Today June 6, thousands of Argentines will be mobilizing in Buenos Aires to reject the first official visit of the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro to Argentina. Under the slogan of “Tu odio no es bienvenido aquí” [Your hatred is not welcome here], a massive mobilization from 9 de Julio Avenue to Plaza de Mayo will be carried out, along with various other cultural activities. The call for the demonstration has been given by more than 60 social movements, human rights organizations, trade unions, left-wing political parties and alternative media outlets.
Bolsonaro is visiting the country to meet the Argentine president Mauricio Macri and discuss bilateral and regional issues. The restructuring of MERCOSUR, the situation in Venezuela and the upcoming presidential elections in Argentina are some of the other issues that are expected to be discussed during the meeting.
The MERCOSUR or the Southern Common Market is a South American trade bloc established in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, amended and updated in 1994 by the Protocol of Ouro Preto. Its current members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Venezuela was a member but it was suspended from the bloc in December, 2016. The main purpose of the bloc is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency between member countries. Currently, it confines itself to a customs union. But in January this year, both the presidents expressed their intention to make MERCOSUR more flexible by the possible revision of common external tariff and to reach other markets.
The electoral, political and economic situation in Argentina is another important issue for the Brazilian government. Brazil imports several manufactured goods from Argentina, and if there is a return to a progressive government, it would be difficult for the Brazilian government to continue with its neoliberal policies.
By rejecting Bolsonaro’s visit, the organizations aim to reject the neoliberal policies, authoritarianism as well as the racist, sexist, homophobic and anti-migrant stances of both the presidents. With a large scale mobilization, the organizations seek to condemn at the regional level the economic adjustments, the increased instability of employment, the degradation of education and health care services, the plundering of natural resources by private companies and the extermination of Indigenous and black people promoted by the two states.
On June 5, in Buenos Aires, during the night, a proyectorazo was held, in which messages expressing rejection to Bolsonaro’s visit were projected on several buildings in the city with the help of a LED projector. Messages such as ‘Get out Bolsonaro’, ‘Your hatred is not welcome here’, ‘Argentina rejects Bolsonaro’, etc. could be read clearly from distance across the city. In addition, hashtags such as #NoMacri, #NoBolsonaro, #ArgentinaRejectsBolsonaro, #FascistsShallNotPass, etc. trended on social media to reject Bolsonaro’s visit and his fascist politics.