I read this article http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/argentines-prepare-huge-anti-government-march-17669749 about a planned march against Kirchner. How do you think this will play out? Would a huge turnout possibly ignite a movement to oust her as President such as the guy before the K’s? Will her political opponent in the last election try to take advantage of it as a “See, I told you so”?
Also I’ve always wondered, while you were in Argentina did you ever worry about the Kirchners moving to silence your criticisms of them? It seems like socialists have thin skin when it comes to criticism. Did you ever receive any threats by their associates or anything?
Yes, I’m well aware of tonight’s protest, called 8N. The name 8N is in reference to 7D, next December 7th, the day the government is supposed to take over the Clarín Media group which is the last bastion of free speech in Argentina. This is possible thanks to a recent media law called “Ley de Medios K” which the government swiftly approved so as to take over printed press, TV and radio.
Tonights 8N is a popular outcry against that, but also against the government not recognizing both the financial problems and most important, the crime problems that the K government refuses to admit. Most of my readers are well aware of this huge issue, and were often surprised not to see more reference to it from other sources. Tonights protest is an outcry to such censorship and denial of such an obvious problem that rips through the lives of Argentines each day.
This protest is a clear grass roots movement, organized by people that are simply fed up. Of course, politicians try to take advantage of the protest but due to popular request most politicians from opposing parties said that while they do support the claims of 8N, they will not go themselves or send people with flags so as to not pollute a legitimate popular claim. Unlike pro government “popular” rallies, these aren’t people that are paid to go protest and take the streets, these are mostly working class and middle class people that feel identified with what the protest stands for: Acceptance of the crime problem in Argentina, that the government acknowledges the true inflation instead of cooking the numbers, and that the government stops meddling with peoples business in terms of personal freedom and freedom of press. I’ll change channels if I don’t like watching one, you are not supposed to decide for me what I read, listen on the radio or watch on TV. Those that identify with these claims will have a chance to make themselves heard tonight. The protest is not only in Argentina, but also in other places where Argentines expats are living, most of us forced to live elsewhere because of the current situation in Argentina.
I don’t believe it will cause Cristina Kirchner to resign as president, even though she may want to after tonight. Most people are making it clear that they do NOT want her to resign, most just want her to listen and stop acting like a dictator (which she will not do, because that’s exactly what she is) but we learned the damage that kind of thing does to a democracy. I believe it might just stop her enough so as to not seek a change in the constitution for indefinite reelections. That alone will be enough. It may also give strength to other political sectors so that Argentina may have a true chance of finally rebuilding itself in the next elections. My American friends, take note. This could be you 1-4 years from now.
About threats, yes, I did receive them, but nothing too serious. Believe it or not it wasn’t easy to find me in Buenos Aires unless I wanted to be found. I even got threats from people who benefited from expats moving from US to Argentina, seems I was damaging their real estate business by telling the truth. I don’t know what kind of fool thinks Salta is a good place to live in but go figure. I got threats by email and got my website attacked many times because of that.