One year ago, shortly before Christmas, the world was shaken by reports of a popular uprising in Argentina. In extraordinary scenes, recalling the fall of Saigon, President De la Rua had to escape in a helicopter from the roof of his Presidential palace, fleeing from his own people. In less than two weeks Argentina had four presidents. In this important article Alan Woods who has just returned from Buenos Aires draws a balance sheet of the stormy events that have shaken Argentina since the uprising one year ago, and points the way forward.

The results of the first round of the presidential elections show that the period of instability that began in Argentina a year and a half ago has not ended. The massive scattering of votes also reveals the high level of discontent present in all layers of society. These elections mark a new milestone in the social and political situation in Argentina.

The measures adopted and announced by the Kirchner government during its first few weeks in power have triggered a very lively debate within the Argentine labour movement. In addition to this, there is also another debate within the left itself on the nature of the current stage of the mass movement that began with the "Argentinazo" uprising in December 2001.