Memoirs of a firestarter

Such should be the title of a future autobiography of ex-president Néstor Carlos Kirchner who –in spite of knowing of his little chance of winning- has made up his mind to bring to life a hypothesis which, a few years ago, seemed quite unlikely to be proved: the “Scorched Earth” maxim. An approach on the complex psychological pattern of Cristina Fernández’s husband. The pacts and secret agreements between the Government and alleged candidates from the opposition.

30 de Agosto de 2010
A curious modus operandi for a government that has struggled to spread the false impression of having regained voting intention amongst the middle classes and now decides to throw their petty achievements overboard. The artificially mounted skirmish against the internet service provider Fibertel -Grupo Clarín’s technological wing- aims its drumfire at the referred middle classes themselves, the target group of the official alluring policy. If De Vido’s extemporaneous desire could be translated to facts overnight and the aforementioned company closed its doors, its hundreds of employees, who earn a living there, and its more than a million clients, who are connected to their network, would pack together to oppose the Fernández de Kirchner’s Administration. If they haven’t done so yet, regardless of the consequences and the end of the story yet to be written. In fact, Sunday columnist for La Nación Joaquín Morales Solá, who has declared to be platonically in love with Elisa Carrió, is right when he states that this incident implies a downright attack on freedom. However, the political reality of Argentina today does not require a mostly heterogeneous attitude to analyse the current state of affairs. At times like the present one, the causes are usually rather simple and can be grounded on the ravings of an individual who has lost his bearings and, as expected, is ready to do whatever it takes in order not to surrender his command, built on the basis of shady business dealings and outrageous amounts of power. Guillermo Moreno may put on his best Corti boxing gloves as many times as he wants. He might even turn up at any petrol station, rocket launcher in hand, and threaten to blow it all if prices do not go back to the previous week’s registers. But evidently, the only reply he’ll get will be the same given to him by the captains of the oil industry: a long yawn condemning him to ostracism. The Secretary of Commerce, who follows the direct instructions of Néstor Kirchner has become a bore. The reference to Moreno and Fibertel in the opening paragraphs of this text is not accidental. The Fibertel episode resembles that soap opera in the distant past, in which Néstor Carlos himself rushed at Anglo-Dutch Shell on the grounds that this company refused to sell off its petrol stations at a vile price and offer them on a silver platter to the corrupt Argentine-Venezuelan consortium Enarsa, which managed to give rise to a costly bureaucracy without producing a single litre of fuel. As Shell did not agree to leave the local market, the executive order arranged all the pieces aiming at the disruption of its business. Just as they are trying to do with Fibertel today, due to the relationship between the ISP and the Magnetto-Herrera de Noble tandem. Like Moreno, Kirchner is a bore. Or rather a nuisance. Any Argentine president of our times should always expect the rejection of the citizens when crossing the finish line. Especially when their surname has been appearing in the newspaper headlines for so many years with a geometric recalcitrance. But all this time, in which political analysts have wasted their energy and dedication on commenting on irrelevant issues, many have been unable to grasp the certain fact that this guy is determined to destroy it all. Just as he didn’t care about the fate of the employees dismissed due to the poor economic performance of Shell, today he cares even less about the dark future that awaits the workers of Fibertel, if the company’s users moved en masse to other providers. Ricardo Echegaray, so far the head of the Internal Revenue Service, is another clear example of the Kirchnerist lack of interest policy, long ago transmigrated into an indisputable cynicism. While the entire National Congress targets him for removal once and for all, he doesn’t even hide the fact of having awarded himself state subsidies, gaily shielding behind his naïve wife, and, with his usual smile, announces the signing of agreements with his compeers in tax havens in Europe and the Caribbean to pursue the Argentinians who have their savings there. But Echegaray not only forgets about his own fiddles but also fails to bear in mind the lists of friends of the Kirchnerism who keep hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars in those sites, or others of the kind. And those names are now available to anyone and ready to be published if necessary. There are snakes of all shapes, colours and ideologies. Funds are usually twined around issues which are too sensitive to be disclosed to the citizens in the true compendium of activities in which Argentina's politics bases its dolce vita. These days comes to our minds the infamous name of a certain ex-mayor of Mar del Plata who saves up "pennies" in a bank in Gibraltar and frequents the grills of the “Happy City” at night as if nothing had ever happened. Closer in time, one may wonder how it is possible that Mr Florencio Randazzo doesn’t even bother to conceal his exploitation of a bingo hall and casino in his beloved birthplace, Chivilcoy. Let’s go back a little further in time to enlighten the reader about the proverbial hatred that Fernando "Pino" Solanas has (almost) always felt towards Carlos Saúl Menem. A contempt he has managed to materialize even in pathetic film productions. Few