Interview with General Perón – La Nation Européenne, No. 30, February 1969 – Conducted in Madrid, November 7th 1968.
Juan Domingo Perón was born in Lobos, Argentina, in 1895. A colonel in 1941. He participated in the coup of June 1943. Supported by Argentine workers (the descamisados), he was freed by them on October 17th 1945 after a brief incarceration. He was elected president of the Republic on February 24th 1946.
Advised by Miranda, he expropriated big enterprises, nationalized the central bank, railways, and external commerce. In 1947 a 5 year plan of industrialization was implemented. Perón turned away from the United States and signed important economic agreements with France and England. The Argentine army, instigated by the American secret services, staged a coup in September 1955. They fired cannon against the workers who demonstrated in favor of Perón. Hundreds died. Once Perón left, the bourgeoisie recovered its factories, its bank accounts, its privileges. The local plutocracy, entirely in the hands of the United States, restored colonial capitalism.
For having wanted to laicize the Argentine Republic (institution of divorce in 1954 – separation between Church and State in 1955) Rome used the pretext of the expulsion of the auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires to excommunicate Perón. An interesting marriage to observe in 1955: the Church and Wall Street against the socialist general. Perón’s socialist theory was named Justicialism.
Jean Thiriart: Juan Perón, firstly, could you speak to us about the work you just published, La Hora de los pueblos?
General Perón: In this book, I wanted to give a complete overview of imperialist influence and domination in Latin America. I think that Latin American countries are on the way towards their liberation. Of course, this liberation will be long and difficult, as it concerns the totality of countries in Latin America. In effect, it is unthinkable that there is a free man in an enslaved country, nor a free country in an enslaved continent. During the ten years of Justicialist government in Argentina, we lived freely in a sovereign nation. Nobody could interfere in our internal affairs without coming into conflict with us. But, in ten years, the international synarchy, that is to say the ensemble of imperialist forces that dominate the world, defeated us. A fifth column, the sepoys as we would call them in reference to India, scientifically carried out an effective undermining job and the regime that I presided over was overthrown. This proves that if peoples can liberate themselves from the imperialist yoke, it is consequently much more difficult for them to preserve their independence, as the international forces I just denounced regain control. In this sense, the failure of Justicialism should be a lesson and an experience, among many others, alas, for all the countries that want to free themselves and remain free.
We must envision the struggle for the liberation of Latin American countries as a global struggle, on the level of the continent. In this struggle, each country is in solidarity with its neighbors, upon which it must find support. The first imperative for these countries is thus to unite, to integrate. The second point is to realize the effective alliance with the third world, as we, my collaborators and myself, have advocated for 25 years! We must point out this way to the South American people; not only the leaders, but also to the popular masses that must be made aware of the necessity of this struggle against imperialism. To unify the continent and free it from external influences, to ally with the third world, such are the first objectives. Consequently, the process of internal liberation can unfold: the people will obtain the government they demand every day and that has unceasingly been refused to them, hence this succession of ephemeral dictatorships and puppet governments put in place thanks to schemes, but never elections, which allows them to keep the people under different forms of domination. This is the process that my book seeks to make the popular masses understand.
Jean Thiriart: Is there, in South America, a social class, a bourgeoisie that systematically collaborates with the United States?
General Perón: Unfortunately yes! In our country, the division between the people and an oligarchy of fortune, of birth, is very sharp, likewise with the people and the new business bourgeoisie that has developed very quickly. A powerful oligarch sleeps in each industrialist enriching himself. This oligarchy dominates the country, but we must not underestimate the breadth of the immense mass’ struggle that demands its freedom. We have initiated this movement, in a certain measure, in the ten years of Justicialist government. Justicialism is a form of socialism, a national socialism, which corresponds to the necessities and conditions of Argentinian life. It is natural for socialism to drive the masses and consequently, in their name, flare up social claims. It created an entirely new system, totally different from the old democratic liberalism that dominated the country and shamelessly put itself in the service of Yankee imperialism.
Jean Thiriart: In Europe, the Americans have corrupted all political tendencies, from the extreme right to the extreme left. There are collaborators, sold to the United States, as much among the socialists as among the Catholics and the liberals. The Americans manage to buy every party. Do you observe the same phenomenon in Latin America?
General Perón: Exactly. The Americans use the same technique everywhere in the world. Firstly, they proceed through economic penetration, through the intermediary of this oligarchy of which I just spoke, who finds substantial interests there … Next, there are more or less direct political pressures, in all political sectors. Thus, if they do not buy them, control them, the Americans try to rupture and divide national political forces. The CIA has mastered the art of organizing provocations. These objectives attained, they then attack military milieus, which they penetrate through different means, of which the most effective is certainly the liberal application of bribery. That’s how they operated in South Vietnam, through the intermediary of a few military advisers whose principal activity was bribing the generals whose moral integrity was already very far from being irreproachable, who didn’t say no to the disbursement of considerable financial advantages (for example, massive allocation of shares in foreign corporations or nominations to the executive management of corporations). These men won over by American imperialism, all that remains for them is to organize a military coup to establish a dictatorship, as is the case in Argentina, as was the case in Brazil, in Ecuador, and recently in Peru and Panama. The method is always the same. In the last stage, once the situation is under control, the Americans then begin to monopolize all the economic wealth of the country, by systematically silencing all political and social opposition forces. Such is the mechanism, in South America, in Asia, in Europe, and elsewhere.
