Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nestor Kirchner dies. A Statesman has left the building....

For people of our generation (30-something), the death -today- of former Argentine president Nestor Kirchner, and husband of the current president Cristina Fernandez at age 60 due to a heart attack, has hit us hard.

There was a man that came in 2003, when the country sunk into the abyss of IMF policies and death spiral of high debt and austerity measures, and came with a different speech, something unheard of in previous decades... a speech about regaining trust in our abilities, rebuilding the role of the State and public policies, boosting education, science and technology, and kicking out the IMF and its failed policies.



 


And he did all that, plus repaying debt to the IMF, and doing the exact opposite of what neocons wanted. Argentina has been enjoying high growth rates and low unemployment ever since. Not to mention his human rights policies of prosecuting human rights abusers by repudiating amnesty laws that favored the torturers and killers during the late 1970s so-called "dirty war" by the military junta.


On the foreign policy level, Kirchner was essential in the regional integration policies and the creation of UNASUR, the union of South American countries, and thanks to it, solving political crises in Bolivia and Ecuador.

So, thanks Nestor Kirchner.

Thanks for creating "Encuentro", the public educative TV channel.

Thanks for ending the failed private pensions system.

Thanks for recovering the national public airline, Aerolíneas Argentinas

Thanks for recovering the national mitiary airplanes factory, FMA.

Thanks for the biggest public works programme in recent argentine history.

Thanks for boosting education, science and technology budgets.

Thanks for encouraging local production of all things tech, from software (with the Software Industry promotional Law), to High-tech (Radars at INVAP).

Thanks for having SANE fiscal policies, of DUAL SURPLUSES (fiscal and trade surpluses).

Thanks for recovering the role of public policies and public works.

Thanks for restoring our faith in politics, and sane public policies.

A Statesman has left the building.

I for one, will continue supporting your wife, Cristina Fernández, with my vote.

History will do justice to his work and vision.

FC

4 comments:

CASPA DE MALDITOS said...

Vamos Nestor!!!!!

Anonymous said...

My belated condolences with the passing of Nestor Kirchner.On your comment about his contribution to education and science programs.The strikes by students and scholars this year seems to contradict your statement. General comments in the media seems to indicate neglect specially on education and maintenance of facilities.This is apparently an old problem.Please put me in the picture

Peter

Nerd Progre said...

Dear Anonymous.... the strikes by students where in the CITY of BUENOS AIRES, and AIMED at whom maintains those schools, the CITY OF BUENOS AIRES (the BA Mayor).

See, Buenos Aires is a Federal Republic. While elementary schools once used to be in the hands of the federal government, the privatization wave of the 1990s threw most education into the hands of each Provincia (State), without the required funding allocation, of course (Federal budgets were not passed back to the provinces, which lead to decaying infrastructure in the 1990s, and very little, if any, new schools being built during that decade).

During the government of personal friend of George Bush the elder, our Carlos Saul M.nem, a poster boy for the IMF and so-called "economic reforms"- it was also decided to de-emphasize the "escuelas técnicas" (secondary schools with an industrial degree).

So, in a nutshell, you got your information right. Students were protesting last year against Buenos Aires city mayor and tycoon Mauricio Macri and his handling of public schools.

Second, the Kirchners enacted very important laws during their tenure:

1. LEY DE FINANCIAMIENTO EDUCATIVO (2006): (Public Education Funding Bill). Ley 26.075
http://www.me.gov.ar/ley_financ.html

Which establishes a minimum percentage of GDP to be alocated to education. As a result of this, future governments won´t be able to cut back on education investment -as many have done in the past- to balance the books.

Among other things...

Here´s a presentation:
http://www.slideshare.net/guest497a8f/presentac1-540225

As a result, public investment in education (both infrastructure and teachers´ pay) has increased year/rear.

http://corrientespais.com/ciudad/la-inversion-en-educacion-se-ha-quintuplicado-por-dia-al-menos-una-escuela-se-recupera.html

2) He boosted industrial schools, destroyed during the 1990s
http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=657406

So, anonymous, you´ve got a lot to learn about the country. Thinking you know about Argentina by reading only the right wing press, is akin to saying one knows the US of A and the "true America" by reading the Washington Times.

FC

Nerd Progre said...

errata: "year/rear" = year/year

"you´ve got your information right" = "you´ve got your information partly right and partly wrong".

I shouldn´t type with my netbook ... half asleep and on the bed :)

FC