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The New Federalist May 19, 1989 Page 5

American Almanac
Why Project Democracy Hates Juan Domingo Peron
by Cynthia Rush
General Juan Peron, during his presidency of Argentina
Thirty-three years after the 1955 cou against Argentine !eneral "uan
#omingo Peron, and 15 years after the general$s death, the roonents of
economic li%eralism, followers of Adam &mith, still don$t miss an oortu-
nity to rail against the achie'ements of, articularly, the first two Peronist
go'ernments (19)*-5+, 195+-55-, %laming them for all of the ills %esetting
Argentina today.
/Fascist,/ /totalitarian,/ /dictatorial/ are the eithets commonly used to
descri%e the dirigist economic olicy which Peron imosed in lace of the
looting %y 0ritish, &wiss, and affiliated financial interests which had run
amo1 in Argentina for the receding 152 years.
Argentina$s current President, 3aul Alfonsin, has sent the last fi'e years
attemting to e4tirate all 'estiges of what the international oligarchy found
so offensi'e in the Peronist mo'ement5 defense of national so'ereignty,
romotion of national industrial de'eloment in defiance of foreign %an1ing
and financial interests, and the romotion of social 6ustice.
Alfonsin$s %ac1ers at the 7nternational Monetary Fund and within the
&ocialist 7nternational insist that Argentina re'ert to its former colonial
status. The "usticialist mo'ement founded %y "uan Peron in 19)8 reresents
a significant enough threat to oligarchical %an1ing interests, articularly in
alliance with other anti-7MF forces, that e4traordinary efforts ha'e %een
underta1en to crush it. 0an1ers still recoil at Peron$s statement that /in
19)*, when 7 too1 ower, we didn$t e'en roduce the ins used %y our dress-
ma1ers. 7n 1955, 7 left 8the country9 roducing locomoti'es, truc1s, tractors,
automo%iles . . . sewing machines, tyewriters, shis, etc./
:n March 5, 195*, si4 months after Peron$s o'erthrow, the Argentine ;on-
gress assed #ecree <aw No. )1*1, asserting that Peronism /offends the
democratic sentiment of the Argentine eole, constituting an affront which
must a%solutely %e erased./ The decree outlawed not only the Peronist
mo'ement, %ut e'en mention of the word /Peronist,/ as well as all sym%ols,
slogans, songs, and any other hysical e'idence of the mo'ement$s e4ist-
ence.
7ndi'iduals, grous, associations, trade unions, olitical arties, u%lic or
ri'ate figures, were rohi%ited %y law from ha'ing or dislaying anything
associated with Peronism. This included any hotograh, or ortrait of any
erson, including "uan Peron, who had ser'ed in the leadershi of the
Peronist mo'ement. =iolation of this law meant a 6ail term of %etween >2
days and * years, and a fine of 1 million esos. 7f the indi'idual in'ol'ed
were a u%lic figure or trade union leader, the unishment would %e dou%led.
7f the case in'ol'ed a %usiness, that %usiness would %e closed down.
?hat had !eneral Peron done, to cause his oonents to ta1e such drastic
measures, in an effort to wie Peronism off the face of the olitical ma@
The general$s crime was his assertion that Argentina should free itself from
those entrenched foreign and domestic economic interests which had always
considered this country theirs for the ta1ing. That meant not only the 0ritish
%an1s and &wiss grain cartels, %ut their cultural comonent as well. ?ith his
otimistic nation-%uilding rogram, Peron confronted the e4tensi'e networ1
of !nostic and Freemasonic cults which had made Argentina their la%oratory
from which to wage cultural warfare against the nation and the continent.
!n Defense of "o#ereignty
"uan #omingo Peron was elected to the residency in Fe%ruary of 19)*,
with 5* ercent of the oular 'ote, after ser'ing for three years as la%or
minister, and then as 'ice-resident, under the military go'ernment which
too1 ower in 19)>. 7t was from that ost, that he organiAed and strength-
ened the trade union mo'ement, and consolidated the !eneral ;onfederation
of <a%or (;!T-, on the %asis of the hilosohical concetions that would
later guide his "usticialist olitical mo'ement, founded in 19)8.
