Noam Chomsky, an American linguist, philosopher, political activist and liberal critic of Western politics, has joined forces with over a hundred other public figures from around the world to speak out against Mauricio Macri’s government in Argentina.
In an open letter shared on Facebook by ex Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – surprise surprise! – Chomsky’s name heads a list of dozens of internationally renowned intellectuals, artists, political leaders and activists, all of whom have expressed their “fullest solidarity with the Argentine people who are facing neo-liberal policies from the Government of Mauricio Macri.”
Several Argentines are also included in the list of signatories at the foot of the letter, which has been shared as an appeal from the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity (REDH): politician Diana Conti, UBA professor Atilio Boron, three journalists and La Cámpora’s secretary for international policy, among others.
As well as expressing solidarity with Cristina, “who is suffering from an increasingly pronounced judicial attack that is being played out in the media,” the statement outlines what the REDH members see as “an alarming picture of assault on democracy in Argentina.”
“In just 15 months, Macri is responsible for thousands of layoffs in both the public and private sectors. He has devaluated the currency, taken away labor rights with the new ART law, and he has targeted retirees and their free prescription drugs. He has also tried to put a cap on wage claims in the face of an inflation rate that shows no sign of stopping,” reads the letter.
The letter, which counts on the support of architects and poets alike, continues: “The steep decline of economic activity, particularly in industry, is evident as poverty continues to grow: there are one and a half million people who have become poor since the beginning of Macri’s presidency, which shows the gravity of the situation.”
The human rights activists did not miss the opportunity to mention the highly controversial imprisonment of social leader Milagro Sala in the province of Jujuy, a case that has seen the intervention of various international organizations including the UN, Parlasur, OAS, and Amnesty International.
Nor were Macri’s own scandals neglected. The letter states: “During these months, Argentina has come into the public eye internationally due to a variety of corruption cases against the president and those around him: Panamá Papers, Odebrecht, Avianca, Correo Argentino, among others.”