Argentina Latest - The Plot Thickens Big Time

This thing is starting to take on all the elements of a Jeffrey Archer novel.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, President and glamorous wife of the ex-Argentine leader Nestor Kirchner, apparently gave a long and moving televised speech before Congress on Sunday, offering little hope of a concession on taxes for Argy farmers, but bringing the rest of the country close to tears.

The speech was full of the same old stuff, namely that the government is trying to look after the common man - including the small family farmer - and that the country was being held to ransom by a mega-rich few.

These few "farmers", she claims, are hoarding 9 million tonnes of old-crop soybeans rather than sell them and pay the tax. There is US$150 billion in Swiss banks belonging to the elite of Argentina, she says, with a city home in the best suburbs of Buenos Aires and a beach home in Mar del Plata.

Emotionally stirring stuff. She conveniently ignores the fact that surely in a free economy the seller - whether large or small - can sell his soybeans when he bloody well likes.

Having denied the existence of a plan to nationalise the grain industry as recently as Friday, the government is now openly admitting that the plan is being discussed "at the highest level".

"The nationalization of the grain trade will push society to the edge of another unnecessary conflict with unpredictable consequences," said the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange on Friday.

The scene is now set for a very interesting meeting between the farm leaders and Production Minister Debora Giorgi tomorrow. Meanwhile glamorous Cristina won't even be in town, she is packing her Loius Vutton full of silk scanties and jetting off to London for the G20 meeting.

Farm activists meanwhile would like to re-kindle the right wing of Argentine politics, and put their own farm leaders up for elected political office at the mid term elections later this year. Oft quoted Eduardo Buzzi, president of the Agrarian Federation, for example is strongly rumoured to harbour political ambitions of his own.

But that is not all - not by a long chalk. There are strong claims that the US is moving behind the scenes of the farm dispute. Fernandez has said that the US government is trying to undermine her and overthrow the government. Fantasy?

CIA Director Leon Panetta, who said Argentina could be pushed into instability by the global financial crisis, and made remarks regarding the farmers unrest and the countries friendship with Venezuela, was forced to give a formal apology to President Fernandez on Saturday.

The links between the neo-conservative Argentine opposition and the CIA, go back to the Menem years of 1989 to 1999, when Menems wife was caught with a pallet of US dollars at Buenos Aires airport bound for Menem bank accounts in the United States at the time that George Bush Senior was in office.

The CIA involvement in South America is well documented. Chilean leader General Pinochet, had over US$10 million in CIA held bank accounts that was stolen from government coffers at the time of his death.

The CIA also allegedly orchestrated a political coup to remove Hugo Chavez from office in Venezula in 2003. In fact President Bush even went as far as embarrassingly congratulating the new President of Venezuela in a televised speech, before the coup was proved unlawful and illegal by the Supreme Court of Venezuela, and Chavez was re-instated.