Condor and Carlos

Julio Fernández Baraibar julfb at
Sat Jun 17 05:32:09 MDT 2000

Dear Chris:
First, I want to express you and the list that it is very
pleasant for me your interest and preoccupation about our countries and our
peoples. And, the discussion and explaination of our problems and
circumstances is one of the reasons for me to be in this list. Beyond
linguistic barriers and the loss of stylistic subtleties.

I would like to add some piece of information about the actual state of our
armed forces in Argentina, and relate it to the question of the
human rights.
I reassume where Nestor finished his post, which I agree with.

The Argentinian armed forces, created during the government of Julio A. Roca
in the 1880's, have allways had two main ideological
currents: the liberal wing and the nationalistic wing.
The first one: "democratically" conservative in politics, in the way of the
english tories and
liberal, in the most extreme Adam Smith's way, in economy. It has expressed
and defended the interests of the old "pampas" oligarchy. This is the Army
that made the coup d'etat against Yrigoyen in 1930, against Peron in 1955
and his wife in 1976. Its high officers are (or were, I would say by reasons
that I'll try to explain "ut infra") fine gentlemen, convinced that the best
destiny for our country was to supply foodstuff to Great Britain and, after
the British Empire's fall, to follow the determinations of the USA. Of
course, this last alliance was not frictionless, due to the competitiveness
among USA's and argentinian agrarian production.
On the other hand, the nationalistic current in the Army had authoritarian
tendences in politics and were protectionist and industrialist in economy.
This last was the dominant during both presidences of Hipolito Yrigoyen.
It were high officers of this wing that created, for instance, YPF (the
national owned petrol company) and the state owned metalurgical company.
Generals Mosconi and Savio were the most important names in the Yrigoyen's
period, among others, as Almiral Storni in the Navy.
Peron, surged from a military movement leaded by this last faction against
the liberal hegemony (during the so called "Infamous Decade", 1930-1943),
was the first one able to put together this point of view and the
aspirations of the
worker people. This gave wide social support to this military wing and, in
some way, gave the Army the role the weak national bourgeoisie should have
After the coup d'etat in 1955, the hegemony of the "liberal" faction was
overwhelmingly. In the first period of this conter-revolution,
(september-december 1955), the catholic-nationalist sectors in the Army
wanted to
keep some of the conquests of peronism without its "populist excesses" (by
this: the participation of people and workers in the regime, mostly through
the trade unions). This stupid "chupacirios" ("candle sucker"), who felt
that the holiness of the family was raped by Peron's divorce law, begun the
conter-revolution pushed by the Church, whom Peron's policies had taken over
its monopoly on beneficence and poor. Once Peron was fallen, the power was
taken over by the liberal and masonic faction of the Army, backed up by the
landowners class and the American Ambassy.

During the 60's, the Army had a decisive role in Argentina, as country in
which the popular leader was forbidden had to be governed. It was by then
when the american influence in our armed forces, with its famous School in
Panama, begun. During this stage the phenomenon described by Chris appears
also in Arg:

> Meanwhile, as in the case of Krupp,
> AGFarben, Mitsubishi, Rolls-Royce, and the Generals Electric and Motors:
> while some officers hang, ordinary survivors lead battered lives, and
> potentially restive vets are co-opted by economical benefits --the
> ever-prosperous capitalists reap the storm.

The american companies co-opted retired high officers as "door openers",
agents with oiled relations with the political power. Between 1955 and 1973
the high ranks in the armed forces became part of the social oligarchic-
imperialist system. By then, the nationalistic tendences were minimal, very
influenced by a rabid anticomunism and a catholicism inspired by the
Concilium of
Trento. Peronism had only influence in the low ranks of subofficers, as
Nestor explained.

