Thursday, June 29, 2017

the last book I ever read (Evita, First Lady: A Biography of Eva Perón, excerpt four)

from Evita, First Lady: A Biography of Eva Perón by John Barnes:

In the last few days of the campaign, Perón was handed an election issue which had nothing to do at all with economics or social justice. To his delight, the United States took that particular moment to add yet another chapter to its unhappy record of Big Stick diplomacy in Latin America. The State Department, in a move to influence the election, published a handbook reviewing Perón’s record of fascism and collaboration with Nazi Germany in World War II. Primly titled Consultation among the American Republics with Respect to the Argentine Situation, but better known as the ‘Blue Book’, it was the work of Assistant Secretary of State Spruille Braden, whose brief ambassadorship in Buenos Aires the previous year had been marked by the blunt, undiplomatic manner with which he had publicly attacked Perón and the Argentine Government. Braden was determined to stamp out the vestiges of Nazism in the southern continent, even though Nazism had already been replaced by Communism in the American mind as the enemy of world peace and democracy.

The other Latin American nations recognized the ‘Blue Book’ for what it was – an attempt by the Americans to go on fighting a war that was over – and they ignored it. Perón and many Argentines, not all of them Perón supporters, looked upon it as unacceptable meddling in their country’s internal affairs. Eva quickly took advantage of such a marvelous propaganda gift for those final days of the campaign. In her radio broadcasts, which went out to every town and village in the country, she called on all Argentines to repudiate the threat of ‘Yanqui’ imperialism with the cry of ‘Perón yes! Braden no!’ It was an unbeatable slogan and almost certainly won the votes of many indignant patriotic Argentines who would otherwise have voted for Tamborini.

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