Fuerzas Armadas Peronistas 1969

Why We Are Peronists

Source: Centro de Doumentacion de Movimientos Armados (cedema.org);
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2010.

In 1945 the country was in a period of progress and economic ascent. It was growing internally, as industrial centers were rising in the interior of the country and the government could count on large monetary reserves externally. This general situation made possible the appearance of the Peronist phenomenon, principally due to three factors:

  1. The appearance of national industry, fruit of general prosperity, of the conditions of the post-war international market, and of internal market conditions due to the shortage of manufactured material.
  2. The beginnings of Yankee penetration as a consequence of the weakening of the British Empire and the expansion of the North American.
  3. Internal migration. As a consequence of the growth of industry there appeared a new urban proletariat coming from the interior of the country of Creole origin, non-politicized and in a situation of total disorientation. Yet despite the flourishing economic prosperity the situation of the working class was one of exploitation, poor working conditions, and absence of labor regulations, retirement pensions, and social protection.

Colonel Perón placed himself at the head of the nationalist movement – joined by sectors of the national bourgeoisie and the army – and the working class organized with this new urban proletariat, taking as their banners the defense of the nascent national industry, the fight against Yankee penetration, and the social demands of the working class.

October 17, 1945 was the first mass action of the Argentine working class, was the political awakening of the descamisados, was the meeting of the People with its leader, who elevated it so that it achieved its highest level of consciousness: consciousness of its historic mission and destiny. Hundred of thousands of men and women were mobilized en masse to impose their will and re-conquer power. We had here the powerful and new force of the workers against the obsolete values of the imperialist and exploitative oligarchy.

Peronism owes its birth to the eruption of the workers into national life as co-participants in the construction of the new Argentina. In the international field it signified the advance of the countries of the Third World, who sought their own road outside the two hegemonic powers.

Beginning in 1945 Peronism, as an anti-imperialist, popular, and nationalist movement, initiated the bourgeois democratic process in the country. In the economic field it represented the defense of the country’s wealth against foreign hands. The foreign debt was repaid (adding up to 40% of our resources and reserve). Transports, gas, telephone, and electricity were nationalized. The nationalization of the Central Bank permitted the use of the national savings for the development of the country. The price of exported and imported primary materials was assured through the IAPI.

Nevertheless, the structures of oligarchic power were not modified in their economic aspects.

A series of authentic social demands were expressed: the rights of the workers, the family, and the elderly and the right to education were regulated. Participation in government was granted to the people, granting the vote to women and the indigenous peoples; the working class participated directly in political power, and there were worker ministers, governors, deputies, senators and diplomats; the distribution of the national income allowed the improvement in the living conditions of the working class. Proportions were reversed in favor of the workers, who received 66% of the national income.

Politically, the proletariat was given class consciousness and awareness of its power, and thanks to this the possibility of participating in the leadership of the country.

The confrontations began with the disappearance of the prosperous conditions of the post-war period. There was class struggle within the Peronist movement. The army participated in industrialization but not with a socially progressive policy. The bourgeoisie wanted to increase its own profits even more, negotiating with imperialism, and the bureaucrats did nothing but stall the process. Before them the “little black heads’ and the “greasers” – as they called the people – tended to radicalize social policy. The increase in political consciousness demanded the deepening of the revolutionary national slogans and policies as well as the participation of the workers in the decisions of the leadership.

Nevertheless, the leadership of the movement remained in the hands of the all-powerful national bourgeoisie and the union and political bureaucracy. Lacking class combativeness, lacking the revolutionary presence of Evita, easy conquests abounded. The People lived the euphoria of limitless progress, not becoming conscious of the need to destroy the structures that sustain the oligarchy and its interests in order to achieve an effective apportioning of the goods of production. The movement’s democracy was paralyzed.

It is thus that the process was stalled and the forces formerly united in a broad anti-imperialist front dispersed and ended with a shock: the front was broken.

Since 1955 14 years have passed in which the oligarchic minority has taken power, despoiling the people and PERÓN OF THE GOVERNMENT. In these 14 years Peronism has instituted the struggle in the most diverse fronts in order to re-conquer power. During these 14 years the paths taken were not at the height of its revolutionary condition and had in common their spontaneism. They were: golpismo, electoralism, reformist or treasonous bureaucracy often in contact with military chiefs, terrorism and sabotage, which only led to a dead end. The successive military crises, the military triumph, the popular and massive triumph of Peronism on March 18, 1962, the overthrow of Frondizi, the new military crises demonstrated this.

March 18 demonstrated that the oligarchy was not disposed to surrender the government or power for a question of more or fewer votes. The coup of June 28, 1966 represented the genuine continuation of the oligarchy, stripped today of false masks by the armed forces who, in this conjuncture, are the sole structure capable of effectively defending the interests of the oligarchy and imperialism.

The lack of a coherent ideology and a revolutionary strategy which would provide that provide a framework the distinct methods separately employed provoked the current dispersion of Peronism, and which has brought it time and again to defeat.

But these years of struggle allowed it to learn, allowed it to see that the situation of Argentina and Peronism are a part of the process of the liberation of Latin America. These years of struggle and rebellion have allowed the formation of a new Peronism which attempts to integrate all its defeats, all its experiences.

Today, when the bourgeoisie is incapable of leading any historic revolutionary process; today when the process presents itself in terms inseparable from the Social Revolution and National Liberation, the historic strength of Peronism as the expression of the working class cannot be equaled.

WE ARE PERONISTS because, believing in the strength of Peronism, we must continue and deepen its activities in accordance with history’s new demands and the new national and international conjunctures.

WE ARE PERONISTS because there exists a clear continuity between the national grandeur begun by Peronism in government and that which will reappear with new and superior forms of struggle, all the while integrating this with the banners of our first days. To the counter-revolutionary strategy of oppression and misery, of shame and privilege of the regime that has existed since 1955, we will oppose the revolutionary strategy of seizing power through armed struggle.

Those who see in Peron an obstacle to carrying forward the armed struggle lack the clarity to see the historic continuity that exists between the process of ‘45 – ‘55, the search for the road that leads to power in the last 14 years, and the new path via revolutionary struggle that Peronism is initiating and which is the culmination of the two previous phases.

WE ARE PERONISTS and affirm the banner of Perón’s return, because it is an authentic popular demand. Because beyond the form and appearance, the people aren’t calling for the return of a man, rather what he incarnates and is; their participation in the leadership of the country.

For Perón is a phenomenon not containable in any system. The possibility of negotiation between Perón and the regime has no real existence, and the meaning of Perón in Argentina is the thousand and thousands of descamisados in the streets. For this Perón and Peronism are an opposition not assimilable to the regime, and this reality is independent even of Perón himself.

WE ARE PERONISTS and fight for the return of Perón because we have confidence in the people, feel along with it and don’t consider it as something that can be won over by a sect of the enlightened. We can only have one method: take up the people’s demands as our banner and reach for other greater ones along with the people.

CHE said that you shouldn’t move too far from the people, nor totally mix yourself with them, ceasing to be the vanguard. Doing this would mean not seeing the real needs of the People and taking up others that up to this time have been pure theory and that the people don’t feel to be theirs. The second would be accepting that Perón must come to make the revolution, without explaining that only a revolution on the march can bring Perón.

WE ARE PERONISTS and because of this affirm that from the womb of Peronism must come the Revolutionary Vanguard capable of leading the People to the sole solution for the country and the working classes, THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SEIZURE OF POWER, for the creation of a Just, Free, and Sovereign Argentina.

Argentina 1969