David Rey reports from Argentina on the current economic and political situation. The economic plight of the workers has got worse since the events of last December, and the initial euphoria has given way to a more sober attitude. The streets are still in the hands of the masses, whilst the representatives of the capitalist system keep their heads low to avoid retribution. But the movement remains as strong as ever. Duhalde is very weak, trapped between the demands of the IMF and those of the masses. As the situation worsens, Argentina is headed for another upsurge.

The events of last December are a warning of what will happen in one country after another in the coming period. The Argentine revolution is a complete answer to all the faint-hearts, cowards, sceptics and cynics who doubted the ability of the working people to change society. It deserves the most careful study by all workers. As events unfold there will be periods of ebbs and flows, victories and defeats, before a decisive settlement is reached. But sooner or later, the question of power will be posed, and must be solved.

President Duhalde has announced that elections will be brought forward to March. This news comes after the damage caused to the government by the brutal repression of the piqueteros at the end of June, with civil war raging inside the Peronist party, and constant harassment from the IMF pressurising the government to apply austerity measures. Against a backdrop of sharpening economic and social tensions, Duhalde is in an untenable position. David Rey looks at the tasks of Marxists in the upcoming elections and the need for organisation and a clear socialist programme.

The mobilisations that have developed in Argentina in the last weeks, in particular the uprising of 19-20 December, are without precedent. This is the first time in the long tradition of working class struggle that an elected government has fallen directly and immediately as a result of mass street protests. It was an insurrection that has clearly shown that the whole middle class, as well as the working class, mobilised against the De la Rúa government.

The revolutionary situation which opened up in Argentina with the insurrection of December 19 and 20, and which led to the overthrow of two governments in just one week, is far from over. All political analysts agree that this as one of the most turbulent periods in the country's history. The fundamental factor, which must be stressed, is the great leap forward in the consciousness of the masses. This has led them to begin a process, which daily grows wider and deeper, of active political participation at all levels, particularly through the formation of Popular Assemblies.

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