Argentina: Plenary of the left in Plaza Congreso

Come to decide and build a new course for the FIT-U

By Sergio García

The common call of our MST and the PO to a Plenary in Plaza Congreso for June 17, where we are going to debate and resolve on all pre-candidatures, politics, program and preparation of the left for the country to come, is not only the main political and collective initiative coming from within the FIT-U and the left, but it lays the foundations of a project of a Left Front that surpasses the one that exists today.

This is so because we value and defend the Left Front and at the same time we do it critically because of the electoral character of our front, something that we have always marked as a deficit and a limit that must be overcome, an issue that the comrades of PO and a great number of leaders, activists, friends and voters of our front, who expect a much better FIT-U, also see critically.

Faced with this reality, the new and positive thing is that the MST and the PO, the two parties of the FIT-U of greater national extension and militant organization, important social insertion and with representative referents in the left, have decided to give jointly a deep political battle, a project for the Left Front. That is what we are talking about, to further this whole debate and also to define how best to confront the capitalist parties, we are calling for this big plenary.

A method in defense of the Left Front

The political fight to which we refer implies that we are not dealing with a debate or fight over candidacies. Whoever pretends to reduce the current debate only to that loses sight of the essence of the debate and the perspectives. Because the agreement on the pre-candidacies of the MST and PO and the call for a big Plenary in Plaza Congreso is based on a debate of substance, of policy and method, to better prepare the left for the country to come. Where some of the forces of the opposition right wing or candidates of the government itself win, we will be in the presence of more austerity agreed with the Fund and worse attacks on democratic and social rights. For this perspective of strong social tensions and struggles, we on the left have to prepare ourselves and improve.

For that reason, when we summon different popular organizations, social and labor referents, from the socio-environmental and gender struggle, from the field of culture and human rights and intellectual friends of our front to come and debate and decide everything, we are opening a course of political openness that strengthens the Left Front. Taking valuable comrades and organizations out of the place of being only supporters or voters. We want, with the direct intervention of all our own militancy and of many invited sectors, to give more strength to the subsequent application of everything that is democratically resolved.

Therefore, by making this call and opening an important channel of participation for thousands, we are not only questioning an electoralist model that delays the intervention that the anti-capitalist and socialist left needs to make in the class struggle, but we are also acting in defense of the Left Front Unity that is at a crossroads: either the ideas and the parties that want a course of struggle and at the same time a democratic and convening one,are strengthened within the front or the more electoralist and lukewarm ideas will put the front itself at risk in the future with more hegemonism and closed-mindedness.

A Plenary of struggle and democracy that can decide everything

Thus, we redouble our call to the Plenary in Plaza Congreso, where thousands of workers, popular and youth militants from all of Greater Buenos Aires and CABA will participate, plus outstanding delegations from all over the country. There we will start with an opening act and then we will move on to a massive functioning in commissions where we will address essential issues such as the political situation, workers movement, youth, piquetero movement, health, education, socio-environmental struggles, women and diversities, democratic rights and culture, among other important commissions that will discuss in depth how the left should intervene in the elections and in the period that will be opened afterwards.

And just as we are inviting a great number of friends and front sympathizers to join us, we also did it from the beginning with the other parties of the FIT-U: the PTS and IS. These parties know that they are invited to come, to organize all together, to propose whatever they want, to debate and to decide among all. If the recent Electoral Conference of the PTS decided to reject the invitation and refuse to be part of a massive assembly and plenary, it is because it reaffirms its unipartisan formula and the deepening of a path that has been weakening the FIT-U. On our part we insist on the invitation and we will do so until the last day, to their parties, to all their militancy and to the thousands of supporters of our front.

