On Independence Day, Argentines to mobilize against US military base, IMF deal

Protests will be held in the cities of Neuquén and Buenos Aires in defence of national sovereignty and against the agenda of international finance organizations

July 09, 2018 by Peoples Dispatch
There is massive public anger against the deal with the IMF as many remember the earlier disastrous intervention of the organization in the country. Image: ALBA

On the occasion of the Argentine Independence Day on July 9, the residents of Neuquén, a city in Patagonia, will mobilize against the construction of a US military base in the city, and in Buenos Aires against the government’s 50 billion dollars deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In 1816, in the city of Tucumán, the independence of Argentina was declared on July 9. On that day, the emerging republic, situated in a continent in the midst of a revolutionary process, decided to break the chains that bound it to European imperialism – to the kingdom of Spain – and “to invest in the great character of a free and independent nation”, according to the declaration signed by congressmen. Two centuries later, what should be a day of celebration has become a day of struggle for the Argentine people, who will mobilize in defense of their sovereignty.

In Neuquén, a caravan will be held opposing the construction of the United States Southern Command’s base in the vicinity of this city. The government of the province of Neuquén announced a few weeks ago that the construction of the base would resume, putting forward the farcical argument that it would be an “Emergency Operational Centre” to deal with disasters.

If this project is concretized, as far as the Pentagon [United States Department of Defense] is concerned, it would be a qualitative leap in its geopolitical presence in the Patagonia region of Argentina, a strategic territory that is very rich in natural resources. A number of transnational extractive firms also operate in the area. The protest has been called for by the multisectoral “No to the Yankee base in Neuquén”, which brings together a large number of organizations and people’s movements of the region.

In Buenos Aires and other cities, there will be mobilizations against the agreement of president Mauricio Macri’s government with the IMF. As is usual in these types of agreements, the country that requests the IMF’s ‘assistance’, gives up significant amount of independence (political, economical and social) so as to benefit the ‘markets’, which is a euphemism for those who control financial capital through the banks and international investment funds.

In this case, the agreement concluded between Argentine government and IMF obliges the state to further deepen the neoliberal policies that are already in progress. For this reason, and due to the memories of the people of the previous disastrous intervention of the IMF, there is a growing opposition to the loss of sovereignty that this measure implies.

In the coming days, another mobilization will be carried out in defence of the country’s sovereignty on the occasion of the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers, which will be held in Argentina from July 19 to 22.