As he told the nation on May 1, 19)8, /From a astoral and cattle-raising
nation, we must %ecome an industrial nation. :ur asirations to conBuer the
fullness of olitical so'ereignty, conditioned on full economic so'ereignty,
demand it./
7n :cto%er, 19)* "uan Peron resented to the national ;ongress his go'ern-
ment$s first fi'e-year lan. Argentina, he said, /must %e organiAed as much
as ossi%le to a'oid ha'ing rimary roducts lea'e the country as unfinished
only to return in the form of manufactured goods, lea'ing la%or and %enefits
outside the country./ The &tate$s /inaliena%le function,/ he asserted, was to
/direct and order Buestions of social and economic character, and coordinate
acti'ities lin1ed to them, so as to achie'e the ma4imum degree of general
welfare, and the highest le'el of 6o%s./
The lan outlined the immediate riorities for the nation5
C the de'eloment and rotection of industry,
C control of the %an1ing and credit system to ensure adeBuate financing for
industry and infrastructure,
C de'eloment and control o'er national energy sources,
C mechaniAation of agriculture, and remo'ing control of agricultural mar1et-
ing from the hands of the international grain cartels and %an1ing interests,
C creating the system of health, social, and educational %enefits for the
wor1ing oulation, to raise %oth li'ing standards and cultural le'els.
As President, Peron refused to affiliate Argentina with the 7nternational
Monetary Fund, or its /ad6ustment/ olicies. 7n the %an1ers$ 'iew, this act of
re%ellion was %ad enough. 0ut Peron went further. :n "uly 9, 19)D, the
anni'ersary of Argentina$s indeendence, he 6oined national legislators and
olitical leaders in the city of &an Miguel de Tucuman to sign a #eclaration
of Economic 7ndeendence, affirming that the Argentine eole would
/consummate their economic emanciation from those foreign caitalists
who ha'e e4ercised their tutelage, control, and domination, under the forms
of condemna%le economic hegemonies./ A little o'er two years after Peron$s
ouster, the /democratic/ go'ernment which was installed in #ecem%er 195D,
signed the nation$s first agreement with the 7nternational Monetary Fund.
7n Aril 19)*, Peron$s go'ernment had announced a reform of the credit
system to facilitate imlementation of an industrialiAation rogram. Fe
nationaliAed the ;entral 0an1, and instituted the system 1nown as /nation-
aliAed deosits./ 7n the early 19>2s, the notorious 0ritish agent 3aul
Pre%isch had modeled the ;entral 0an1$s internal organiAation on the 0an1
of England. As a result, Peron e4lained, that institution had always %een
/at the a%solute ser'ice of the interests of ri'ate and international %an1s,
and it decided the nation$s monetary olicy, with total indifference toward
the economic olicy which the Nation had to de'elo for the romotion of
its wealth./
Gnder the 19)* reform, the go'ernment for the first time in years had the
right to /design and direct a olicy of %an1ing credit, which, resonding to
the modalities and needs of our economic development, will act as a ower-
ful means of roelling the country$s roducti'e caacity./
The go'ernment did not nationaliAe the country$s ri'ate %an1s. 7nstead,
these %ecame agents of the ;entral 0an1, while continuing to carry out their
normal %an1ing duties and relationshis with their clients and deositors.
The ;entral 0an1, howe'er, had the ower to esta%lish rediscounting limits
for ri'ate %an1s, and also stiulated limits on credit oerations %ased
entirely on how the credit was to %e used.
The riority for credit allocation was to those infrastructural, energy, and
industrial ro6ects considered to %e riorities for national economic de'elo-
ment. 7nterest rates were fi4ed in such a way as to ma1e in'estment in
industrial ro6ects more rofita%le. 7n his May 1, 19)9 seech, Peron
e4lained that /we ha'e only considered those reBuests for credit 8which
are9 for the installation of new industries or e4ansion of e4isting ones, if
these %e in the national interest./ Profits which were rein'ested in new
industries, or in e4ansion of e4isting lants, were not ta4ed.
