>Red World: Argentina: Neo-Peronist regime closely allied to Bolivarian Axis, military junta crushed communist insurgency in "Dirty War"

>We resume our Red World profiles by focusing on South America over the next few days. Pictured here are allies Nestor Kirchner and Hugo Chavez, presidents of Argentina and Venezuela, respectively. French Guiana is not included in this list since it is an overseas department of France and elects deputies to the National Assembly of that country. See the April 2007 archives for our previous installments of the Red World series, focusing on Central America and the Caribbean. Thus far we have considered communist influences in every country worldwide, with the exception of the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania. God willing, we will profile these countries in the near future.

Argentine Republic
Type of state: Republic with multiparty system featuring dominant Justicialist Party (Peronist) and allies
Independence: July 9, 1816 (from Spain)
President of Argentina: Cristina Kirchner (Front for Victory, formally leftist faction of Justicialist Party; wife of predecessor Nestor): December 10, 2007-present
Political composition of national legislature: In the last election for the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, which occurred on October 23, 2005, the seats were distributed in the following manner: Front for Victory (Peronist) 50, Radical Civic Union (liberal-social democratic) 10, Alternative for a Republic of Equals (center-left) 8, Justicialist Party (Peronist) 9, Republican Proposal (center-right) 9, Justicialist Front (Peronist) 7, Progressive, Civic, and Social Front 5, Alliance Union of Córdoba 4, Federalist Unity Party (Peronist, center-right) 2, Alliance New Front 3, Front of Everyone (former members of Justicialist Party and Radical Civic Union, pro-Kirchner) 6, Front for the Renewal of Concordia (former members of Justicialist Party and Radical Civic Union, pro-Kirchner) 2, Civic Front for Santiago (former members of Justicialist Party and Radical Civic Union, pro-Kirchner) 3, and Neuquino People’s Movement (Peronist) 2.
Next general elections: Argentina’s next general elections are scheduled for October 28, 2007.
Setting the record straight: In view of the communist revolution unfolding in Argentina in the mid-1970s, we believe that the Argentine armed forces were justified in overthrowing the ineffective government of President Isabel Perón. The number of leftist revolutionaries and sympathizers executed by the military regime (1976-1983) was essential to preempt the potential genocide perpetrated by a victorious communist regime in Buenos Aires. It is important to keep in mind that most complaints raised against military regimes emanate from the Left. Military regimes are not pleasant, but then nor are communist dictatorships. Argentina’s military junta, in our opinion however, overplayed its hand with the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982.

Peronist presidents of Argentina:

1) Cristina Kirchner (Front for Victory, formally leftist faction of Justicialist Party; wife of predecessor Nestor): December 10, 2007-present

2) Néstor Carlos Kirchner (Justicialist Party, leftist faction): May 25, 2003-December 10, 2007
3) Eduardo Alberto Duhalde (Justicialist Party): January 2, 2002-May 25, 2003 (interim)
4) Eduardo Oscar Camaño (Justicialist Party): December 31, 2001-January 2, 2002 (interim)
5) Adolfo Rodríguez Saá (Justicialist Party): December 23-31, 2001 (interim)
6) Federico Ramón Puerta (Justicialist Party): December 21-23, 2001 (interim)
7) Carlos Saúl Menem (Justicialist Party, rightist faction): July 8, 1989-December 10, 1999
8) Isabel María Estela Martínez de Perón (Justicialist Party, rightist faction): October 16, 1975-March 24, 1976 (deposed in military coup)
9) Ítalo Argentino Lúder (Justicialist Party): September 13-October 16, 1975 (acting)
10) Isabel María Estela Martínez de Perón (Justicialist Party’s rightist faction, third wife of Juan Peron): July 1, 1974-September 13, 1975
11) General Juan Domingo Perón (Justicialist Party, rightist faction): October 12, 1973-July 1, 1974 (died in office)
12) Dr. Raúl Alberto Lastiri (Justicialist Party, rightist faction): July 13-October 12, 1973 (interim, alleged member of Italy’s P2 Masonic lodge)
13) Dr. Héctor José Cámpora (Justicialist Party, leftist faction): May 25-July 13, 1973 (restored relations with Cuba, resigned)
14) Colonel Juan Domingo Perón (Labor Party, Justicialist Party’s rightist faction, open admirer of Benito Mussolini): June 4, 1946-September 21, 1955 (deposed in military coup; pictured above)

Communist government: none

Communist insurgency:

1) Montonero Peronist Movement (MPM): The Montoneros were a leftist guerrilla group that operated during the early to mid-1970s. Sometimes identified as a form of fascism, or corporatism, Peronism, like Gaullism in France, sought to bring under one roof numerous factions spanning the political spectrum. The MPM coalesced around Catholic and student groups, along with leftist supporters of Juan Peron. The MPM’s most well-known leader was Mario Firmenich. The Montoneros yearned for the day when Perón would return from exile in Francoist Spain and establish a “Socialist Fatherland” in Argentina. The Montoneros initiated a campaign to destabilize the pro-American regime then in power. Among other acts of terrorism, they kidnapped and executed former dictator Pedro Eugenio Aramburu (1955-1958) and his sympathizers, including unionists, politicians, diplomats, and businessmen. They financed their operations by ransoming wealthy businessmen and foreign executives.

On March 11, 1973, Argentina held general elections for the first time in a decade. Left-wing Peronist Dr. Héctor José Cámpora became president, but resigned in July to allow Perón to win the new elections in October. However a feud developed between right-wing Peronists and the Montoneros. Rightists within the Justicialist Party, union leaders, and the Radical Party under the leadership of Ricardo Balbín, advocated a social pact between trade unions and employers rather than a socialist revolution, which was advocated by the Montoneros. Consequently the two warring camps within the Justicialist Party clashed at Perón’s homecoming ceremony on June 20, 1973. The Ezeiza massacre, as it was later called, resulted in 13 casualties and more than 300 wounded. It marked the definitive split between left and right-wing Peronists. Perón himself sided with the rightist members of his party, unions, and Radicals. José López Rega, former police officer and founder of the Alianza Anticomunista Argentina (“Triple A”) death squad, allegedly organized the massacre. In the midst of this political turmoil Peron expelled the Montoneros from the Justicialist Party in May 1974.

In response, the Montoneros, claiming the “social revolutionary vision of authentic Peronism,” instigated guerrilla operations against the neo-Peronist government. Among other actions, they assassinated José Ignacio Rucci, general secretary of the General Confederation of Labour on September 25, 1973 and Arturo Mor Roig, a former foreign minister, on July 15, 1974. The Montoneros and the Popular Revolutionary Army (ERP), another insurgent communist army, attacked business and political figures throughout the country, raided military bases for weapons and explosives, murdered executives from General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, and sank the Argentine destroyer ARA Santisima Trinidad in 1975. On July 2, 1976 the Montoneros detonated a powerful bomb in the Federal Intelligence Department, killing 18 and injuring 66 people. Under López Rega’s command the Triple A hunted, executed, and arrested Montoneros, ERP members, and other militant leftists.

On March 24, 1976 General Jorge Rafael Videla ousted President Isabel Perón, the wife of deceased President Juan Peron, and installed a military junta. The junta initiated a counter insurgency operation to eradicate communism in Argentina. Between 1976 and 1983 the armed forces and death squads reportedly eliminated 30,000 opponents through mass arrests, torture, and summary executions. The Montoneros lost 1,600 out of 7,000 active supporters in 1976 alone. By the following year the organization was effectively crushed. Argentina remained a dictatorship until December 10, 1983, when the military lost the Falkland Islands War.

2) Popular Revolutionary Army (ERP): Founded in 1965 the ERP was the military wing of Argentina’s Workers’ Revolutionary Party (PRT). Originally Trotskyist, the ERP later adopted Maoist theory during China’s Cultural Revolution, as well as Che Guevara’s “foquista” strategy of insurgency. The PRT, in turn, traced its origins to the Revolutionary and Popular Indoamericano Front, which brothers Francisco René and Mario Roberto Santucho organized in 1958 in Santiago del Estero. The front was a nationalist, indigenist, and revolutionary movement that drew ideological inspiration from Peruvian Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre.

The ERP instigated its urban guerrilla campaign against Argentina’s military regime in 1969, employing assassinations and the kidnapping of government officials and foreign executives. The stated goal of the ERP was the establishment of a “proletarian dicatorship.” The ERP formed the Revolutionary Coordinating Junta (JCR) in collaboration with the Chile’s Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR), Uruguay’s Tupamaros National Liberation Movement, and Bolivia’s National Liberation Army. The last group, however, did not exercise any real influence.

After the restoration of Juan Perón to the presidency in 1973, the ERP adopted a rural strategy in order to secure a large land base for military operations against the Argentine government. At this time some guerrillas trained in Cuba. By December 1974 the ERP boasted 100 fighters under the command of Roberto, 400 support persons, and 2,500 sympathizers. The ERP soon exerted control over a third of the Tucumán province in northwest Argentina. Responding to two communist insurgences, in February 1975 President Isabel de Perón, third wife of deceased President Juan Peron, issued the “annihilation decrees” to expand the military’s powers to prosecute a counter-insurgency campaign. In May ERP emissary Amilcar Santucho was captured as he crossed into Paraguay to promote the JCR’s unity program. Amilcar, however, betrayed the cause of communist revolution by providing information about the ERP to agents of the Secretary of Intelligence (SIDE). This data enabled Argentine security agencies to wipe out the guerrilla army. The apprehension of Amilcar was one practical result of Operation Condor, a US-supported anti-communist operation jointly devised by the intelligence and security services of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay in 1973.

On March 24, 1976 General Jorge Rafael Videla ousted President Isabel Perón and installed a military junta. During the so-called Dirty War that followed the coup, General Acdel Vilas implemented Operation Independence in Tucuman, deploying over 3,000 soldiers, including two companies of elite commandos. General Vilas eliminated the ERP support network in the towns and, by July, Argentine commandos were executing search-and-destroy missions in the mountains. ERP commander Roberto was killed that month, although the identity of his killers, whether military or insurgent, is not clear. The armed forces discovered Santucho’s base camp in August and raided the ERP urban headquarters in September. The ERP continued under the command of Enrique Gorriarán Merlo. However, by late 1977, both the ERP and the Montoneros were eradicated.

3) All for the Country Movement (MTP): After the destruction of the left in Argentina, some revolutionary cadres fled to Nicaragua, where the Sandinista National Liberation Front seized power in 1979. ERP commander Enrique Gorriarán Merlo found employment with the Sandinista security service and was implicated in the assassination of ex-dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1980. Gorriarán returned to Argentina in 1987 to organize the All for the Country Movement (MTP). At this time the new democratic government of President Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín (Radical Civic Union) was holding a series of trials against members of the Argentine military accused of human rights violations. Professing to fear another military coup, in 1989 Gorriarán orchestrated an attack on La Tablada military barracks, which ended in the apprehension of all MTP members. Gorriarán and his comrades in arms received life sentences, but the former was pardoned by interim President Eduardo Alberto Duhalde (Justicialist Party) only two days before Néstor Carlos Kirchner (Justicialist Party) assumed power in 2003. The MTP exist today as a political movement that has (allegedly) abandoned armed revolution. Gorriarán died in 2006.

Communist, including Trotskyist and left-wing Peronist, parties:

1) Advance Group (GA): This party is Stalinist in orientation.
2) Advanced Democracy-Socialist Pole (DA-PS): This left socialist party was founded in 1990.
3) Authentic Peronist Movement (MPA): This party is left nationalist in orientation.
4) Authentic Socialist Party (PSA): This left socialist party was founded in 1984.
5) Big Front (FG): This left socialist coalition was founded in 1993. The FG previously associated with FREPASO and holds membership in the Sao Paulo Forum.
6) Bolshevik Party for the Fourth International (PBCI): This Trotskyist party was founded in 1991.
7) Communist League (LC): This left-communist party was founded in 1997 as a split from the Revolutionary Socialist League.
8) Communist Party-Extraordinary Congress (PC-CE): This party was founded in 1996 as a split from the communist Party of Argentina.
9) Communist Party of Argentina (PCA): Founded in 1918 the PCA holds membership in the Sao Paulo Forum and United Left. This party was formerly a member of the Communist International and the editorial board of the Moscow-dominated World Marxist Review, which ceased publication in June 1990.
10) Communist Refoundation (RC): This party was founded in 1999.
11) Construction Committee for a Revolutionary Workers’ Party (CCPOR): Founded in 1988 this Trotskyist party holds membership in the Fourth Internationalist Tendency and formerly in the Liaison Committee for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International.
12) Current of the Socialist Left (CIS): This Trotskyist party holds membership in the Committee for a Workers’ International.
13) December 20 Patriotic Movement (MP20D): Found in 2002 this party represents the leftist tendency within the Peronist movement.
14) Federal Authentic Party (PAF): This party represents the leftist tendency within the Peronist movement and operates under the leadership of Fernando Vaca Narvaja.
15) Free Homeland National Current (CNPL): This radical left party was founded in 1987.
16) Front for Change (FC): This center-left party split from FREPASO in 2001.
17) Grouping of Socialist Bases (ABS): This party split from the PSP.
18) Guernica Socialist Group (GSG): This party is Trotskyist in orientation.
19) Homeland for All Front (FPT): Founded in 2004 this alliance of political and social organizations represents the leftist tendency within the Peronist movement.
20) Humanist Party (PH): Founded in 1984 this party holds membership in the Humanist International and Sao Paulo Forum.
21) International Communist Circle (CCI): Until 2004 the CCI was known as the International Communist Nucleus.
22) Internationalist Communist Organization (OCI): Founded in 2001 this party is Trotskyist in orientation.
23) Internationalist Workers League (Fourth International) (LOI(CI)): Founded in 1998 as a split from the PTS, the LOI(CI) is Trotskyist in orientation.
24) Intransigent Party (PI): Founded in 1972 this left socialist party associates with the Sao Paulo Forum.
25) July 26 Movement (M26J): This party operates under the leadership of Marcelo “Gaucho” Yaquet.
26) Liberation Party (PL): Founded in 1965 as Communist Vanguard, this Maoist party changed its name to 27) Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) in 1976. The PL associates with the International Communist Seminar.
28) Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Study Circle (CEMLM): This party is Maoist in orientation.
29) Montonero Peronist Movement (MPM) Founded in 1977 the MPM represents the leftist tendency within the Peronist movement.
30) Movement All for the Fatherland (MTP): Founded in 1986 this party is radical left in orientation.
31) Movement for People’s Victory (MVP): This party was founded in 2003.
32) Movement towards Socialism (MAS): Founded in 1971 as the Socialist Party of Workers, this Trotskyist party formerly associated with the International Workers’ League (Fourth International). President Evo Morales leads a party of the same name and ideological orientation in Bolivia.
33) New Course (NR): This Trotskyist party was founded in 2002 as a split from Movement towards Socialism. 34) Open Politics for Social Integrity (PAIS): Founded in 1994 the PAIS represents the leftist tendency within the Peronist movement.
35) Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD): Founded in 2003 the PRD represents the leftist tendency within the Peronist movement and operates under the leadership of Miguel Bonasso.
36) Party of the National Left (PIN): Founded in 1983 this party is left nationalist in orientation.
37) Patriotic Movement Malón (MPM): Founded in 1999 this party is left nationalist in orientation.
38) Political Social Liberation Movement (MPSOL): This alliance in the Province of Cordoba represents the leftist tendency in the Peronist movement and operates under the leadership of Luis Miguel Baronetto.
39) Popular Cause (CP): Founded in 1990 this party is left nationalist in orientation.
40) Popular Coincidence (CP): Founded in 2004, this alliance joins the FPC, PSA, PCR, Soberanía Popular, and Christian Democracy under one political roof.
41) Popular Democratic Movement (MDP): This party operates under the leadership of Alberto Celentano.
42) Popular Intransigence Party (PIP): This party was founded in 1989 and associates with the Sao Paulo Forum.
43) Popular Meeting Movement (MEP): This party was founded in 1990 and associates with the Sao Paulo Forum.
44) Popular Revolutionary Movement (MRP): This party operates under the leadership of René Irurzún.
45) Revolutionary Communist Party (PCR): This Maoist party was founded in 1968 as a split from the Communist Party of Argentina. The PCR associates with the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (Maoist), Sao Paulo Forum, and International Communist Seminar.
46) Revolutionary Liberation Party (PRL): This Maoist party split from the Liberation Party and associates with the International Communist Seminar.
47) Revolutionary Nationalist Party (PNR): This party is left nationalist in orientation.
Revolutionary Patriotic Movement-Quebracho (MPR-Q) Quebracho: Founded in 1992 this party is radical left in orientation.
48) Revolutionary Socialism (SR): This Trotskyist party was founded in 2004 as a split from the Workers’ Party for Socialism.
49) Revolutionary Socialist League ( LSR): This Trotskyist party split from Movement towards Socialism in 1996.
50) Revolutionary Workers’ Party-Posadist (POR-P): Founded in 1946 this Trotskyist party operates under the leadership of Joel Horacio and associates with the Trotskyist Posadist 4th International and SP.
51) Revolutionary Workers’ Party (PRT): Founded in 1965 this party is radical left in orientation and formerly associated with the United Secretariat of the Fourth International.
52) Self-determination and Freedom (AL): Founded in 2001 this party is radical left in orientation.
53) Socialist Pole (PS): Founded in 1999 this party is left socialist in orientation.
54) Socialist Convergence (CS): Founded in 2000 this Trotskyist party formerly associated with the International Workers’ League (Fourth International).
55) Socialist Militants (MS): This party is Trotskyist in orientation.
56) Socialist Orientation (OS): Founded in 1971 this party is Maoist in orientation and associates with the United Left.
57) Socialist Identity (IS): Founded in 1997 this party is left socialist in orientation.
58) Socialist Picket Bloc (BPS): Founded in 2001 this party split from the Authentic Socialist Party.
59) Socialist Revolution Party-Workers’ Cause (PRS-CO): This Trotskyist party was founded in 1994 as a split from Movement towards Socialism. The PRS-CO associates with the International Socialist League and formerly with the International Center of Orthodox Trotskyism-Fourth International.
60) Socialist Revolution Party-Workers’ Word (PRS-PO): This Trotskyist party was founded in 2002 as a split from the Socialist Revolution Party-Workers’ Cause. The PRS-PO associates with the International Center of Orthodox Trotskyism-Fourth International.
61) Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Group (GTRS): Founded in 1993 this Trotskyist party split from Movement towards Socialism.
62) Socialist Workers’ Front (FOS): This Trotskyist party associates with the International Workers’ League (Fourth International).
63) Socialist Workers’ Movement (MST): Founded in 1992 this Trotskyist party split from Movement towards 64) Socialism and associates with both the International Workers’ Unity (Fourth International) and United Left.
65) Socialist Workers’ Union (UST): Founded in 1998 this Trotskyist party split from the Socialist Revolution Party-Workers’ Cause.
66) The Militant: This Trotskyist party associates with the International Marxist Tendency.
67) Union of Militants for Socialism (UMS): Founded in 1994 this communist party associates with the Sao Paulo Forum.
68) United Left (IU): This radical left alliance joins the Communist Party of Argentina, Movement towards Socialism (Trotskyist), Socialist Orientation (Maoist), and Socialist Pole (left socialist) under one political roof.
69) Uturuncos: This party is radical left in orientation.
70) Workers’ Party (PO): This Trotskyist party was founded in 1964 as Political Worker and associates with the Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International.
71) Workers’ Party for Socialism (PTS): Founded in 1988 this Trotskyist party is a split from Movement towards Socialism and associates with the Trotskyist Faction-International Strategy.
72) Workers, Peasants, Students, and Popular Movement (MOCEP): This party is radical left in orientation.

