America

Argentina Independence and Unity Part II

A new conservative tide flooded Argentina, in the midst of complicated economic problems, especially in the relationship with the British, who in the commercial exchange then turned almost exclusively to the British Commonwealth itself. The military coup of 1930, of fascist influence, came under the power of generals José Felix Uriburu and then Agustín Pedro Justo, this through elections, albeit fraudulent. Argentina, which declared itself neutral in the second world war, as it had done in the first, was dominated by varied tendencies of authoritarianism; civil, in the cases of Roberto Ortiz and Ramón Castillo; military, in successive experiences of the period. Under American pressure, in 1944 he had to declare war on Germany and Japan.

By 1943, the personality of Colonel Juan Domingo Perón, who was undersecretary for war and minister of labor, had begun to stand out. Particularly captivating the workers and shirtless, the subordinate layers of the church and the armed forces, as well as a part of the business community, Perón was elected president of the republic in 1946, with 55% of the votes. She had helped him with the Eva Duarte campaign (Evita), who became his wife and tenacious collaborator.

Peronist ideology, which he called justicialism, was configured as an authoritarian populism and concerned with social justice, with the progress represented by the development of industries, with nationalism. Some important reforms were made, such as the institution of the female vote and the creation of workers’ unions, but no agrarian reform was carried out. Excessive weight was given to the state machine and heavy industry was neglected.

In the early 1950s, the fall in the prices of agricultural products on the international market, inflation and the conflict with opponents and the church (among other things, for abolishing the mandatory religious education) made Perón, despite being reelected (1951), began to lose ground. In 1952 Evita died, Peronism became more authoritarian and was defeated by a military coup. In November 1955, General Pedro Eugenio Aramburu reestablished constitutionality and three years later the population elected, with the support of the Peronists, the radical Arturo Frondizi, who soon abandoned campaign promises in favor of the instructions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ): currency devaluation, credit restrictions, privatization of state-owned companies, opening to foreign capital and wage restraint.

According to Prozipcodes.com, the following years are worsening of the economic crisis. There is another military coup (1962), followed by elections in 1963, called by General Juan Carlos Onganía – who excluded the Peronist candidates. Arturo Illia was chosen, overthrown soon after, in 1966, by the same Onganía. This found strong social protest, including the cordobazo, a student and worker movement against the government, which took place in Córdoba. With the assassination of Aramburu by the Montoneros, the far left of the Peronist youth, two more soldiers took turns in power, the second of whom, Alejandro Agustín Lanusse, decided to organize general and democratic elections. In 1972, leaving his exile in Spain to visit the country, Perón was acclaimed in the streets and founded the Frente Justicialista de Liberación (Frejuli).

The problems were not solved, but got worse: in 1973, the Peronist Héctor Cámpora was elected, who gave way to the election of Perón and his wife Maria Estela, known as Isabelita Martínez, as president and vice president of the republic. In 1974 Perón died, Isabelita took over the government with the economy in crisis, terrorist attacks and difficulties of all kinds. The military was quick to return to the political scene, this time with a Social Reorganization Process implemented by a junta chaired successively by Jorge Rafael Videla (1976), Eduardo Viola (1981) and Leopoldo Galtieri (late 1981 and mid 1982) ).

Galtieri starred in the Falkland Islands episode (for the English, the Falkland Islands): he sent the armed forces to occupy them, went to war with Britain and was defeated, with at least 800 human losses. With the fall of Galtieri and an intense public opinion campaign (including that of the mothers of the disappeared, in Plaza de Mayo, two years earlier), he began to question the repression of the collapsing military dictatorship, its persecutions, tortures, murders – in around 15,000 missing persons. After the rapid passage through the government of General Reynaldo Bignone, the Unión Cívica Radical elected Raúl Alfonsín, who led the criminal proceedings against former military rulers, convicted and imprisoned.

Alfonsín, however, was unable to contain inflation, which reached 1,000 per cent a year in 1985. The government then launched an emergency economic plan, called Austral (the name of the currency that replaced the peso). With inflation again out of control, in the 1989 elections the Radical Civic Union was defeated by the Peronists. The new president, Carlos Saúl Menem, took office in July of that year and immediately cut public spending and initiated a privatization program for state-owned companies. This stabilization policy was opposed by the unions and was hampered by the continued rise in inflation. However, in 1991 the measures taken by the Minister of Economy, Domingo Cavallo, began to give positive results and on January 1, 1992, the Austral was replaced by the new weight.

Argentina Unity