&imultaneously, the go'ernment created a num%er of new credit institutions
to meet the needs of secific sectors. :ne such entity, the 7ndustrial ;redit
0an1 (0;7-, had %een created in &etem%er 19)) %y the National Postwar
;ouncil. &er'ing articularly the mining and metallurgical sector, o'er the
ne4t ele'en years, the 0;7 channeled credit into the de'eloment of national
industry, using as its criteria for lending the tye of industrial acti'ity in-
'ol'ed. 0etween 19)* and 1951, the %an1 heled to finance the creation or
e4ansion of o'er +2,222 industries in Argentina.
United Nations
$he assembly line of a tractor, diesel engine, and railroad manufacturing
plant on the outs%irts of Cordoba, Argentina

EIRNS/Dennis Small
Construction of Argentina&s Atucha '' nuclear po(er plant has been slo(ed
by cuts in infrastructure in#estment pressed on the Alfonsin go#ernment by
the !nternational )onetary *und
August '+,-. Argentinian trade unionists demonstrate against the !)*
$he Results
7n his 1958 %oo1, La Fuerza es el Derecho de las estias !Force Is the La"
o# the easts$, written from e4ile, Peron e4lained that his first fi'e-year
lan had as its rimary urose the rotection and consolidation of installed
industry, so as to then mo'e into the e4ansion hase. The second fi'e-year
lan, resented in 195+, focused on the de'eloment and e4ansion of hea'y
industry5 steel, metallurgy, chemical roduction, electricity, and construc-
tion.
7n the immediate ostwar eriod, the go'ernment made a decision to use the
reser'es it had accumulated during the warHI1.D %illion in 19)5Hto 'astly
increase its imorts of caital goods for industry, e4and the country$s mer-
chant marine, restoc1 the national transortation grid, de'elo infrastructure,
nationaliAe and e4and ort facilities, and de'elo oil and other energy
sources, including a nuclear energy industry.
0etween 19)* and 19)8, the country nearly dou%led its imorts of caital
goods o'er the re-war eriod. 7n early 19)8, %efore the international
currency de'aluations that increased the rices of ma6or imorts, Peron$s
chief economic ad'iser, Miguel Miranda, authoriAed imorts of +2,222
ieces of industrial eBuiment, *2,222 truc1s, raw materials and machinery,
esecially tractors, needed for the first fi'e-year lan. The acBuisition of
caital goods and eBuiment allowed Argentina to increase its roduction of
industrial goods from a 'alue of I>.+ %illion annually in the 19>D->9 eriod,
to a 'alue of close to I*.* %illion in the years following 19)*.
The 19)8, the hysical 'olume of Argentina$s industrial roduction had
shown a >).5 ercent increase o'er 19)>, the increase in the area of dura%le
goods was a su%stantial *D.5 ercent. 0etween 19)*-51, the hysical
'olume of Argentina$s industrial roduction increased %y 52 ercent, which,
according to technical studies done %y 'arious Gnited Nations agencies,
laced it first in the world, ahead of ;anada, ;hile, and the Gnited &tates, in
terms of industrial growth.
Peron$s defiance of the foreign grain cartels, which had historically con-
trolled all asects of roduction, mar1eting, and e4ort of Argentina$s 'ast
agricultural wealth, didn$t sit well with the 0ritish and &wiss %an1ing
interests. From 19>* to 19>9, only four comaniesH0unge J 0orn, <td.,
<ouis #reyfus and ;o., <a Plata ;ereal ;o., and <ouis de 3idder <td.H
e4orted 8+.5 ercent of Argentina$s total grain e4orts of )).5 million tons.
0ut in 19)* !eneral Peron emowered the Argentine 7nstitute for Trade
Promotion (7AP7-, created a year earlier, to ta1e total control of the urchase
of agricultural goods from domestic roducers, at rices fi4ed %y the state to
adeBuately co'er the cost of roduction. 7AP7 then negotiated directly with
reresentati'es for foreign urchasers, to sell these goods under the %est
ossi%le terms. 7ncome o%tained from the rice differential was channeled
into industrial in'estment or into the urchase of needed caital goods and
raw materials.
