Argentine Congressmen Tell U.S. Counterparts: Sovereignty Comes Before Speculators

A 14-member delegation from the Argentine Congress, representing both government and opposition parties, came to Washington, D.C., this week, to organize support for Argentina’s battle to defeat the speculative “vulture funds,” on behalf of the common good of their nation, and all nations.

The specific motive for the trip was to lay out Argentina’s case against the speculators, before the U.S. Supreme Court decision, now scheduled to be issued on Monday, on Argentina’s appeal of lower U.S. court rulings that order Argentina to pay a handful of “vulture funds” the full face-value of government bonds which those speculators bought for pennies on the dollar after those bonds were already in default.

Julian Dominguez, president of Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies and head of the delegation, made clear that they delivered a much broader message:

“What is at stake here is not only the role of Argentina,” Dominguez said; “what is also at stake is the role of sovereign States in the face of the speculative international financial system. The defense of States as institutions which ensure the organization of peoples is not a minor issue. If we renounce this, we renounce politics and accept handing the running of countries over to the international financial system.”

Argentina, he emphasized, is defending the role of States “as guarantors of a new world equilibrium, and guarantors of a more just international order.”

Driven into bankruptcy by 2003, its people starving and the nation disintegrating, then-President Nestor Kirchner told Argentina’s creditors that his country could only pay some 35% of its debt, because the survival of the nation and its people came before the debt. After tough negotiations, 93% of the creditors accepted reality, and reached agreements with the government. The 7% “hold-outs” now suing for full payment, are the vulture funds which, as Argentina’s Economics Minister Alex Kicillof reminded people today, “are lawyers and bankers who have the intention of liquefying nations, buying worthless debts and trying to obtain their full value, plus interests, plus penalties, and thereby make 1,600% profit.”

Thus, in their meetings, members of the delegation representing different parties and outlooks, conveyed “the conviction that the path chosen is one which makes history … which is a new path which forced the international juridical and political community to rethink a new way of respecting the role of States … as the guarantor of the general interest of their people,” Dominguez said.

Their three days in Washington were packed with meetings with U.S. Congressmen, Obama administration, World Bank and Inter-American Bank officials, business interests, and the head of the USA Jubilee Network, and an encounter with LPAC organizers and their “four points” banner outside of the Longworth office building.

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