Argentina’s president is an attractive middle-aged widow : Cristina Fernandez de Kerchner-whose late husband-Nestor Kerchner was also (until his death) a president.
Politically, she is allied with The Front for Victory -a mix of Peronists and Leftists;and The Radical Civic Union: primarily Socialist, with some Peronist influences. (Argentine politics have always been a bit murky, to say the least !)
I think we can measure her political inclination by looking at her continuing “solidarity” with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, and his successor, Nicholas Maduro : both active proponents of an aggressive form of Socialism—-exported to neighboring nations by armed guerilla bands—funded at the expense of “the workers and the poor”.
But let’s talk about our Neo-Socialist “Evita” —who, faced with 35% inflation,corruption,inept government,rampant crime,and an increasingly restive population —
Has,as Jerry Nelson of “The Guardian” noted yesterday,reacted by setting aside $ 750 million to buy anti-aircraft, rockets, tanks,transport planes, helicopters, and (oh yes) drones.
This, Nelson notes, is in addition to the 20 Franch-made Mirage fighters,purchased through Spain last year.
Mr. Nelson’s article may be seen here – and is definitely worth reading !
Is the target of this buildup the Falkland Islands ?
Let’s see: The Falklands ( Las Islas Malvinas) have been British for over 200 years, and have a hard-working, peacable population of just over 2500.
The main exports of this democratically-governed territory have usually been fish and wool; but of late, a sizeable oilfield has been under development : The Sea Lion field,which has estimated reserves of 390 million barrels.
The discovery of this oil led to armed conflict between Argentina and the Brits in the 1980’s ; and it is entirely possible it might erupt again.
Another possibility for the arms buildup has been suggested: It is needed to keep the population down (as it did during the original Evita’s glory days.)
This is a quote from the Jerry Nelson article. I believe he “borrowed” most of it himself, so-with reasonably good conscience, I submit:
Economists classify Argentina as an “emerging market,” but the country’s economy has been on the slide for 100 years. In 1910, Argentina was among the world’s 10 wealthiest countries, today its per capita income is not even half that of the US.
While people discuss the reason behind the military buildup, there is not any debate about the cause of Argentina’s problems. “Bad government,” says economist Marina Dal Poggetto. For decades, Argentina’s leaders have spent wildly during the good years and forgot to save for the bad ones. To keep the good times rolling, the government has borrowed heavily or just turned to the printing press to turn out more money.
The wall behind Dal Poggeto’s desk is filled with picture frames containing rows of Argentine currencies which have been used and discarded in faulty economic plans. Argentina has lopped off 13 zeroes from its bank notes since 1969. In 1991, the 10,000 austral note was replaced by the one peso note which was worth $1 (USD). Today, that same one peso note is worth 9 cents.
For the poorest of Argentines, crises mean calamity. With no access to American dollars, the poor watch as inflation eliminates the purchasing power of their salaries putting them in a position where they cannot buy food. Mobs in the thousands looted supermarkets throughout Argentina in the crises of 1989 and 2001.
So: What’s new, Evita Socialista ??