Jean Thiriart: There it’s even stronger. In Europe, the Americans have succeeded in controlling the movements whose official goal is European unification! Thus in Brussels, the pro-European movements in parallel with the common market have been subjected to such infiltration that they now proclaim “we must make Europe with the Americans.” Which is evidently stupid because European unification, as we have shown many times in La Nation européenne, implies the departure of the Americans. But the latter are so clever that they have even taken the European movement in hand to smother it, to make it fail!
But returning to Latin America. Do certain governments try to resist American penetration?
General Perón: Practically not, as we are in a phase of nearly absolute domination. There are, of course, a few governments which are not gangrened by American imperialism, but in the general context submission, they have a paltry and aleatory character, due to isolation, the measures they adopt to face this imperialism fail to rally a true opposition. On the other hand, all the revolutionary opposition movements against imperialism are hunted down, in Argentina particularly. That’s equally true everywhere in the world, because all countries, in general, are more or less dominated, directly or indirectly, through imperialist influence, whether it’s American or Soviet imperialism. Both, basically, agree to share the world amiably.
Jean Thiriart: For you, the liberation of Argentina alone, or Chile alone, seemed fated to fail. According to you, the different liberation movements must be concurrent and operate on the continental scale. Are you a resolute partisan of integration?
General Perón: Yes. Because I believe in a certain historical determinism, The world has always been under the iron rule of an imperialism. Today we have the misfortune to have to fight against two accomplice imperialisms. But the power of imperialism follows a parabolic arc, and once it reaches the highest point on the vertical axis, the summit of the arc, decadence begins. In my opinion, the imperialisms have already entered into the phase of decadence. We have seen that they cannot be overthrown or shaken from the outside, except through the integration of all means of struggle and all concerned forces. But this sacred union is long and hard to realize, which allows the imperialisms to live happily. Yet a danger threatens them: they rot from the inside and this corruption is already very advanced, in North America as in Russia. We must use that to precipitate the process of degradation.
To achieve this, a conflict would be futile no matter how heroic.
I believe that we have arrived in a phase of humanity’s history that will be marked by the decline of the great powers of domination. We’ve reached the end of an evolution of humanity which, since the cavemen until our days, has been made through integration. From the individual to the family, to the tribe, to the city, to the feudal state, to present day nations, we arrive at continental integration. Currently, outside of a few colossi, the USA, Russia, China, a single country doesn’t represent a great force in the future, in a world where Europe will integrate, like America or Asia, small isolated nations can no longer survive. Today, to live with the means of power, we must join a bloc that already exists or is yet to be created. Europe will unify or succumb. The year 2000 will see a Europe unified or dominated. It will be the same for Latin America.
A united Europe would count a population of nearly 500 million inhabitants. The South American continent already counts more than 250 million. Such blocs would be respected and effectively oppose subjugation to imperialism which is the lot of weak and divided countries.
Jean Thiriart: Do you have the impression that the Soviets prevent Castro from pursuing important action in Latin America? That they restrain Castro in order to stop him from surpassing a certain level of agitation?
Jean Thiriart: What would you think about the establishment of a global system of information and communication between all the tendencies that fight against Russian and American imperialism, and the collective pursuit of a certain number of political efforts?
General Perón: We must consider unification to be the principal objective of all those who fight for the same cause. I say unification and not union or association. We need to integrate. Because we will soon have the occasion to act, and we must be integrated and not only associated for an effective action.
Jean Thiriart: So you believe we must go very far, much further than simple connections, in the tactical alliance with the enemies of American imperialism. Even with Castro, the Arabs, Mao Zedong if it’s necessary? You think that the enemy is so powerful, so invasive, that we must come together in order to defeat it, leaving aside ideological differences?
General Perón: I’m not communist. I’m Justicialist. But I don’t have the right to demand that China be Justicialist also. If the Chinese want to be communists, why would we want to “make them happy” against their will at any price? They are free to choose the regime that they wish for, even if it’s different than ours. Everyone is sovereign in what concerns their internal affairs. But if the Chinese fight against the same imperialist domination as us, then they are our companions in struggle. Mao himself said: “The first thing to distinguish is the real identity of friends and enemies. Then we can act.” I am a partisan of tactical alliances, according to the formula: the enemies of our enemies are our friends.
Jean Thiriart: Thank you. I have now finished with my questions. Would you like to make a declaration of particular subjects?
General Perón: I regularly read La Nation Européenne and I entirely share its ideas. Not only concering Europe but the world. One criticism, I would prefer to the title La Nation Européenne, the title Monde nouveau [The New World]. Because in the future, Europe alone will not have all the sufficient resources for the defense of its interests. Today, particular interests often defend themselves in very far away places. Europe should think about it. It must integrate, certainly, but in integrating, it should also keep close contacts with other countries in the process of integrating. Latin America in particular, an essential element that must ally with Europe. We, Latin Americans, are Europeans, and not from the American tendency. I personally feel more French, more Spanish, or more German than American. The old Jew Disraeli was quite right when he said: “Peoples have neither permanent friends nor permanent enemies, they have permanent interests,” we must unite these interests, even if they are geographically distant, so that Europe can continue to be the first civilizing power in the world.