Argentine President Alberto Fernández Monday vowed to make internet “a public utility and make those who have to get angry get angry.” Fernández made those remarks during the launching ceremony of the Argentina Program, a government initiative regarding public access to technology.
We are going to make internet a public utility so that they do not cheat us with rates, he added.
“It is unthinkable to live in a world where connectivity does not reach everyone. They get angry because I say that the internet is a public utility ... get angry! Because we are going to make the internet a public service so that it reaches all Argentine men and women and that they do not cheat us or rob us with the rates,” the head of state stressed.
Fernández had issued a decree last year making telephone, internet, and pay TV public utilities, which generated a strong malaise within the telecommunications companies, which raised harsh criticism against the ruling party.
In practical terms, the decree forced companies to agree with the national government on when and how much they could increase their rates, which led to administrative fines as well as legal claims still pending ruling.
The Argentina Program seeks to train 60,000 young people from all over the country in computer programming and will also subsidize the purchase of technology devices and the issuance of free internet connection cards.
The president also stressed that “I continue to keep the revolutionary condition alive and that is why I vindicate things that have to do with human freedoms, which I'm never going to stop defending.”
Fernández also called the youths who would benefit from this program to “assemble all your forces and rebellions, I need all of them mobilized and demanding.”
Regarding the appearance on the political front of a rightwing alternative known as “Libertarians” headed by Economist Javier Milei, who launched his candidacy for Congress Sunday, President Fernández pointed out that “there are libertarians who talk about freedoms and tell young people to take to the streets to fight against those who told them to stay at home. (...) I know that speech well. That freedom is for some and catastrophe and hardship for millions,” he warned.
Fernández thus clearly acknowledged, in a country where those who can are already packing up and migrating after years or decades of one frustration after another, that his government has somehow neglected that age group. Those unable to seek a future elsewhere might certainly migrate to different political options.