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The Kirchners fly to New York

By Tony Pagliaro

Buenos Aires 14.09.06 | This week, Néstor and Cristina Kirchner will be in New York, besides the fact that their friends are in Havana, celebrating the transfer of the presidency of the “Non Aligned Movement” from Malasia to Cuba, that will run it for the next three years. Once in the Big Apple, they will close a New York Stock Exchange round (this will probably be the first time they step on Wall Street) and attend a meeting at the Council of the Americas, where a pro-Kirchner Susan Seagal will pretend that the Argentine investment climate is one of “business as usual”. At home, Mr. Kirchner does not meet with American investors and is always attacking the business community.

Notwithstanding the above, it is crystal clear that the Kirchners are definitely not US admirers. Instead they belong to the group of followers Messrs. Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro have in Latin America. In fact, Néstor Kirchner has just announced that Argentina will soon return to be a Member in the “Non Aligned Movement”, a “Third World” organization which the country willingly left in the mid 90’s.

In addition, Miguel Bonasso, a former guerrilla leader in the 70’s -and a Marxist and an outspoken admirer of Fidel Castro- now a “Kirchnerist” Member of Argentina’s Lower House, is proposing another gift for Fidel. He wants Argentina’s Congress to forgive and condone Cuba’s gigantic debt with this country. We talk about 1,9 billion dollars that were borrowed in the 70’s and still remain unpaid, since the Cuban regime never, ever, intended to pay back what it received as export financing from the Argentine Peronist Government. A leading Argentine journal, “La Nación” has just proposed that Argentina repays monies recently borrowed from Venezuela, in excess of a billion dollars, with the Cuban promissory notes it holds. If this could be done, Chávez should be free to forgive Castro as much as he may want; after all, he is swimming in “petrodollars” like never before. Will Ms Susan Seagal dare to publicly talk (in front of her pal, the Argentine Consul in New York, Mr. H. Timerman, a mediocre journalist suddenly turned into Ambassador) to the American business community about how the Kirchners fully control now every corner of the Argentine Judiciary through its “Consejo de la Magistratura”?

How they carefully “manage” most of the local press?

How they have recently been confronted by a peaceful and silent multitude which covered May Square requesting personal security?

How the Bishop of Misiones, Monsignor Piña, is now confronting in the local political arena (while leading the polls) one of the closest allies of the Kirchners, Misiones’ Governor Rovira who (like most “Kirchnerist” governors) has called for a constitutional amendment to eliminate all restrictions to his eternal re-election?

How Mr. Kirchner’s friends have structured a “loyal” group of entrepreneurs who enjoy immense subsidies for their benefit, at the expense of those who still belong to Argentina’s underclass?

How public funds are constantly used for populist purposes, including but not limited to, directly purchasing votes in exchange for money or public favors?

Probably not.

But the Kirchners will be able to enjoy NY’s shopping (that refurbished Senator Cristina really adores) but unable to lure new investors into Argentina, where they have an unrealistic exchange rate; all kinds of direct and indirect subsidies; frozen public services rates; and a complete “voodoo” economic for the sole benefit of those who “know” about “voodoo”, i.e. “how to stay close” to the Kirchners.

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