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Latin American perspectives a program of comment and analysis about current Latin American problems and their historical setting. The commentator for these programs is Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Here now is Dr. Gardner people who turn their backs on their native lands. Do so for a variety of reasons. The tourist going abroad for pleasure soon returns the immigrant going abroad for Opportunity does not anticipate a round trip. A third type of Outward Bound individual the exile hopes to come back but just might never make it. Far from being a recent innovation in human experience exile is old as old as man and society and law. Once upon a time. So the Bible tells us all the people on the earth both Adam
and Eve were exiles and today's rebel against the system against Castro's Cuba against the military draft legislation of the United States against South Africa's apartheid against any system is producing the rebellion that guarantees that tomorrow like today and yesterday we'll count her exiles one bit of exile counting and of exile analysis has lately been put into print. I refer to Paul H Lewis's volume the politics of exile Paraguayan Faber restocked party published by the University of North Carolina Press. First a word about the particular group that becomes the subject of this study. The Paraguayan February stop Party. It so happened that in February of one thousand thirty six paragraphs I had yet another revolution.
February I would remind you when the Spanish is broke and those who were in this party were fed dirty stuffs and the ideology that they formulated became fairly small and so much for the brief Spanish lesson the stas gained power in one thousand thirty six at what was an odd moment for a change of government seemingly Paraguayan had just won on the battlefield. The extended struggle against Bolivia the two were contesting the terrain cold the choco region and it would seem that the government of then-President Jala a victor was well entrenched. But the truth of the matter was that there were reasons for complaint. The success of the war was but one thing the doubling of the national terrain though an asset brought with it some disadvantages. There was the usual post war social dislocation as well as
shortsighted government policies that fed the discontent that led to revolution. For example the contacts between peasants on the one hand and university trained reserve officers during the period of the warfare had instilled among the peasants and the workers a highly illiterate group normally an awareness of the social backwardness and the economic needs of the country that they previously had not known. And then too there were terrible costs that the war itself had put upon the nation in terms of human casualties some of which incidentally mounted because of bungling in government policy. It might be added to that the Ojala administration at the end of the war had a political military success but an economic fiscal disaster on its hands because the Treasury was completely empty so empty in fact that the government was
unable to vote even wounded veterans of the war any compensation for their services. Needless to say this was the circumstance out of which a great deal of ex-servicemen became revolutionaries. And so it was that the Fed at least has seized power in February of 936 they proclaimed among other things a desire to affect agrarian reform. They wanted to expropriate great acreage then. And you used allow the government to pay for it over a period of years and indeed distributed at once to the landless peasants who incidentally didn't get it for nothing. They were to pay for it over the equivalent period of 15 years. Along with this program of making land holders out of the landless of giving the average man in Paraguayan an economic stake in the affairs of his government as well
as in his life there was a program that the Fed baristas backed coal for agricultural education. The more intelligent use of tools the more intelligent use of seeds and along with this. There was a plan of agricultural financing. Needless to say in a country that is primarily agricultural the agricultural prole program was dominant. But something was also there in this revolutionary program for the city dweller. The Labor Department was created a labor code written and for the first time Paraguayans were to hear that the laws prescribe no more than eight hours of labor per day that they were to have the right to unionize that they might even hopefully expect paid vacations. If none of this seems overly revolutionary I would remind you that paragraph I was indeed a backward segment of the interior of South America.