know that Pino and the man from La Rioja used to be great friends before 1989. It was almost a bosom friendship, as the one Aníbal Ibarra and Mauricio Macri once used to feed until they were separated by politics. But Solanas flew into a rage when he was literally "left out" of the business of what would later become the Galerías Pacífico Shopping Mall. Another consortium was granted the venture. The consequences are now well known: Fernando Solanas became one of the many references of a cynical and sick left wing that dedicates recurrent praise to Fidel Castro and communism from the questionable ethics of their gold credit cards and fancy flats on Del Libertador Avenue. As implausible as it might sound, leftish theorist and "semiologist" Eliseo Verón, from Roland Barthes’s school of communication theories, has ended up in the quarters of Duhalist Movimiento Productivo Argentino (MPA) to advise the candidate for some tens of thousands of pesos a month. Left to right and top to bottom, the Argentinian citizens have been tolerating an endless series of conspiracies, agreements and almost Mafioso codes of honour among seemingly rival politicians for the sole purpose of making money. In short, these are business partnerships set up in luxurious offices to continue betraying and fleecing a helpless society which has surrendered its blood to the last drop, literally. Néstor Carlos Kirchner and his wife strive to become the ultimate expression of said conspiracy, with one important difference: their addiction to power has ended up restricting their capacity for the most elementary reasoning. In an effort to protect the shady deals they have managed to build up since the days when they ruled over Santa Cruz with an iron hand, they’ll never accept the Game Over prerogative. In the words of our contributor and columnist, Mr Enrique Avogadro, "These people will never pass the presidential sash to anyone". For at least two years, the "Scorched Earth" scenario has hovered over the political landscape nationwide. People even miss those days when there was still room for doubt about that possibility. Well, today we, the "doomsayers", can credit with having been right. Because, for the Kirchners, insecurity in the shape of pregnant women shot when coming out of a bank, elderly people cruelly beaten, and stacked up corpses of police officers, is a topic for those bearers of the most vivid imagination. Because they strive to sack the employees of those companies that do not share their line of thinking. Because they do not hide their intention to smash to smithereens the household economies of millions of Argentinians by abruptly removing the subsidies for gas and electricity services (the costs of which rose by 36% and 93% respectively). These economies will literally be wiped off the map, as soon as President Fernández, inspired by a smiling Kirchner, rubbing his hands ecstatically, deletes the key benefit granted to the transportation companies. Because, just as a spark is enough to blow up a fuel tank, to condemn millions of wage earners (employees, workmen, janitors, etc.) to a gruesome and endless agony, it is only necessary to unexpectedly double the train and bus fares. No wonder, many even conjecture that Nero might have backed away at the sight of the conflagration he himself had caused. Contrary to what Néstor Kirchner does, maybe the Roman emperor would have kept a hint of mercy for the inhabitants of the Eternal City, amidst such a trail of death and misfortune. When trying to rationalize the behaviour of Cristina Fernández Wilhelm’s husband, one is reminded of Edgar Allan Poe's words in his short story entitled "The Black Cat." The main character in the story details the thoughts that crossed his mind when he decided to kill his beloved cat, Pluto: And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of PERVERSENESS. Of this spirit philosophy takes no account. Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart - one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such? This spirit of perverseness, I say, came to my final overthrow. It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself - to offer violence to its own nature - to do wrong for the wrong's sake only - that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute. One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree; - hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart; - hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offence; - hung it because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin - a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it - if such a thing wore possible - even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God. The preceding paragraph intends to show that trying to understand the political behaviour of the man from Santa Cruz may well result in nothing but a vain effort. The truly exasperating side to this matter is Kirchner’s absolutely irrational attitude toward the average citizen, against whom he goes, sometimes even grotesquely, while displaying the flair of a genius when it comes to sketching strategies designed to wipe out his political opponents. Let’s see: Mauricio Macri: The Mayor of Buenos Aires ended up as the target of heavy artillery from the Kirchnerist news generators, after the phone tapping incident. As a result, Macri has been extremely weakened to run for president. On the other hand, attacks from the ruling party come in recurrent waves and reports from the federal court of Norberto Oyarbide, for whom it is now impossible to cover up the favours owed to the Government –take as an example Cristina’s husband’s sworn statement of personal property. So, does Kirchner intend to improve Macri’s public image when attacking him? Or is it his goal to get rid of him for the 2011 