Argentinian education workers 24-hour National Strike

Members of the Argentinian teaching union CTERA address a rally

On Monday, the Confederation of Education Workers of Argentina (CTERA) held a 24-hour national strike against the far-right President Javier Milei’s policies.

The education workers including teachers are demanding salary increases to compensate very high inflation and reject budget cuts affecting public goods and services.
The strike also opposes the elimination of the National Teacher Incentive Fund (FONID) and the Salary Compensation Fund.
Before the strike last Thursday, education workers held an assembly in which they ratified the need to mobilise to prevent the destruction of public education.
CTERA, which is one of the largest trade unions in Argentina, stated that the national strike was very successful with demonstrations across the country.
From the early hours of Monday, teachers began to gather in front of the Pizzurno Palace, the headquarters of the Education Ministry, in Buenos Aires.
Among the resolutions adopted at the CTERA assembly are demanding the formation of the national bargaining table and convening a meeting of secretaries to continue the struggle plan if no responses were received by Wednesday.
The education workers also decided to condemn political persecution and the repression protocol set by Security Minister Patricia Bullrich and to strengthen unity among teachers, workers, and citizens to build a major national strike.
Meanwhile, Axel Kicillof, governor of Buenos Aires, announced on Monday that the provincial prosecutor will sue the government before the Supreme Court of the Nation.
The lawsuit was made after the government eliminated new voting rights in Buenos Aires established during the pandemic by ex-President Alberto Fernández.
The mayor in an official note reported: ‘We exhausted the administrative instances, the dialogue, we sent complaints.
Today we instruct the Prosecutor of the Province of Buenos Aires to initiate judicial proceedings before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation and provisionally return the funds that took us.’
In addition, the governor criticised the president’s cuts to health, education and transport, stating that this affects all Argentine provinces.
The governor says Milei’s laws call are to try and force the economic crisis onto the backs of workers.
Several provinces have threatened to suspend oil and gas production unless federal voting rights and funds are restored.
The governor’s protest joins the cause of many other leaders of Argentine provinces, which demonstrates a union between governors and a disunity among the politicians of the government.
Milei has tried by all means to establish new policies and further cut funding for the Argentine provinces.

  • Meanwhile, on Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro denounced the escalation of the campaign led by the United States aimed at damaging Venezuela’s international image.

Maduro said that US imperialism and the Venezuelan far-right invent fake news every day to discredit the South American country through the media and social media.
This happens at a time when the far-right opposition is losing the possibility of winning the 2024 presidential elections.
Maduro said: ‘Unable to win the elections, imperialism and far-right politicians try to damage Venezuela’s image.
‘By no means will a far-right option backed by imperialism be able to defeat the popular and revolutionary option that the Bolivarian movement puts forward in the elections.
Maduro urged the US to lift all sanctions on Venezuela.
President Maduro also reiterated his support for Palestine and rejected the genocide committed by Israel against the Gaza population.
‘We hope that the International Court of Justice acts truly.
‘It must act. All the world’s governments expect it to act and stop the genocide, forced migration, and looting of the Palestinian people.’
Maduro also expressed that a colonisation of Gaza based on ‘the extermination of the Arab Palestinian people, murder, crime, and famine’ is unacceptable.
The Venezuelan leader also expressed his support for Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who he claimed faces a campaign of discredit him due to ‘his progressive political positions’.
Maduro continued: ‘They have launched a brutal campaign against an honest, honourable, and brave man.
‘What President Lopez Obrador has done is to defend himself and defend his country.
‘For telling the truth, he has been censored on social networks.

  • Cesar Vázquez, Minister of Health of Peru, declared a health emergency in more than 100 municipalities, due to the dengue epidemic. The death toll so far is 32.

According to the Peruvian government, the number of cases in the first weeks of 2024 alone was double that of a year ago.
The emergency zones will be the northern provinces of Tumbes, Piura, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Áncash and Cajamarca, and the southern provinces of Ica, Ayacucho, Cusco and Puno, the central provinces of Huanuco, Junín, Pasco, Lima and Callao and the Amazonian provinces of Loreto, Madre de Dios, San Martín and Ucayali.
There are more than 18,000 dengue cases in the country.
According to the World Health Organisation this 2024 would be fatal for Latin America for dengue.
According to the dean of the Medical College of Peru, Raúl Urquizo, he did the right thing in asking for the state of national emergency in the country. It also considers that the Ministry of Health was slow to declare the measure.
Urquizo said that ‘those responsible for the fight against dengue do not take seriously the increase of the disease in several regions of Peru’.
Brazil is also increasing the production of a dengue fever vaccine as they have had 700,000 thousand cases of the virus in the country this year alone, a sharp rise on the 165,000 cases for the whole of 2023.
More than 100 deaths have been reported in 2024 with the toll expected to rise significantly within the next few months. Part of the reason for the massive increase in dengue is heavy rain in Brazil this year so far.
This year the age group which has been most affected by the virus is children between the ages of 120 and 14 with over 48,000 reported hospitalisations.

  • On Monday, Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena highlighted the importance of Mexican migrant workers to the US economy, and again urged Washington to regularise their legal status.

Barcena said: ‘Mexicans working in the US contribute over US$324 billion (around £256 billion) annually to the nation’s economy in such essential sectors as agriculture, services and construction.
‘The regularisation of Mexicans is not unprecedented. In 1986, 3 million Mexicans were regularised.’
Mexico is requesting the United States to make ‘a similar and fair gesture’ to give legal status to undocumented Mexicans who have worked there for more than five years, including half a million young people protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act.
The number of migrants at the US-Mexico border rose to record levels at the end of 2023.
In December 2023, US Customs and Border Protection recorded nearly 250,000 encounters with migrants crossing the US-Mexico border, the highest monthly total on record.
Barcena said: ‘To curb mass emigration, the United States needs to approve a budget of US$20 billion annually to promote development in Latin America and the Caribbean,’ calling on Washington to lift its sanctions on Venezuela and trade embargo against Cuba.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has already proposed these measures to his US counterpart President Joe Biden, along with others, such as controlling the flow of US weapons into Mexico.
Mexico is one of the few countries that has to grapple with all phases of the immigration cycle, from being a source of migrants to being a transit country, a destination and a point of return for deportees.
There are 37.3 million Mexicans living in the United States, with over 5.3 million being undocumented.