7AP7 urchased truc1s, loading and unloading eBuiment, trains, and refrig-
erator shis, to e4ercise control o'er the entire mar1eting rocess. The
go'ernment nationaliAed the country$s orts and grain ele'ators, and %egan
the 6o% of reno'ating and moderniAing the orts. The agency also directed
the rocess of nationaliAing and e4anding u%lic ser'ices, and romoting
industrial de'eloment. 7t o'ersaw the urchase of 0ritish- and French-
owned railroads, and urchased shis for the merchant marine, and for the
state-owned oil comany, KPF. ?hen some Euroean countries couldn$t
%uy Argentine grains outright, 7AP7 granted them credit lines for food
urchase. &ain, France, 7taly, Finland, and Folland recei'ed such loans.
The e4istence of 7AP7, an agency o'er which they e4ercised no control, was
intolera%le to the men of the grain cartels. Then G.&. ;ommerce &ecretary
?. A'erell Farriman, who later rendered such 'alua%le ser'ice to &o'iet
interests, %ecame aolectic at Argentina$s determination to see1 6ust rices
for the grain e4orts it wanted to sell to Euroe as art of the Marshall Plan.
A March 19)8 reort u%lished %y the G.&. Fouse of 3eresentati'es,
written at Farriman$s urging, stated that5
The administration of the Euroean 3eco'ery rogram states clearly
that this go'ernment will not su%mit to any ressures to channel
e4orts from the Gnited &tates through any official selling agency nor
will it admit any arallels %etween the cometiti'e rices of the G.&.,
and those e4acted %y the Argentine state trading agency.
Harmony of !nterests
Peron$s aroach to %uilding a new Argentina was %ased on the concetion
that go'ernment, la%or, and ri'ate industry shared a common interest in the
de'eloment of the nation. 7n an Aril 19)9 seech, Peron ointed out that
0ritish hilosoher Thomas Fo%%es ad'ocated the /state of man against
man, all against all, and 8saw9 e4istence as an arena where manliness could
identify with the rowess of the %ird of rey./ 7n such a society, he stated,
/there is no ro%a%ility of 'irtue, not e'en a trace of human dignity./
The community to which Argentines should asire, the general said, is one
/where freedom and resonsi%ility are cause and effect, in which the 6oy of
%eing e4ists, founded in the ersuasion of one$s dignity./ 7t is imortant, he
continued, /to reesta%lish harmony %etween material rogress and siritual
'alues, and once again gi'e man a true 'ision of his reality./ The %asis of
this system, Peron said, /is the sureme faith in the treasure, which %y 'irtue
of his e4istence, man reresents./
Peron was emhatic in his defense of capital, although he stiulated5 ri'ate
enterrise is /welcomedH%ut to roduce, not to seculate. . . . ;aitalism,
e'en though it %e Argentine, which %ecomes oligarchy to disute the Nation
its right to go'ern for itself, and the &tate the ri'ilege of defending the
country against ignominy or treason,/ has no lace in the 3eu%lic.
As a further ela%oration of this concetion, Peron incororated into the 19)9
;onstitution the ill o# %or&ers' Rights which asserted that5
?or1 is the indisensa%le means %y which to satisfy the siritual and
material needs of the indi'idual and the community, the cause of all
of ci'iliAation$s conBuests and the %asis for general roserity,
hence, the right to la%or must %e rotected %y society, considered with
the dignity it deser'es, and ro'iding an occuation to whoe'er needs
it. . . . The imro'ement of the human condition and the reeminence
of the 'alues of the sirit imose the necessity of romoting the
ele'ation of culture, and rofessional atitude.
?hile credit and %an1ing olicy encouraged the growth of industry, the
go'ernment too1 stes to raise li'ing standards, wages, and s1ill le'els of
the la%or force. This included an aggressi'e rogram of low-cost housing
construction, and creation of national sanitation and u%lic health rograms
which efficiently eradicated diseases such as ;hagas and malaria.