equation? What’s the significance of the fact that they are both engaged in huge businesses on the side? Julio Cobos: El Ojo Digital has opportunely referred to the secret meeting between Vice President and Kirchner, together with their henchmen. The goal was to settle a non-aggression pact and support the vice president as the next president of Argentina, as he represents the "lesser evil" for the current government. Once the vice president came to power, he would elude the investigation and prosecution of former Kirchnerist officials. Eventually, businesses would remain “safe” for another four years. Ricardo Alfonsín: Naively, “the Statesman’s Son" fell into the trap of being photographed with Julio De Vido a few weeks ago. This incident entailed a rift between Elisa Carrió and the Radical Party. The direct consequence of this schism almost caused the implosion of the structure of Radicalism, which observes Julio César Cobos’s dilution -now the Government does not come down on him- and that day after day is getting used to the idea that Alfonsín’s rhetoric is now confined to the alleged achievements of his father. However, in recent days, a rumour was started that neo-alfonsinism had also been tempted by Kirchner to come to an agreement having their sight set on 2011 and, at the same time, relegate "dissident" Peronism in Congress, making things more complicated for them when facing society and the presidential election. Mario Das Neves: The man from Chubut has too much to hide on the grounds of the close relationship he has held with Kirchnerism since 2003. Some of this information has to do with the contributions made by the oil company Pan American Energy to his political campaigns in Chubut. Néstor Carlos puts pressure on the Portuguese -as Asís calls him- to run in the primary elections to be organized by the ruling party as Cristina's husband’s sparring. In a neon sign, the fight should be announced with the words "Legitimisation wanted". Meanwhile, Das Neves operates and mounts his unbearable mediatism, disarming and causing distress, discomfort and anger among the troubled political space of Federal Peronism. Carlos Reutemann and Eduardo Duhalde: "Lole" is the main star in the latest news. Seemingly, kirchnerist heavyweights have informed him of the government's interest to agree to his coming to the fore as a presidential candidate. The goal, in this case, would be to overshadow Eduardo Duhalde, seen by Néstor Kirchner as the one who would review the entire K-management. To wipe the man from Lomas de Zamora off, Kirchner has ordered the payment of succulent sums to opinion pollsters so that they wouldn’t even include him in the voting intention polls and, incidentally, fragment the whole political spectrum. The supplement to the ruling party’s strategy is the continual "show up cooperatives", in the words of Duhalde himself, to stop him from appearing in public. Kirchner needs Reutemann to take part in his primary elections and win (the former president knows he could never win, but he doesn’t need to). To persuade him to do so he has prepared thick "files" which reveal how the grants for waterworks agreed by Lole in his province ended up worsening, later on, the flood scenario. Then there’s the issue about the "embarrassing” photos. The Duhaldism, meanwhile, observes the present political scene. The handshake between Luis Barrionuevo and Geronimo "Momo" Venegas aerates the chances of an alliance, while the categorical and extremely shameful failure of Carlos Brown as campaign manager for the man from Lomas leaves the door open to the dismissal of those who caused trouble instead of obtaining positive results in the "persuasion campaigns", Miguel Ángel Toma included. Finally, Brown himself will see his chances of once again becoming the mayor of San Martín curtailed, as the mishandlings in his office between 1987 and 1991 are well known and are already in the hands of his internal enemies. Besides, the gastronomic union leader Barrionuevo is making great strides in that district. Meanwhile, some influential personages keep on putting pressure on Duhalde’s bursting into the scene and argue that if he doesn’t do so now, Kirchner will be the only one to take advantage of this situation and then it will be too late. As always, the hand of the President’s consort is present in every possible scenario. At times, he seems to have bilocation skills. There is an obvious question within the Duhaldism by this time: Has Kirchnerism been responsible for the appointment of Eliseo Verón in Eduardo Duhalde’s campaign management? Is the semiologist a “mole” or double agent who reports to offstage individuals who set off for the Pink House to “submit the report"? Finally, has "Tato" Brown been the naive victim of a clumsy operation? Kirchner is always in the news. This is undeniable, no matter whether he’s doing well or not. As part of the newsworthy effort inserted in the ruling party’s strategy to monopolize the headlines, we can see these days the ever dubious issue of the "struggle" between him and the President of the Nation to find out who has a greater "right" to run for President in 2011. Is it so unlikely that Néstor Carlos Kirchner have been the architect of this idea, in an attempt to sell a fake confrontation with his wife and, incidentally, hyper-fragment the presidential scenario by competing against her? Evita vs. Perón. Cristina vs. Néstor. Even when the consideration of this possibility may, to some, sound like fiction, it is worth remembering that the Argentina of the Kirchners has trespassed not only the boundaries between reality and unlikeliness, but also those of the starkest and most harrowing surrealism. Matías E. Ruiz, Editor, El Ojo Digital - Politics. Twitter: e-Mail:
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