The radicalization of the middle classes in late 60's had its influence in
the armed forces. A not so large group of young officers became Peronist
and, in some way, leftist. Anyway, during 70's and also during the short 3rd
presidence of Peron (1973-1975) the great majority of high ranks were
"liberals" and bet to Peron's fall. Here the role of the "grupos
gerrilleros" (urban guerrilla) appears. As ERP as Montoneros played, during
those short but desissive years, a provocative part that helped the armed
forces to unite under the leadership of the rawest "liberalism". As ERP as
Montoneros, each one of them from their own ideological point of view,
questioned the leadership of Peron, whose power was based on the wide
majority of the popular classes.  ERP, in the name of Marxism put the armed
forces under the intolerable menace of "killing an officer every week" and
the Montoneros pretended to limit Peron's power by questioning his
leadership. I want to put in clear that the social base of both armed groups
was the petty bourgeoisie. In the case of the Montoneros, Peron tried to
change their minds and add them as a sector under his irrefutable
leadership. When Montoneros murder the CGT General Secretary, Jose Ignacio
Rucci, a couple of days after Peron's electoral victory, the old caudillo
realizes that the fight is against himself.

When Peron dies, in 1975, and his wife as a vice president assumes the
presidency, the provocation by those armed groups (ERP and Montoneros)
reaches paroxism. Under no concept they were capable to assume the state's
power. The whole working class saw their actions as passive and outer
spectators. Those actions only resulted as a strengthening of the hawks in
the armed forces. Me, personally, have been confident to an Army captain
that agreed our socialist points of view. This Captain, every single morning
when he left home to go to work, had to walk his way to the garage with his
Colt 45 in the hand in order to respond any possible attack of those groups.
I ensure you this young officer was spelled by our thinking.

Meanwile, the economic situation here was far from being in the extreme and
critic lines we are facing nowadays. Factories were producing, shops were
selling, and the people mostly spent.
Isabel Peron's gov was a weak one, a transition one.  The passing away of
Peron was not a secondary fact by those years. In his Bonapartist way, the
old caudillo had been the main character of Arg politics for those last 30
years. The pivot of the national anti-imperialistic front was vanished. A
new era was beginning. As this is not so mentioned should be added that, by
sep/oct 1976 there were to be Presidential election in Arg, in which
Peronism woul fix its debts to Isabel and Peron's inheritance. The head of
the imperialist-liberal army, leaded by Videla, used the criminal
provocation of the ERP and Montoneros to unite the armed forces, freezing
any possible developement in younger officers, to impose the rules of
imperialism. The "leftist" provocation was the excuse that allowed to
complete the tasks that 1955' counter-revolution unaccomplished. The results
for the Arg armed forces were:

 * To be blamed of a bloodbath that extinguished not only some of those
guilty ones of the suicidal provocation, but also thousands of working
militants, factory delegates, middle rank unionists, student leaders and, of
course a bunch of people that had nothing to do with the "armed struggle".

* Settle the bases to the systematical destruction of every chance of
building an independent country, and

* The dismantling of the armed forces themselves, due to their isolating of
the civil society and, above all, the Malvinas war.

When, in 1982 General Galtieri (follower of the nationalistic current above
mentioned) reconquests our historical rights in Malvinas islands, the
imperialistic system concludes that the armed forces are not to be trusted
any more. Democratic period, that begun in 1983 in Arg was the result of a
major National military defeat, and so, this democratic stage was signed,
from its very beginning by imperialism.

17 years after that we can say that the armed forces do not longer exist as
a National power factor. Every company related to National defence have
vanished. Every industrial resource handled by armed forces has been
dismantled. The military service has been abolished, and the Buenos Aires'
Police departement is larger than the armed forces. The officers and
sub-officers in every rank have become low wage public employees. If, in
1960's they became executives in large imperialist companies, today they
work as securities at discos and country clubs.
Current generals were lieutenants or captains back in 1976. Many of them, I
can ensure, have clear knoledge about what had happened. Some of them are
seeking, as we do, a meeting point to the vast and powerful social movement
that has begun to develope in Arg.

It is under these terms and due to these reasons that I want to be very
careful when we speak about armed forces, human rights and the facts that
happened 25 years ago.

Julio FB

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