaries and competitors who also know about our wealth and come to our neighborhood to seize those resources.” In other words, overloaded Monroeism and hence the need to install a base in Neuquén. Fourth, and most recent, the insolent public intervention of the Amcham (the Chamber of Commerce of the United States in Argentina) that on September 22 released a document in which it literally says: “Depending on the possible treatment today in the Honorable Senate of the Nation on the bill that seeks to replace article 21 of Decree Law 1285/58, proposing the substantial expansion of the members of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nationthe Chamber of Commerce of the United States in Argentina (Amcham Argentina) expresses its concern at the mere possibility that this materializes”. In other words, the American companies they are comfortable with the Supreme Court and the Judiciary that we have! For them, cancer lawfare it does not exist, it is only the delirium of some hallucinated spirits in the popular field. It is urgent to reverse these trends and rebuild national sovereignty because without it, democracy ends up becoming a farce.