Fallacies and fears of the PTS

As our Plenary is gaining strength and previous assemblies, meetings and all kinds of initiatives are taking place that are foreshadowing a massive event, the decision of the PTS to reject this democratic method to avoid going divided to the PASO leads it to disseminate arguments that are alien to reality. Among other things, in La Izquierda Diario, when reporting that its Conference once again reaffirmed the Bregman-Del Caño formula, it clarifies that it does so “within the framework of the unilateral decision on the part of the Partido Obrero accompanied by the MST to make its own list to participate in the PASO”. The nonsense of the statement knows no bounds.

In the first place, because it was the PTS who in the first part of 2022 announced its Bregman-Vilca formula, that is to say a unipartisan proposal, and reaffirmed the same orientation only changing Vilca for Del Caño at the beginning of this 2023. That is to say that the only “unilateral” and divisive decisions have been each of their announcements for more than a year, where they always, in one way or another, refused any common and democratic debate and proposed that only their party should head all the lists. Something that is confirmed in the agreement they are now announcing with Izquierda Socialista, where the PTS has not only the complete formula, but also heads the two positions of national deputies of Buenos Aires and CABA and also the list of legislators. That is to say, the PTS and its own formula head all the expected positions, while IS claims to be part of a joint list, which has little of joint, being placed in the role of a minor companion of the objectives of the PTS.

In order to ensure this hegemonic electoral set-up, which it evidently wanted to do from the beginning, is that the PTS refuses to this day to be part of a massive and democratic debate that could question it, that is why it did not even promote a debate in the FIT-U National Committee. Ultimately, it is afraid of a massive debate and of resolving among thousands. And to avoid a collective and democratic debate, it went to the extreme of denying thousands of unemployed workers in struggle, the right to decide within our front. In this way it ended up consummating its electoralist path and at the same time making an irreconcilable show of itself in front of the workers’ and piquetero’s vanguard, with positions alien to our class and hostile towards those who have the least and fight for genuine work.

The incoherencies of Izquierda Socialista

On the other hand, the actions of IS are a complete incoherence. It boasts of having proposed a unitary formula, which had nothing to do with unity, because there were only two names presented without any kind of political proposal or integral agreement for the whole front, and after that empty proposal, it finally goes to the feet of the hegemonist plan of the PTS and its closed and unipartisan formula.

As it ended up carrying out this political capitulation, it now tries to cover it up with fallacies that reach the edge of the grotesque. Days ago, in an article that unfairly attacks the Plenary that we summoned and to which it does not want to go, it also says: “From Izquierda Socialista we fight against any form of attempt of hegemonism, self-proclamation and breaking of agreements”. A phrase that leaves them at odds with themselves, since they have decided to campaign in the PASO for a hegemonist, self-proclaiming formula that is not part of any previous agreement. That is the sad role of the smallest organization of the FIT-U. Therefore, we invite those who honestly wanted unity in the PASO, to come to Plaza Congreso on June 17 to debate, propose, decide collectively and give support to the only united formula that the left will have in the PASO; the one that the MST and PO with Solano and Ripoll make up.

Let’s fill Plaza Congreso

Days of intense activity are coming in the run-up to the Plenary and the enthusiasm is growing from below. As we said at the beginning of this article, it is not only an Open Plenary of the Left and it is not only about pre-candidatures. It is the beginning of a path, of a course that dares to question the electoralist and politically lukewarm model that some want for the FIT-U, and strives on our part for a united Left Front, more politically solid and more open to the vanguard and to the sympathizers of the front. The Plenary lays the foundations of a path of anti-capitalist and socialist struggle, for a project of a Left Front that does not act only every two years when there are elections, but that strives to act with strength and jointly on a permanent basis, in every political and social struggle. A project that calls to play a leading role and to decide massively on all the important issues towards the strategic task of being a power option for a workers’ government. Under these ideas and criteria, we urge our militancy to spread this call with all its strength and prepare its participation from every place. And to the friendly organizations, social referents and activism that supports the FIT-U, we invite them to come with their proposals and ideas. In Plaza Congreso there is a place of struggle and political organization to strengthen the left and resolve everything massively and by voting. We are waiting for you in Congreso on the 17th, where the left will open its doors and begin to forge a better path.