Did you hear the one about democracy in Argentina?

Español: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, acto ...

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines democracy like this: “A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.”


According to that definition, Argentina only is half a democracy.  While allegedly having “free” elections, there is no hint of any supreme power that is vested in the populace and exercised by them directly.


The power and authority that rules in South America’s second largest country is well within the grasp of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her baby boy, Maximo.


With the death of Nestor Kirchner in 2010 his widow found herself at a loss when it came to support and counsel from trusted sources.  It was this vacuum that she first turned to her son Maximo for help, and he hasn’t stopped interfering.


Previously uninterested in politics or government, Maximo — derisively called Minimo — was known for his love of video games, drugs and partying.


When “Mom”, aka Cristina, asked for his help in setting up a youth brigade, Maximo gladly turned off the XBox and into the political arena.


An abstract published in April 2013 takes a hard look at how a group of young radical utopians has captured the Argentine state, collapsed the economy and institutionalized authoritarian rule.


If you’re quiet for a moment, you can almost hear the last gasp of a struggliing democracy already in it’s death throes.

In a recent column in Buenos Aires Herald titled, Disappearing democracy is a journalistic dilemma, Robert Cox wrote:

“But, to my mind, three things have happened within the past year that make it clear that this government is militantly anti-democratic: the embrace of Iran, using the pretext of an agreement to establish responsibility for the bombing of the Jewish community centre AMIA; a bombardment of laws to “reform” the judicial system; and, most recently, a brazen plan to take over the Clarín Group by an abusive use of the Comisión de Valores, the Argentine version of the US Securities and Exchange Commission.”


With the experiment called democracy crunching gears like a transmission in a 55 Chevy that has lost it’s oil, the future doesn’t look too hopeful.  Except to a small — and shrinking — knot of Kirchner supporters who refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation.


With regards to the future of democracy in Argentina, one of Cox’s correspondents wrote, “I will not lose hope as long as there is someone willing to defend the principles of Enlightenment, those that give people a chance to be free and to constantly improve themselves. Of course, there are many Argentines that share such a belief, but sometimes it’s hard to kindle those feelings when you see government acting with such impunity and disregard for basic human rights and civil liberties.”

One thought on “Did you hear the one about democracy in Argentina?

  1. Pingback: Paco and Pepe: Now the story includes corrupt government, drug smuggling, The Vatican and an informer | JourneyAmerica

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