Argentina permits only blame-Bush protests


Argentina's leader, Nestor Kirchner is a leftist jackass who's best remembered for sending his Hillary—ish first lady to sit in a prominent place at the 2004 Democratic National Convention to nominate John Kerry. Argentina was a big presence in the ranks of short—sighted countries (and the French were smart enough not to be among them) who Bet Wrong on the reelection of George Bush. Other than that, he's a closer friend of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro than he is of us here in the U.S.

Like any leftist, he's also running his country into the ground. The poverty rate in Argentina, at 40% remains nearly the same as it was 2001 and 2002 after the government froze bank deposits, forcibly converted dollar savings to local pesos, devalued those local pesos, and then stiffed the country's bondholders for $100 billion, something they've since repaid at 30 cents on the dollar and called square. Around that time, Argentina ran through 6 presidents in two weeks, but has since stabilized with Kirchner, who isn't exactly popular. Today, young Argentines in huge numbers, about 38%, tell pollsters they still want to leave the country as soon as they get their university degrees, a real brain drain. With a government like that, nobody calls Argentina a 'first—world' country these days and few want to build a future there.

But that's brought protests against the government, ever bigger ones. And that government isn't particularly stable to start with. Argentina's president secured his own nomination in a gerrymandered election that skipped primaries and won on less than half the popular vote. So he's got a popularity problem as he continues the same crummy course of economic action that laid Argentina economically low in the first place.

Kirchner props his failing political fortunes up by Blaming Bush. A splendid blogger, Expat in Argentina, has a great post about how the Kirchner government is granting permits for protests against President Bush, who arrives there this weekend for a summit, but has denied them to anti—government protests. How do you like that little bit of Argentine hypocrisy?

Hat tip: Global Voices

A.M. Mora y Leon 09 11 05