Well the fair baristas held power briefly in one thousand thirty six and thirty seven and then were unceremoniously relegated to political oblivion. And they have been there most of the time since in consequence great numbers of that revolutionary group of 1036 made their way downstream down the Rio de la Plata to Buenos Aires where they settled as an exile group. If you're wondering why they bother to go a thousand miles away from home to Buenos Aires to go into exile I would remind you that the nearby places in northern Argentina or in the interior of Brazil or southeastern Bolivia are not exactly advanced in terms of communications in terms of economic possibilities. And so these people had to look to means to support themselves as well as having the channels open that might make a success of their period
of exile a successful exile of course as one who eventually returns in glory to his homeland. And so by the hundreds. Gradually growing to thousands and then tens of thousands of Paraguayans settled in Buenos Aires and its vicinity. This of course meant that they had available to them the mail services the railroad the transport system that the river represented. They had their continuing contacts with the home country about which they needed to continue to know if they were to plan effectively for their own return. This after all is part of the strategy of any successful exiled body. And so being a thousand miles away from home was not the most difficult thing for them. There was a great difficulty however that of adjusting themselves to life outside. Needless to say it was still Spanish spoken where they were in Argentina but they
were foreigners. They did have problems finding jobs. Many an individual who had been at one professional level was downgraded. Those who were not of professional standing literally had to take anything that was available to them. Consequently the whole problem of holding an exile group together abroad is one that calls for coping with. Indeed mastering the economics that will enable you to keep body and soul together. And this in turn reduces the amount of time the amount of energy that you can put into the exile program whether you're planning economically politically or anything else or what you will do when indeed successfully you return to the motherland. If the years stretch on and the they have stretched on for a full 30 years for the Fed baristas because with the exception of one brief moment when they were re
admitted to Paraguay they have been in exile for now for 30 years. We find that there has been a dilution of their fervor by virtue of their increasing identification with the foreign setting. This whole problem of now is not a new one. If for example in the United States today one were to canvass all of the Cuban exiles about the very basic question could you go home tomorrow. Would you. You would be surprised at the number who might well answer. I'm not sure I would I would wait. No I'm having a better time of it here. Indeed my standard of living is higher. It is possible then with the passage of time that one can be. So we away from that area. But your initial identification is with that you have transferred an allegiance Maybe you have done it reluctantly. Maybe you have done it almost accidentally but you have none the less done it in a real
and final sense. Many a fair better Easter than it is today merely one who talks who dreams of the past. There's also another problem with this exile group. In Buenos Aires out of Paraguay I represents and that is the fact that the generation gap that we hear about in all other areas of life also be sets them. There are men in the 1960s in the exile group who have ideas that were never entertained by any of those who had the party in power in the 1930s. There are men who joined in the 1950s who were unlike those of the 30s. And so as we have moved an exile group into what may well be called a second generation of exiles we have not only the amount of identification with Argentina that they have to combat but the fact that time technology political ideology social
aspirations all of the facets of life that would cause them to fashion a government if they were in power have changed considerably from the moment that they were briefly in power. Incidentally the man who is now in power in peril by general stress nor by name has been president of the country for a full 12 years. And in the course of that time he has himself in his own dictatorial way. Given forth some dicks of agrarian reform that has led to the expropriation of unused land this conferred upon the landless this to be paid for in a period of 15 years. In fact one realizes that there has been a great deal of the federal beast a program stolen by governments that have been in power since it announced its program in the 1930s. This reminds one of the Populist Party in the United States. It announced programs but it could never gain power to put them into effect. And
lo and behold we have income tax laws passed. We have direct election of senators. We have the program of the populace put into effect by other parties. And then there is no reason for the populace to be. And so it may well be that the figure reste is had in their greatest reason for being the formulation of ideas ideas which have now so thoroughly been taken into the life of the land that the party itself has no real reason to hope to return. The politics of exile a volume By Paul H Lewis off the press of the University of North Carolina is indeed a mass analysis of the exile. This was Latin American perspectives with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Join us for our next program on Dr. Gardner We'll examine another aspect of life in Latin America
Latin American perspectives II
Episode Number
Episode 1 of 38
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series of lectures by Dr. C. Harvey Gardiner, prof. of history at Southern Illinois U., each program based on a book or magazine article. See also series 68-3. This prog.: The Politics of Exile by Paul H. Lewis
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-3-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:37
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 1 of 38,” 1968-02-16, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021,
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APA: Latin American perspectives II; Episode 1 of 38. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from