The Liberty has returned! May our liberty return!
We welcome the return to our country of the frigate Liberty, released by an injunction granted by the International Law of the Sea Tribunal while it continues deliberation on the substance of the complaint.
We welcome as well that, faced with the ship’s embargo and the outrageous decisions of some courts, it has been possible to strengthen national and international awareness about the serious consequences that the system of illegitimate indebtedness still brings for our people and country.
We cannot celebrate, or much less declare victory, however, when in reality it is the vultures who are still winning: the vulture funds, vulture banks, vulture financial institutions, vulture corporations and business elites. Today and tomorrow, they continue to scavenge off the indebtedness and submission to the so-called "market dictates" that were built on the greed of a few, the disappearance of the 30,000, and the impoverishment, exclusion and exploitation of 30,000,000 more. This debt is a crime against humanity that continues to claim as its victims the welfare and rights of the Argentine people. This is not the time for deceptive celebrations but rather for ensuring a real NEVER AGAIN.
The debt bonds that trapped the Liberty in Ghana, put the country at the brink of a technical default in New York, and continue now to restrict our President´s freedom of movement and that of all State assets, are illegitimate and illicit. They were issued under the extortionary weight of the debt accumulated during the dictatorship and they include unethical and unconstitutional clauses that purport to waive the sovereign immunity of the State and cede jurisdiction to courts anywhere in the world. They provoke damages, costs, and permanent distress for the sovereignty, dignity, and pockets of the Argentine people.
The present government, however, like previous governments, persists in its undeniable vocation to pay, and the impunity of those responsible remains intact. As a result, the Liberty is returning accompanied by the certain risk of a further increase in what we all pay for a debt that we do not owe. This was ratified in the government´s latest presentation to the court of New York, where it confirmed its willingness to pay the vulture funds and continue to waive the State´s sovereign immunity and admit the competence of foreign jurisdictions.
This situation must be reversed, our sovereignty recovered, and the debt problem addressed with truth and justice.
It is imperative to end the waiver of sovereign immunity and the recognition of foreign courts and arbitration mechanisms which violate the Constitution and the rights of the Argentine people. Instead of worrying about the future of New York as a financial center, as it does in its most recent presentation before the courts of that city, the government should seize the moment to challenge the jurisdiction of those courts and denounce the illegitimacy and illegality of the vulture bonds, avoid any further payment on them, and initiate necessary actions to bring to justice and initiate claims for reparations from those responsible for their issuance. The government´s recent decision to rescind the irregular sale of the Palermo exhibition grounds – to mention only the latest action of this kind - is a clear demonstration that it is possible to undo the wrongs imposed. How much more important it is to take on the challenge of NEVER AGAIN with regard to a debt whose human, institutional, and fiscal consequences are countless times greater!
For these reasons we call on the Argentine Government, the Congress, and the Judicial System, as we did on October 30 and December 10 accompanied by numerous organizations nationally and internationally, to end this scourge and avoid renewed subjugation. We call on them to:
1. Audit outstanding debt claims in a manner that is public, participatory, and comprehensive, suspending all payments until its completion;
2. Annul and desist from signing those contracts, laws, treaties, and agreements which contain unconstitutional provisions, extortionary conditions, and other similar clauses;
3. Challenge speculators by denouncing fraudulent and illegitimate bonds and debt deals;
4. Prosecute and punish those responsible, whether nationals or foreigners, opening the way for true reparations.
We call as well, on the people and organizations of our country, to not cease in the struggle for truth and justice, to end the system of illegitimate debt, and build alternatives that ensure our sovereignty, rights, and dignity; so that as a people and as a country, we might all celebrate the return of our liberty.
DIALOGUE 2000 - JUBILEE SOUTH ARGENTINA
Buenos Aires, January 9, 2013