Argentina: Hunger and the Capitulation of the Political

By Silvana Melo and Claudia Rafael on March 16, 2022

Cordoba, photo: Bill Hackwell

Seven out of ten children in this wide world of the south see falling on their heads and in their bellies are the fierce splinters of political capitulation to the managers of fallen dreams, to the CEO’s of hunger, to the bosses of the world. Seven out of ten that will be eight when food is abruptly lacking in this country of fertile land with the excuse of a war 14 thousand kilometers away. A land where the ear of corn is identity increases its bread out of popular reach because of the wheat that Ukraine does not export. Food prices shot up by 7.5% in February in only 28 days. The INDEC does not point out glosses on the figures. It does not underline the poverty that climbs to millions when food goes to heaven and moves away from stomachs.

They, the owners of the land that the poor do not even have to drop dead on, cannot bear to give up a point of their obscene profitability. There is talk of retentions and the voice of those who shout the loudest is raised. Faced with the tragedy of millions of surpluses that destabilize the construction of this country for the few. Then the scarce political courage retreats indecorously. And the state declares itself impotent to regulate the exponential profit that shoots up with the same speed as the poverty of the anonymous. Those who are in the majority, at the bottom of the pyramid, but without the power to harm the elected.

In the midst of the hecatomb, the government is split in two in an atrocious internal fight that those anonymous ones watch from the outside.

The abdication before the International Monetary Fund is the noose around the neck in the face of the chieftainship of the world. The mortgage of a future that is no longer there, that is tomorrow, that is the abolition of happiness, that is the closure of calcium in the bones, of an open-minded growth, of white teeth, of a school that accompanies, of a hospital that prevents, of a life that does not end at 14 because of hunger, the consequence of a state that abdicates before the power but disciplines the punished.

It was the state that decided to pay an illegitimate debt, not contracted by the good serial payers. Those who humiliate themselves to sustain themselves in government, to the point of making pacts with the local partners of the world’s bosses. Those who used the government to indebt 45 million oblivious people and to siphon off 45 billion dollars. But now they feel morally authorized to demand to be exempted from public blame. And the small, lukewarm, pusillanimous government accepts it.

It is a noose around the neck of the owners of life and death in this quadrangle of land where dreams are drowned. Where access to bread, eggs and milk is falling down the sewers due to the impact of a war 14,000 kilometers away. Today bread, the symbol of food in the history of mankind, that which arrived during the Neolithic period shortly after the invention of fire, is close to 300 pesos per kilo, against 140 in December 2020 or 73 in 2019.

Today, war is the subterfuge when before it was the pandemic and further back, without any pretext whatsoever, for the simple need to respond to the demands of international creditors and large producers.

Obscene figures

The establishment media shamelessly expose the numbers of infamy. Argentina appears on the world’s financial maps as the third largest producer of honey, soybean, garlic and lemons. The fourth largest producer of pears, corn and beef. The fifth largest producer of apples; the seventh largest producer of wheat and oils; the eighth largest producer of peanuts. La Nación writes: “Argentina’s largest export complexes are the oilseed sector (soybean, soybean meal and pellets, oil, beans and biodiesel); the cereal sector (corn, wheat, among others); the bovine and automotive sectors”. Of course, these are not small producers who work the land in loving confluence with the Pacha. Cargill, from the United States, is the main exporter of grains, pulses, flours and vegetable oils (15.1 million tons). Cofco (China National Cereals, Oil & Foodstuffs), with 14.4 million tons, is the company in second place. And Viterra (ex Glencore Agriculture, of Canadian origin) in third place with 14.35 million tons.

Singenta’s CEO travels around microphones and television studios without a crack he talks to one and to all. He outlines with progressive calm, this world of technological packages, transgenesis and poisons that structures the extractive production model that puts the land and the people in check.

Seven out of ten children in this wide world of the South see the fierce shards of political capitulation to each one of the mega-companies that set the rhythm to which this portion of the earth must dance fall on their heads and in their bellies. While seven out of ten children hear the emptiness of their stomachs, exports to China increased by almost 37 percent in 2021; 32.6 percent to the Middle East; 32.4 percent to the European Union; 18.1 percent to USMCA (USA, Mexico and Canada); 7.2 percent to Mercosur; 3.2 percent to ASEAN (Southeast Asia).

Meanwhile, last September the Institute for the Promotion of Argentinean Beef announced that beef exports “grew by 25% in volume last August versus last July”. However, in order to calm consciences and mold the criticisms to their own standards, Miguel Schiariti, president of the beef chamber (Ciccra) clarifies these days: “We sell to the world products that are not consumed in the domestic market. To China go old cows and skinny animals, and a small amount of steak, rump and loin. To the United States and the EU we sell 3 year old steers, weighing 500 kilos, which are not consumed in Argentina either. Here, people prefer smaller animals, of 270 or 300 kilos, 18 to 24 months old”. How much meat, of old cow or skinny animal, of 300, 400 or 500 kilos animal, of loin or stew, went to the plate of those seven out of ten children? How long has it been since those children have seen a piece of meat? From where does the children’s bodies collect proteins? How can life be if that meat was the one that helped develope the brain so that humans could be thinking and lucid humans?

Argentina, they say, produces food for 300 million inhabitants. Who do not necessarily inhabit this land. The best food of this land is exported and fills with foreign currency the pockets of the super-producers, those who cannot be regulated in their obscene profit with one more point of retentions. The food that remains, the discarded, is for the surplus. The seven out of ten children. Who go hungry or eat badly.

The empty plate

While a model that focuses on extractivism has been deepening for decades. That was – and still is – capable of razing the forests to not leave a single centimeter of land unexploited. And that allows the use of more than 500 million liters/kilos of agrochemicals per year, capable of subjecting more than twelve million people to a daily poisoning as a result of fumigations.

Today an inflation rate of 4.7 percent is announced for February, the highest since 1991 in a single month. And 7.5 percent inflation in food. A blow to the daily table of those seven out of ten children in these devastated lands in the south of the world.

Meanwhile, Mauricio Macri -responsible for a fatal chapter of this calamity- will play the Bridge World Cup in Italy. And Alberto Fernández -responsible for this timorous capitulation- announces a war against inflation for the day after tomorrow. A war. When the world is bleeding to death. And the future looks tiny. Very small. Like the poor man’s dinner.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano