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Saturday, January 3rd 2009, 10:42am

Argentine News Q1/37

[Since peace is acheived by 1937 I am now starting to catch up with current news affairs while the last acts of the war are played out]

Noticias Argentinas

January 6
Following the resignation of President Alfredo de Miguel Gonzalez in April last year the Vice President Enrique Pastelle has fulfilled the role of Head of State with the interim postwar government. This was due to rule for six months before fresh free elections were held. Today the nation goes to the polls to choose a new administration for the country.

The Democratic Union led by Enrique Pastelle has had a nosedive in popularity since the war and seems likely to lose control of both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies for the first time since 1918. The Conservative Party led by Jose Marcos de Ballista has also been hit by a loss of support after the D’Silva Affair and widespread corruption within the government and has been linked to the beginnings of the recent war. The United Workers Party led by Eduardo Garcia, a former steel worker from Cordoba, seems the favourite to win but sizable votes are also likely to go the National Democratic Party led by retired naval officer Almirante Peron, the Argentine Marxist Party and the General Democratic Union (a splinter group of the Democratic Union led by the former Foreign Minister Alfredo Castagone). Political commentators have so far favoured the United Workers Party to win the election.

January 7
Votes are counted in the election and present tallies suggest the Conservative Party has done better than expected and that the new National Democratic Party has surprisingly well in the urban areas.


Thursday, January 15th 2009, 9:40pm

January 8
The results of the election are;
The Conservative Party 34%
The United Workers Party 32%
National Democratic Party 16%
The Democratic Union 12%
General Democratic Union 3%
Marxist Party 3%

It seems efforts by the Conservative Party to offer a power-sharing deal with the National Democratic Party were rebuffed by the latter and instead this evening Eduardo Garcia and Almirante Peron met to discuss a joint government to keep the old elites out of power.

Shares of the votes of the Senate Seats are now;
The Conservative Party 54%
The Democratic Union 20%
National Democratic Party 12%
The United Workers Party 9%
General Democratic Union 3%
Marxist Party 1%
This means that the new a National Democratic Party/ United Workers Party alliance will only have around a quarter of the Senate seats and this could pose problems in passing any new laws without resistance and rejection by a powerful Conservative Party majority.

January 10
The National Democratic Party, General Democratic Union (who joined in negotiations late yesterday) and the United Workers Party have agreed to form a National Government and have named the new cabinet.

President: Eduardo Garcia
Vice President: Alfredo Castagone
Finance Minister: Leopoldo Noriega
Foreign Affairs Minister: Eduardo Smith
Defence Minister: Vice Adm (ret). Juan Perez Benedicto Hood
State Minister: Alfredo Sicillia
Labour and Industry Minister: Carlos Saavedra Lamas
Security Minister: Enrique Velasco Rojas
Transport Minister: Fernando Lozario
Social Affairs Minister: Pablo Suarez
Education and Culture Minister: Alfonso Gandarilla Gracia


Saturday, January 17th 2009, 11:33am

February 8
The British engineer Roy Fedden working for the British engine manufacturer Bristol has been seen at the FMA engine works at Cordoba. The purpose of the visit is unknown but it is believed that in order to offset reconstruction costs and war profit tax losses that FMA is selling off some of its lucrative engine programmes for further exploitation abroad.

February 14
The Head of Argentine Naval Commission in Europe, Almirante Galindez has made the first payment to HDW of Germany for the first of two battlecruisers. Work will begin shortly on the first ship and Almirante Galindez briefly spoke to reporters, “this contract once again emphasises the good relations between Argentina and Germany have been maintained and that German shipbuilders today are building the best ships in the world.”

February 24
General Salo has been replaced by General Jose Serra Aznar as Commander-in-Chief of the Army by Presidential request. General Salo will take up the post of Inspector-General of Equipment in March.


Saturday, February 7th 2009, 11:25am

March 6
The Argentine Red Cross has ordered another 2,500 tons of medical supplies for Paraguay while the Government announces that another refugee camp has been closed due to successful repatriation to the Asunción area.

March 10
The British aero-engine engineer Roy Fedden has been spotted by a Heavenly Pursuits reporter in the sleepy town of Maquichao. It seems quite certain he his only in the town because he has visited, or will, the rocketry Research Station located nearby. Rumours are now flying through the international aviation press but Bristol has declined to comment. A spokesman said Mr Fedden is on holiday and is not connected with any company proposals at this time.

March 15
The Chief of Staff of the Navy Almirante Peablo today was officially relieved of command today and has been placed on gardening leave pending an inquest and a further service appointment.

[Historical Footnote]
In July 1936 a group of Naval officers led by Vice Almirante Dominguez, supported by Almirante Benedicto (former naval CoS), Vice Almirante Murphy and Vice Almirante Moreno were dissatisfied with Peablo for professional and personal reasons. They felt Peablo’s focus on the aircraft carrier over the traditional battleship and cruiser had prevented the Navy from operating to its fullest capacity. They pointed to the fact the battleship Gascon had been laid up without reconstruction as funds were spent on two carriers which had little effect on the outcome of the war. Another battleship, they felt, would have been decisive in the naval war. While several attempts to cut the supply lines of the SAE forces were made they were innovative but generally failed to achieve all the aims and of course a battlecruiser was lost. At a time when the Army Chief of Staff was dismissed it was felt that Peablo should resign for his failures. He took a three month break from August owing to overwork and the group of plotters began gaining support among the top Navy brass and even the Minister of Defence, who had sacked Almirante Benedicto in favour of Peablo, backed his removal owing to personality clashes.
On the latter point it was felt that Almirante Peablo had made false claims in his initial arguments, that he had ignored the advice of his advisers and that he had taken control of all planning to the smallest details thus preventing any other input and suggestions.
In January this year, after the elections, the Minister of Defence ordered an enquiry set up as to the leadership change in 1934 rather than any complaint about his war record. It was suggested that he remain within the service if he wished to do so. Almirante Peablo confirmed that he wished to remain active and expressed a preference to serve in the new carrier arm, a wish confirmed by the Minister of Defence partly due to his expert skills in this area unmatched by any other officer.

March 19
Today Almirante Benedicto retook the position of Chief of Staff of the Navy and Vice Almirante Dominguez was promoted to the rank of Almirante.

March 20
The AFNE shipyard has brought the Paraguayan shipyard at Encarnation and the Paraguayan Democratic Council has signed a defence agreement with which formally merges their former Navy with the Argentine River Forces and gives the base at Encarnation to Argentina to use in the defence of Paraguayan interests along the Rio Parana and Rio Paraguay.