Cristina Kirchner: trapped in a past that will not return

Like those soldiers who, in order to save democracy, used to overthrow elected governments that in their opinion were undermining it, Cristina Kirchner and its parishioners are toying with the idea that Argentina has departed from the system to which even the most brutal dictators pay homage and that therefore they have the right to do whatever is necessary to remedy a situation that they do not like at all. They say they believe that a disastrous alliance of “hegemonic” media, the judiciary and an opposition dominated by the neoliberal right it is transforming the country into an anti-popular tyranny.

This is a slightly modified version of the speech that was employed by Montoneros and other supposedly revolutionary bands from fifty years ago to justify the murder of those who, in their opinion, represented the old regime. Although many characters have continued to think the same way, refusing to abandon “ideals” of their own golden years, almost all have so far preferred to pretend to regard the prevailing system as legitimate, but as fears intensify that their cause will suffer a catastrophic electoral defeat, the most distraught, including the vice president who did more than anyone to shape the government nominally headed by Alberto, have begun to disqualify him.

Cristina says that her place in the world is The Calafate. Well then, its place in time is the decade of the seventies. He feels nostalgic for the truths, as simple as they are forceful, of those days when many young people were willing to kill or die for doctrines based on a mixture of telluric nationalism and fanciful socialism, very similar to those elucidated by those who, more than half a century before, they would make europe and much of asia a slaughterhouse. Fortunately, the generation to which he belongs Cristina could not specifyr the genocidal projects of the most fanatical. Even so, the survivors, committed to an ideology that was already anachronistic when they improvised it, and their both biological and intellectual descendants, managed to take advantage of the mistakes and crimes committed by the military regime, in addition to the help provided by Néstor Kirchner, to gain political power and enjoy the many benefits it would provide them.

In doing so, they ensured that the country would continue to degrade into the home of a growing multitude of barely literate poor, a vanishing middle class, a pulverized economy and a corrupt political elite and fabulously inefficient whose members, with a few exceptions, are more interested in the positions that allow them to live off the State than anything else.

Now, more than fourteen years have passed since Elisa Carrio, accompanied by other members of the Civic Coalition, formally denounced Cristina for systematically plundering the country by awarding public works contracts in Santa Cruz to companies in the Former cashier Lázaro Báez. If Justice had worked well, the case would have been resolved in a few months, but it would seem that here, as in Italy, few jurists are concerned about “justice delayed is justice denied”, which is why Carrió had to wait until the political power of the main defendant was reduced enough so that prosecutors and judges could do their job properly.

Did the judges act prematurely? Federal Oral Court 2 by sentencing her to six years behind bars and, of course, disqualifying her from performing public functions? Given that for now it is only a theoretical sentence, since before reaching the Supreme Court, which will have the final word, it would be necessary for the matter to overcome some judicial obstacles, Cristina could remain free thanks to the privileges that serve to prevent prominent politicians from being forced to obey the law as if ordinary citizens.

Defiant, the vice president, who has just enriched her academic resume with a honorary doctorate from Rio Negro, I would like to bet that even without privileges she is still so popular that no one would dare stop her and then force her to wear an electronic bracelet while, due to her age, she completes years of house arrest in the far south. She is further saying that the Kirchnerists insist that, although according to them she has been “outlawed”, she should run for a significant elective position. It’s not that they all care about the boss’s well-being, but they know that without her name on a list, her ability to garner votes would be cruelly diminished.

The panic that the stories of the Kirchnerists feel can be understood. Cristina’s power is so personal that she has not been given the chance to form viable successors. Máximo Kirchner, Wado de Pedro, Jorge Capitanich and Axel Kicillof they are far from convincing presidents. Alberto may be exaggerating when he claims he measures up to all of his putative rivals except Cristina, but he doesn’t do it by much.

Of the pro-government supporters, the most promising candidate would be Sergio Massa; however, there are reasons to believe that, in the lady’s opinion, it is a replica of Alberto equipped with sharp teeth that, given the opportunity, she would not hesitate to use against her. By the way, if, despite the failure of his management as Economy Minister, Massa chose to try his luck and managed to take advantage of the confusing political scrum to win the presidency – which, thanks to the disturbing presence of Javier Milei, would be at least less feasible-, the first thing that would be to reconcile with the power of attorney offering him Cristina’s head.

Are the most intransigent Kirchnerists in a position to defend their boss by causing a “quilombo” so noisy that it would shake the democratic institutions so that the other frightened politicians decided to leave her alone? TOAlthough they have threatened to do so, its efforts to organize an “operational clamor” to that effect have been counterproductive; all they have done is draw attention to how difficult it is today to persuade people to participate in previously successful political maneuvers.

It is paradoxical, but despite the fact that according to the surveys Cristina enjoys a level of support that is enviable according to current standards in a society as fissured as Argentina’s, it would seem that few are tempted to number in public demonstrations called to support her. by the professional militants of La Cámpora, which suggests that, if someone endowed with more charisma than Milei emerges, let’s say, he could sweep many districts that the Kirchnerists believe are eternally theirs even when their political proposals bear no relation to those claimed by traditional populists.

What is the reason for the power that Cristina still exercises? The fact that, despite all her efforts, she has not been able to lend it to any member of her environment, suggests that she is totally oblivious to her presumed ideological preferences. Do you have charisma? Judging by its long leading role, it would seem so, but it only works with certain sectors of the population. There will also be an incident of the extreme conservatism that is typical of such sectors and that explains the lasting appeal of Peronism; once a supposed benefactor is identified, they are reluctant to turn away. It is for this reason that, for the Peronists, “loyalty” is the fundamental virtue; if it weren’t for the insistence of its supporters on overlooking the failures of most of the governments they have formed, “the movement” would have fizzled out many decades ago.

Still, there are increasing signs that respect for the law is winning the long tug-of-war with politics. When Carrió accused Cristina of having created a system to divert public funds to her own bank accounts and those of her accomplices, the supremacy of politics was indisputable, but in the following years it would weaken so that, little by little, Justice began to liberate itself until reaching the current situation in which, to restore the previous status quo, the country would have to abandon its democratic pretensions.

For now, the greatest threat facing democracy is not the one posed by enraged Kirchnerists who wanted to return to the 1970s, but rather the fearful economic crisis, which has been aggravated by the management of the government armed by Cristina , provoke unmanageable social states. A few months ago, it seemed that the Kirchnerists believed that it would be convenient for them to try to curb inflation, hence the support they offered Massa, but I would be surprised if the most Machiavellian did not think that, given the circumstances, it would be in their interest to pour gasoline on the flames From their point of view, the nineteenth-century Russian revolutionaries who coined the motto “the worse, the better” will have been right, since, if they allow the country to remain faithful to the national Constitution, there will be no way to prevent the Supreme Court from ratify the sentence of the Federal Oral Court 2 and, what for many would be even more alarming, launch a general offensive against corruption that has done so much damage to Argentine society.

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