Argentina 2023 elections: Intellectuals call to vote for Massa

‘There is no common future under a government led by Javier Milei,’ they said

Sergio Massa gave his first speech as presidential candidate. Credit: Télam

Some of the country’s most renowned intellectuals, artists, and cultural figures have issued a statement calling to vote for Unión por la Patria (UxP) presidential candidate Sergio Massa in the November 19 run-off to stop far-right candidate Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza, LLA).

“The public conduct displayed by Milei and a sizable portion of his staff is against the democratic culture we stand for, which is needed to strengthen a plural and peaceful political community,” read the statement.

The text was signed by sociologist Carlos Altamirano, lawyer and academic Roberto Gargarella, human rights advocate Graciela Fernández Meijide, and filmmaker Mariano Llinás, among many others — including scholar and essayist Beatriz Sarlo, who nevertheless stated on Wednesday that she had been added by a friend and actually disagreed with the content.

The statement takes specific aim at the denialist comments made by Milei regarding state terrorism committed in Argentina during the 1970s dictatorship. “Their explicit denial of the human rights consensus enables a return to forms of state and political violence we believed were outgrown; and their proposal of a referendum-driven government anticipates a Cesarian and authoritarian practice that violates the national Constitution,” they said.

Mostly identified with the opposition to Peronism, the group of intellectuals had already issued a statement between the primaries and the October 22 general elections. In that text they asked that all parties agree on an alliance against Milei in case he made it to the runoff, calling to vote for “whoever runs against him, regardless of who that may be.”

“We believe the diagnosis we sketched in our previous statement is still valid,” they wrote now.

While the statement mentions the “doubts and fears” Massa’s background may raise, the signatories wrote about the need to “establish a democratic barrier against the danger posed by the authoritarian turn embodied by Milei.”

“While there are significant differences between those of us who sign this statement, we are joined by the conviction that there is no common future under a government led by Javier Milei”.


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