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Latin America perspectives a series of information and comment about Latin America with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. These programs are recorded by station w s i u FM. Here now is Dr. Gardner more whimsy than truth attends that statement. Old soldiers never die they merely fade away. A great many do die and still others die the bloody death that deny them a chance to be termed old soldiers. The same is true with dictators. Latin America's dictators. Some are hanged from lampposts as was able Libyan dictator in the early 1950s. Earlier in the 1910s an enraged Haitian populace hacked one dictator to pieces in the Dominican Republic. A little earlier in this very decade machine guns riddled a passing
car converting its occupant. Rafael Trujillo into a passing dictator. Yet it also happens that some Latin American dictators do grow old and fade away. One of the 19th century Argentina spent long years of exile in Europe and the Mexican dictator who ushered in the 20th century put curio Diaz did the same having been ushered away from the Mexican scene. However one dictator of recent vintage who was forced from his homeland has refused to follow the formula. He just won't fade away. I refer to one Domingo Peron of Argentina aiding our understanding of this unusual man the persistent Perone is a new volume in titled Why Perowne came to power.
A collection of essays edited by Joseph a writer spelled B A R A G E R A volume published by Alfred A cannot. Most in assessing the coming to power of Peronne see fit to retreat no farther than the revolution of 1930 which indeed was a momentous turning point in Argentine life. However there are those who have good reason to suggest that one must have recourse to the 19th century the eminent Argentine historian Ricardo veiny has described how the people in the provinces of Argentina and their local leaders the so-called colored deos reacted to protect their local autonomy their regional interests and way of life against the centralizing efforts of the Liberal
leadership in Buenos Aires. This tendency of the provincial masses to follow leaders who promised and provided protection against alien ideas. It became even more deeply rooted in the chaotic period of the post revolutionary years and has persisted down to the present in Argentina when the migrants from the provinces poor into Buenos Aires in increasing numbers during the second third of this century. Colonel Peron was the cardio figure around whom they rallied in return for his assurance that he was their protector against the oligarchy. Yet in time we have. And this is the time of one thousandth century still roast sauce the dictator illustrating the
point that nationalism can be appealed to thanks to pressures by foreign powers and the responses to those pressures that are cold far roast sauce. Thanks to the efforts of two world powers in one thousand century years Great Britain and France. Powers that tried to coerce his government with a naval blockade and tried to assist his enemies. Actually enabled him to play the role of defender of Argentine nationality and sovereignty. Thus it is not surprising that a century later ardent nationalist looking back to the roast sauce era as somewhat of a Golden Age also looked forward to the coming of a second sauce a man who could take and would take a firm stand against foreign powers and they would of course find him such a man one who would be a nationalist champion one
with charismatic appeal to the lower masses. I would remind you there comes a time in early post-World War Two years when in a stand against the United States and United States meddling in the private the internal affair that was an Argentine national election Perowne was able to take this stand and that made him the savior the defender of Argentine sovereignty also rooted in one thousandth century years. And yet related to the coming to power of Parowan the very nature of that famed constitution of 1853 under which Argentina live so long and indeed under which Perowne came to power. The Argentine constitution of 1853 provided the national government with powers for intervening in the provinces powers which were in written form somewhat similar to those included in our own
United States Constitution. But as a neutral observer has noted those powers in Argentina were used quite differently there. The power to intervene not only enabled the national government to restore order disrupted by local political struggles but it ensured the national government's control of the parties in power in the provinces. Indeed the provincial governments the Argentine equivalent of our state governments became mere tools are pawns in the hands of the party in power in Buenos Aires. We have then with the passage of time a number of ingredients that can be assessed as the components that Perowne exploited as he came to power in the middle 1940s. There was a
constitutional system tailored to exploitation by a dynamic leader and he was that there was a new class of economic interest groups and entrepreneurs whose needs were ignored by the old power elite representing the great land holders of Argentina. Thirdly there was an amorphous lower class neglected by the existing labor organizations and political parties. In the fourth place there was a military establishment. Mind you in the middle 1940s divided over its attitude toward a world conflict the outcome of which was still in doubt. And in addition there was a middle class in Argentina the largest middle class it is in all Latin America which was resent full of more than a decade of corrupt reactionary rule but whose
elements showed little ability to subordinate their individual group interests in a common effort. And so individuals were urging a national rejuvenation and were looking forward for that prominent leader to show the way. In other words there was in Argentina in the middle 40s as Perowne came to power a political vacuum and the man who would more than fill it and was that person one to mingle a word about it was born in 1895. And this of course means that he has now reached his middle 70s. Perowne went to military school and then launched upon what was to be a permanent career with the military. Indeed by 1030 tumultuous moment in Argentine life when
Revolution swept the land he was no higher than a captain in the Argentine army. But in that decade of the 30s a succession of experiences came his way which helped to ready him for national leadership. He was sent to Chile in the role of a military attache and was after a while forced to leave that country in disgrace because in his efforts as a spy to obtain copies of the defense secrets of Chile he was caught red handed and this found him persona non grata. He was later sent diplomatically to Italy there for a while. He was made aware of the ways the wiles the philosophy of miscellany. He travelled in Franco's Spain. He travelled in Hitler's Germany. He became a nam heard of more than one fascist technique including the military organisation. Implicit in such.
Coming back to Argentina in time of revolution he had minor offices and then rose to still higher posts in the minor offices found him dealing with the military dealing with labor and in the latter he came to realize that it would be well to have more than one leg under any stool of power that he might be able to sit on later on. And so he appealed to the labor people help them in such a manner that he had a massive civilian element that was at his beck and call. In summary then the question is why Perot it lies in the Argentine past and the failure of previous governments to satisfy the needs and aspirations of the Argentine masses and other groups dissatisfied with the status quo. Maintain by force and by fraudulent elections. Unfortunately Peron created an even greater imbalance in the society
setting class against class and discrediting popular democracy by his corrupt and all thorough Terry of methods that he responded to the deeply felt needs of many Argentines however is clearly evident in the persistence with which more than one third of the Argentine electorate continues to support him even though he has been out of power and out of the country now for more than a decade. The expectations of his opponents that his philosophy and his followers will go away and rudely dashed. A combination of 20th century complexities and centuries old realities helped Perowne to power a combination of Argentine English and American writers have brought his rise to power into understandable focus for laymen and student alike.
The volume. Why put our own came to power. Edited by Barack and published by Alfred A cannot is heartily recommended as one touchstone to understanding the largest and most populous Spanish American state of South America. This was another programme in the series Latin America perspectives with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Join us for our next program when Dr. Gardner will comment on another interesting aspect of Latin American affairs. These programs are recorded by station WFIU FM and are made available to this station by the national educational radio network.
Latin American perspectives II
Episode Number
Episode 24 of 38
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3544. This prog.: Why Peron Came to Power
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: 68-31-24 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:14
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 24 of 38,” 1969-02-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 20, 2024,
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APA: Latin American perspectives II; Episode 24 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