Argentina: Former President Menem Launches Offensive to Sow Chaos

Carlos Menem, president of Argentina during the nineties, has designed an offensive on two fronts to be elected in the elections scheduled for 27 April 2003. His aim is to provoke a chaotic combination of financial crisis and social conflict to destabilize the government of his archenemy President Eduardo Duhalde.

Menem sees chaos as the only alternative to win the elections in view of the partial stabilization of the economy and lack of support in the population. This is why he has hardened his speech during the last weeks, promising to reintroduce army forces to control a possible social explosion. Menem instructed his followers, powerful and rich politicians in the outskirts of Buenos Aires and members of the Supreme Court of Justice, to act.

Leaders of social organizations, such as the Movement of Unemployed Workers, confirmed to the press that Menem's supporters are passing money to impoverished people to organize a wave of looting similar to the one that toppled former President Fernando De la Rua in December last year.

Luis Delia, leader of the democratic wing of the picketer movement, admitted: "it is true. There is a bad mood in Buenos Aires due to the precarious social situation." He added: "Menem supporters, the reactionary right, provoke chaos and try to make us responsible." "They not only look for an advance in the elections date, but they threat Argentine democracy."

As the political temperature heats up, the financial sector starts showing signs of losing stability, as without strictly economic reasons, the local currency has started slumping. One of the reasons is the certain decision of the Supreme Court of Justice, organism controlled by Menem's friends advanced a sentence to reinstate saver's deposits in US Dollars. This will certainly provoke a financial crack, as banks will not be able to afford payments and will go into bankruptcy. In turn, the government expressed concern about the reports: "We cannot close our eyes" before rumors of looting said Chief of Cabinet Alfredo Atanasoff. Apparently, the government handles secret information from the Intelligence Department. If those reports are correct, Menem supporters are paying rioters to provoke violence during the commemoration of the first anniversary of the popular uprisings that toppled De la Rua in 20 December.

Carlos Menem speaks about himself as the only candidate prepared to "reinstate order" in Argentina. The order to control "criminals and Marxists,” as one of his close collaborators expressed, can only follow chaos. This is why chaos is very much needed for him.

The political mood in Argentina is very similar to exactly one year ago, when more and more rumors about a civil commotion could be heard. Nowadays, everyone forecasts a strained December in this South American Country.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina

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