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June 08, 1973 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-06-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Latin American Jewries in State of Insecurity

By MURRAY ZUCKOFF
JTA News Editor

(Copyright 1973, JTA, Inc.)

Hope and quiet desperation
are the two faces of Jewry in
Argentina, Chile and Uru-
guay. The hope is that the
Jewish communities will not
be endangered by the irre-
versible social upheavals now
unfolding.
The changes in each of
these countries are profound-
ly thorough-going. In Chile
there is the beginning of a
socialist economy. The re-
turn of Peronism in Argen-
tina will usher in another era
of what can be described as
corporate collectivism, a re-
run of the early days of ra-
cism in Italy. In Uruguay,
the increasing role of the
military is rapidly closing a
period of democracy that
reigned in that country dur-
ing the last 40 years.
In each of these countries
the Jews as part of the mid-
dle class are most affected
by these changes. Since there
is no Jewish working class,
and since as an aggregate
Jews are totally marginal to
the basic socio-economic pro-
cesses—affected' by the so-
cial changes but without the
proper anchorage in the econ-

omy to affect the changes—
the Jews are threatened by
forces over which they have
no control. In Chile they are
generally gloomy, in Uru-
guay, largely expectant, and
in Argentina, watchful and on
the alert.
In Brazil, totally different
from the other three coun-
tries, the socio-economic con-
ditions are characterized by
a booming economy and a
military dictatorship which
bears down implacably on
any signs of opposition. Here
the Jews are euphoric, en-
sconced as they are in a
womb of social well-being,
affuence and status. But even
here the ecstasy is tempered
by an apprehension that the
storms in the surrounding
countries and the simmering
social tensions within may
act as the midwife to de-
liver the forces that may
eventually topple them from
their cusp.
Despite the economic and
political diversity of Argen-
tina, Chile and Uruguay there
is a common denominator
which binds them together
and which is the basis of
concern, even alarm, for the
Jewish communities and its
leaderships. The bond is the
intense anti-American—anti-
imperialist—attitude of the
governments and overwhelm-
ing majority of the people.
This attitude runs the gamut
from jibes against "North
Americans" and "Yankees"
to expropriation and nation-

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alization of American firms
and banks.
The most consistent and
venomous critics of the U.S.
are Chile and Argentina.
Chileans continue to bristle
at the crude attempt by the
ITT to subvert the election
of Salvador Allende Gossens
during his presidential race
in 1970. In Argentina, Pres-
ident-elect Dr. Hector Cam-
pora continues to espouse
former dictator Juan Dom-
ingo Peron's philosophy of
"synarchy" which views
American imperialism and
Soviet Communism as the
two pillars of international
oppression and Judaism as
the force that props up both.
In 'addition, the govern-
ments and people of Chile
and Argentina are especially
vocal in their support for the
Third World national libera-
tion movements. This sup-
port was expressed succinct-
ly not by Campora or Al-
lende but by the President of
Mexico, Luis Echeverria Al-
varez, in his address to Mex-
ico's Congress in February.
He declared: "In Peru and in
Chile, as in the exchange of
opinions we have had in our
own territory with the chiefs
of state of the Central Amer-
ican countries, Panama and
Ghana, we have ratified our
solidarity with those who
propose new roads to im-
prove their economic condi-
tions and consolidate their
independence."
The pummeling the U. S.
receives daily in the news
media and in the august
chaMbers of government is
intensified and reinforced by
moves on the part of Argen-
t:na, Chile and Uruguay,
among other Latin American
countries, to reestablish di-
plomatic ties with Cuba or to
expand economic trade. Since
these countries are part of
the Organization of American
States (OAS), these moves
are indicative of the growing
isolation of the U.S. in La-
tta America.
Rampant inflation: In Ar-
gentina the cost of living
zoomed 76.5 per cent during
the 12 months ending in
April. In Chile there was a
whopping 126 per cent hike
during the same period. Con-
ditions there became so in-
tolerable that workers seized
the public works ministry in
Santiago twice within a pe-
riod of 10 days in April to
demand pay raises and wider
fringe benefits. The second
time they held 3,000 em-
ployes hostage while police
looked on and made no ef-
fort to evict the workers.
Extremes of poverty and
wealth: This is most flagrant
in Brazil where, despite a
much touted economic boom,
millions of workers live in
dire poverty and where one
per cent of the population
has 30 per cent of the nation-
al income. Last year, Presi-
dent Emilio Garrastzu re-
marked that while the econ-
omy was forging ahead the
people were falling behind.
Delfim Neto, the man credit-
ed for Brazil's economic ad-
vances, conceded last sum-
mer that no changes in the
unequal distribution of in-
come can be expected over
the next 10 years and that
no solution has been found to
the problem.
Unabated terrorism and
counter - terrorism: Political
kidnappings, assassinations
and skirmishes between
guerilla groups and the mili-
tary are common in Argen-
tina. Several weeks ago, in

16—Friday, June 8, 1973

the aftermath of the latest
in a series of political mur-
ders by left-wing extremists,
Buenos Aires was placed un-
der martial law. In Uruguay,
where the military crushed
the Tupamaros, armed mili-
tary security guards are sta-
tioned at check-points on the
main highway leading from
the airport into Montevideo.
In Brazil, some 800 persons
were arrested in mid-April in
Rio de Janeiro, San Paulo,
Recife and other cities by
security guards in a mass
roundup of students, profes-
sionals and intellectuals sus-
pected of political activity.
The sum total of efforts on
the part of the governments
of Argentina, Chile and Uru-
guay is to form what is
known as the "Andine Plan"
—a united front of South
American countries exclu-
sive of Brazil—to freeze out
American firms and invest-
ments and to find a way of
establishing what some fore-
see as a South American
Economic Community, with
the avowed aim of develop-
ing economic ties with the
European Economic Commu-
nity.,
But if the U.S. is the main
"external" enemy, Brazil is
the main "internal" enemy
so far as Argentina, Chile
and Uruguay are concerned,
since Brazil is viewed as the
U.S. of South America with
strong economic ties to the
United States, Canada and
West Germany. In addition,
Brazil's "economic miracle"
of unsurpassed economic
growth is a craw in the po-
litical throats of its neigh-
bors, especially Argentina
where past predictions that
(Continued on Page 17)

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