Written by Pablo Bordón
Monday, 14 July 2014 03:09
The recent decision of the Supreme Court of the U.S., endorsing the decision previously made by the judge Griesa, ruled that the Argentinean government must pay the entire bill claimed by the Vulture Fundsthat didn’t accept the last bonds swap.
This rule is a new leap forward in the imperialism policy of pillage, using the fraudulent external debt as its main mechanism, and subjecting Argentina to the U.S. justice. At the same time, the announcement by the government of starting “negotiations” with the Holdouts, which has the support of the bourgeois opposition, it’s another deep move into the policy of submission.
The Argentinean government should pay, in cash, US$ 1,300 million, the amount claimed by the vulture funds. This payment could trigger demands from other creditors – the bondholders who participated in the restructuring of 93% of the Argentinean debt in 2005 – for similar terms totaling around US$ 15 billion. They could do it relying on the clause of the “most favored creditor”, included by Néstor Kirchner in the first swap. The possibility of the country going into default worries the IMF itself, which fears a possible collapse with international consequences.
By this time, you should be asking yourself: “who´s going to pay that bill?”. The answer, unfortunately, is not different from what has been happening for years of foreign debt payment, a huge plunder: the workers and the masses will pay for it, with wage cuts, increasing taxes (known as “tarifazos”) and higher inflation, more layoffs and job suspensions, higher income tax, more cuts on public education and health.
Do the government and the bourgeoisie opposition confront the vulture funds?
Before the scandalous ruling, the government intends to be, as always, a defender of our sovereignty and, together with the entire bourgeois opposition they seek for a new “negotiation” with the vulture funds. Even the guys of La Cámporatook out their anti-imperialist masks (probably the same ones they used when they announced a 100% Argentinean YPF…) and covered the streets with banners trying to pretend they resist the pillage. But no one believes them that anymore. The necessity of Cristina’s government to use a double speech is actually a consequence of their desperation to try to hide their policy of submission to imperialism and the IMF, which brings only more and more payment demands.
The government and the opposition try so hard to hide that the story of the vulture funds is not new. In 2005 and 2010 the government had already restructured the debt, giving huge advantages to the majority of the creditors (almost 93%) who accepted the settlement. The problem is that the “vultures” have no limits when it comes to pillaging.
The Argentinean government, backed by the parliamentary opposition, did their homework. So, they compensated Repsol with around US$ 10,000 million, after the re-nationalization of YPF, and then gave the oil and gas field of Vaca Muerta to the American Chevron. But the holdouts wanted more. So, the government passed the New Oil Act, which allowed the exploration of oil by fracking at the expense of the destruction of our territory.
But the holdouts wanted more and more. So Cristina signed the payment to the Paris Club up to the last penny they claimed, including the debt contracted by the military dictatorship. Just to be the “best pupil”.
This government, which calls itself “national and popular”, took a leap in its political submission, accepting that the decision of what, how and when to pay the debt comes from… the U.S. Legal system! But the usury from the foreign debt, the thirst for plunder of the imperialism and its multinational companies, and their attempts of colonisation have no limits.
The scam of the foreign debt
The so called “foreign debt” that our governments – the current and the previous ones – always “honored” is nothing else but a mechanism of usury and the major tool used by the imperialism to perform an endless pillage. That’s why the foreign debt is impayable. A debt of illegal origin, with no records at all, and the major part of it coming from private debt (as Techint’s debt, a private company) which the state took over paying usurious interests. Although the country pays more and more, the debt continues to increase.
All governments and bourgeois politicians have always tried to make us believe that there was no other choice but to keep paying. That, if we didn’t pay, there would be no investments, we’d be isolated and the situation would worsen, and even posing it as a moral issue, that “debts have to be paid”, by appealing to the honesty of the workers and the people. But the truth is that the consequences of continuing to pay are to the detriment of the living conditions of workers and the poor people.
The well-known “investments” are for the multinational companies which exploit and plunder our resources, and the “inclusion” is actually the advance of the economic and political colonisation of our country, and the only immorality here is to continue pillaging us with an usurious, illegal, illegitimate and fraudulent debt.
The only way out is the no payment
Contrary to what the looters and their puppet governments have always tried to make us believe, there is another way out for the benefit of the workers and popular sectors. That way out begins by stop paying the scam debt and not sending a single penny more to the vultures, and to spend those billion dollars in our economy in favor of the workers; in the service of improving health and education or to carry out the necessary public works and a strong public investment to leverage our resources.
Drive forward a major mobilization against the vultures and the no payment of foreign debt!
The fight against the vultures’ looting and the foreign debt is a fundamental part of the workers’ and people’s struggles in defense of our rights. That’s why it’s vital to promote a broad mobilization; a real struggle to impose that not a single penny more is paid out to the vulture funds favored by Griesa’s ruling, nor any of the other “vultures” of the foreign debt.
The elected representatives of the Left and the Workers’ Front (FIT) should immediately call a meeting of all sectors that claim to be anti-imperialists, the organisations that have advocated the non-payment of foreign debt, to start a wide movement for the no payment.
The FIT can and should stand as an alternative in this fight for the thousands of workers and the youth that are under illusions about the Kirchner’s government, believing that it faces imperialism and the pillage they make. This is the way to make them see how the policy of “serial payment” of Cristina only leads to more submission and dependence.
The condition to properly respond to this challenge is to avoid the parliamentary maneuvers of “compromise” or the system of democracy for the rich. We need to push a movement to impose the rupture with the plunders and the no payment, avoiding the blind-alley demands of “consultations” or “referendums”.
We also need to demand that the CGT and the CTA break their silent complicity with the government and the bosses and join the call for this mobilization of not paying the vultures and against this leap in the submission of the country.
The fight against the debt payment is not only a struggle of our country, it’s the same fight of all the workers in our continent and the world. The movement for the no payment should also be directed to all the Latin American nations to join forces in the resistance to the imperialist plunder, demanding the governments to break their submission agreements.
From Argentinean PSTU and the IWL-FI we are committed to carry forward with all our forces this fight in each of the places where we are, both in Argentina and in other countries, to end the imperialist plunder and conquer the Second Independence.
The figures of a scam*
> 2003 Debt: US$ 145 billion.
> Payments made by both Kirchner governments in the last 10 years: over US$ 140 billions.
> Current Debt: US$ 210 billion (including the vulture funds and the Paris Club)
* Figures by the government. According to other sources, the public debt, including the provinces’ debts and recent agreements, like US$ 10 billion in bonds to Repsol, goes up to US$ 300 billion.
Source: Avanzada Socialista n° 69, June, 2014.
The term is a metaphor used to compare the fund to the behavior of vulture birds “preying” on debtors in financial distress by purchasing the now-cheap credit on a secondary market to make a large monetary gain; in many cases, leaving the debtor in a worse state.
Peronist group, today the main part of Cristina Kirchner’s government.