The first Peronist administration also outlined a series of ro6ects to raise the
le'el of scientific education in the country, including the creation of techni-
cal schools and olytechnic institutes for wor1ers, so as to ugrade roduc-
tion in all areas of the economy, and to free such 'ital areas as energy and
agricultural roduction from deendence on foreign technology. /The
society which we desire for the future,/ Peron said in 19D), /must under-
stand that the scientific-technological ro%lem is at the heart of the conBuest
for li%eration. ?ithout our own, sufficient, scientific-technological %ase,
li%eration is imossi%le./
Peron esta%lished 7%ero-America$s first rogram for the de'eloment of
nuclear energy. The construction of the first nuclear reactor, Atucha 7, in
19D), the comletion of the full nuclear fuel cycle in 198>, and the su%se-
Buent treaties signed with other de'eloing-sector nations in the Mideast,
Africa, and 7%ero-America to ro'ide technology and training, were the
results of the science olicy imlemented under the first two Peronist
administrations.
7mmediately following ?orld ?ar 77, Peron %rought to Argentina some of
!ermany$s and Euroe$s to roc1et scientists, hysicists, and engineers,
desite an international roaganda camaign designed to generate hysteria
and smear Argentina$s scientific offensi'e. These foreign e4erts formed the
core grou that wor1ed with, and trained, a generation of Argentines in
nuclear hysics and engineering, as well as in the moderniAation of the
Argentine Air Force and de'eloment of a national aeronautics industry.
These Euroean scientists and technicians also esta%lished research facili-
ties, and taught at such locations as the National :%ser'atory at ;ordo%a, the
Aerotechnic 7nstitute of ;ordo%a, and at se'eral state uni'ersities. Many
su%seBuently went on to wor1 at the National Atomic Energy ;ommission
(;NEA-, and the National Atomic Energy #irectorate (#NEA- founded in
1952 and 1951 resecti'ely.
;NEA had as its ma6or resonsi%ility the romotion and control of go'ern-
ment and ri'ate research, as well as the drafting of roosals for the
national go'ernment to ensure the roer use of nuclear energy. #ecree No.
12,9>9, authoriAing the ;NEA$s creation, discussed the uses of atomic
energy in industry and transortation, and stated5 /The Argentine 3eu%lic,
unconcerned with any offensi'e intention, can wor1 . . . with an ele'ated
sense of eace, for the %enefit of humanity./
:n May 1, 1951 Peron e4lained that the nation faced the challenge imlied
%y recent disco'eries in the area of /controlled atomic energy./ 7t would %e
for the good of the country /to utiliAe ractically and as soon as ossi%le
such a 'alua%le and e4traordinary energy./
The years %etween 1952-55 were a time of tremendous scientific ferment.
Gnder the leadershi of ;ol. EnriBue P. !onAaleA, the #NEA hired many of
the newly graduated hysicists and engineers from the country$s uni'ersities,
and laced them in research and la%oratory wor1, alongside more e4eri-
enced scientists, %oth Argentine and foreign.
7n 195>, after G.&. President #wight #. Eisenhower launched the Atoms for
Peace rogram, Argentina and the Gnited &tates signed the first agreement
for cooeration in the eaceful alication of nuclear energy, including a
commitment to e4change information on design, construction, and mainte-
nance of research reactors.
7n 1955, the international financial oligarchy o'erthrew Peron %ecause he
had the audacity to attemt to transform Argentina into an industrialiAed
so'ereign nation, as well as a scientific leader on the continent. Nonetheless
the fight for so'ereignty in Argentina, and in 7%ero-America is not dead.
The continent is in the throes of an e4traordinary economic and social crisis,
as a result of its de%t %urden. 7f a coalition of nationalists from the Peronist,
military, and trade union sectors comes to ower as a result of Argentina$s
May 1) residential elections, the imact on the rest of 7%ero-America will
%e immediate. And it will %e the fulfillment of the %an1ers$ worst nightmare.