Communist Bloc memberships: United Nations, Latin American Parliament, Union of South American Nations (merger of Andean Community of Nations and Southern Common Market; to be implemented by December 2007)
Socialist International presence: Socialist Party, Radical Civic Union
Sao Paulo Forum presence: Communist Party of Argentina

Moscow-Beijing-Havana-Caracas Axis political/economic/military presence: Although not a member of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, Argentina’s neo-Peronist regime is closely allied with Cuba and Venezuela through various economic partnerships, such as the anti-IMF/World Bank Bank of the South, and a common commitment to opposing US influence, under the rhetoric of “imperialism” and “neoliberalism,” in Latin America.

Argentina has a close relationship with Russia. In 2004 Pravda reported that during negotiations with Argentine Minister for Foreign Relations, International Trade and Worship Rafael Antonio Bielsa, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered the following comments: “Our negotiations began on a good background. The Russian-Argentine business forum was successfully held yesterday. We boast excellent political contacts. This is our second meeting in the last six months. Russia considers Argentina a key partner in Latin America. We hope for a productive and constructive dialogue.” In 2005 state-run Novosti reported that Argentina supported Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization. In August 2006, only two weeks after Venezuela’s neo-communist regime purchased 24 Russian Su-30 fighter jets and 53 helicopters, Argentina’s Ministry of Defense announced that it was also considering the purchase of Russian military helicopters and armor-plated patrol boats.

Argentina has a close relationship with China. Following a two-week tour of Latin America in November 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao (pictured above with Kirchner) announced that the People’s Republic of China intended to invest nearly US$20 billion in Argentina over the following decade.

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One response to “>Red World: Argentina: Neo-Peronist regime closely allied to Bolivarian Axis, military junta crushed communist insurgency in "Dirty War"

  1. mah29001 June 19, 2007 at 4:31 am

    >Somehow with Argentina and the “return” of Peronist leaning parties, I also kind of get the feeling that even the “anti-Communist” movement in Argentina was also run by “right-wing” Peronists who were once part of the party, but became “anti-Communists”.These folks were also supported by Council on Foreign Relations member-Henry Kissinger, along with other “non-Communist” tyrants and movements in Latin America such as Chile. Kind of suspicious that if these folks WERE really anti-Communist as much as everybody said they were, why is there still a rise in pro-Communist attitude? With the likes of Kissinger backing these sort of “non-Communist” regimes who is quite friendly toward Comrade Czar Vladimir Putin and his buddies in the Kremlin, well, one can only say that these “non-Communist” dictators and movements may be used in sort of a neo-McCarthyite style to discredit the anti-Communist movement in effort to make many people believe that anyone on the right is “totalitarian”.That’s the sort of rhetoric being promoted by all the pro-Chavez circles in Latin America and also in the U.S. They are attaching anyone who favored these seemingly non-Communist regimes that were simply just authoritarian to paint the right in that manner.

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