Argentina History Part 3

Meanwhile, the intervention of the Grupo de Oficiales Unidos was preparing a new twist; with 24 February the presidential functions were exercised by gen. E. Farrel, former Minister of War; but Ramírez’s resignation for health reasons was only announced on 9 March. It was denied that this meant a modification of the political directives; but part of the navy and one regiment attempted an insurrection on 29 February. Chile, Bolivia and Paraguay immediately recognized the new president, but the United States and other republics and Great Britain postponed. The new government, in which Colonel JD Perón became Minister of War in May, hindered foreign press agencies and created an Agencía nacional de informaciones ; issued a “journalists statute” granting significant trade union advantages; he dissolved the Gruppo de Oficiales Unidos and attributed the “civil strike” in protest, called for June 7, to “Jewish agitators”.

On 5 July the gen. Perlinguer, Minister of the Interior, who had played an important part in Ramírez’s retirement, resigned; on the 8th Perón was appointed vice-president; who, as Minister of Labor, immediately obliged the English public service companies to distribute certain withholdings authorized in 1934 to the workers, for a total amount of about 60 million pesos and forced the railway companies to pay large increases in wages.

According to NEXTICLE, the tension in relations with the United States escalated in July, especially due to the refusal of aid to set up a synthetic rubber factory in Argentina, followed by the recall of the ambassadors. In August, Buenos Aires celebrated the liberation of Paris; the government donated 100,000 tons to France. of wheat, but he had the demonstrators arrested and, among them, the gen. Rawson. Other facts, seeming signs of a deliberate intention to make life difficult for US citizens, provoked increasingly harsh criticism there until – despite advice for moderation, given by London – on August 16 Argentine credits were “frozen” in gold. The conciliatory action attempted by other republics in Buenos Aires is useless; when the Committee for the Political Defense of the Continent, in Montevideo, he made his own the accusations against Argentina, which came out scornfully in September. In October, Argentina asked the Pan-American Union to call a conference of foreign affairs ministers to look into its case. But the Pan-American Union in January 1945 put aside Argentina’s proposal: which therefore refrained from taking part in the activities of the Union itself and did not participate in the Inter-American Conference of Mexico, which nevertheless wanted to allow it to get out of isolation and regain his place in the community of American nations, by also signing the “Chapultepec Act”, on the condition that he declare war on Germany and Japan and sign the United Nations Declaration. Which Argentina did in March; so, with the vote of the American countries, despite protests and reservations from the Soviet Union, Argentina was admitted to the San Francisco Conference and on 8 September it also signed the “charter” of the United Nations. Inside, on the other hand, the government took a clear stance against large industrial and commercial enterprises and large agricultural property: those same interests that had found support and expression above all in the conservative neutralist party, and now tried to join forces with other tendencies, also of opposition. Except, it was difficult for them to come to an agreement; nor was there harmony among the emigrants in Montevideo. The “statute of political parties”, published on May 31, favored nationalist syndicalism and hit the old parties with the ban on “exotic ideologies” and compulsory voting. The struggle between the government and the opposition – after the massive ” Marcha de la Constitución y de la Libertad “of 19 September – continued between strikes, arrests, uncovered plots and culminated in the insurrectionary movement led by Gen. Avalos and Admiral H. Vernengo Lima who, on 8 October, replaced in the ministry Perón and arrested him. But strikes and workers’ demonstrations, favored by the police, forced him to be released and formed a ministry of his friends, to which Perón remained extraneous in order to be able to present himself constitutionally as a presidential candidate in the elections that are now close. Perón, supported from the General Confederation of Labor and other groups, promised the nationalization of public services managed largely by foreign companies, the fight against trusts and the defense of the advantages assured by himself to the workers; against him, the “Democratic Front” instead demanded a return to the constitution and the restitution of political freedoms, but in January it replied with a three-day lockout to the 30% increase in wages, decreed by the government. The reasons of internal politics were grafted on those of foreign policy: the ambassador of the United States, Spruille Braden openly accused the Argentine government of non-fulfillment of the commitments undertaken with the Chapultepec act and in Washington a Blue Book of German secret documents on collaboration was published lent to Germany by the Argentine rulers, including Perón. He did reply with a white – blue paper on the activities of US agents in Argentina; and the dispute turned into a personal controversy between the two. The electoral struggle was very lively, with bloody conflicts between “Peronists” and “anti-Peronists”. However, the February elections ran smoothly. Perón received 1,497,519 votes, against 1,220,822 for the candidate of the Tamburini Front; but he achieved a huge majority (314 versus 77) among second-degree voters. His followers won nearly all seats in the senate, an overwhelming majority in the chamber. Perón officially assumed power on 4 June; but already in March he had all bank deposits, guaranteed by the government, placed under the control of the nationalized Banco Central de la República Argentina; then he placed the bags under state management, insurance and export trade; he imposed the merger into a single party of the groups favorable to him; removed the state of siege. Diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and with Poland had resumed; those with the United States improved after the replacement of Braden by G. Messersmith: in June Argentina was able to dispose of the gold deposited in the United States for 2,550 million pesos and in August the Senate ratified the Chapultepec act and the pact of the United Nations. Meanwhile, the ships had been returned to France and Italy.

Argentina History 3