Liberalism and Anticommunism in the Populist Age: Argentina, Brazil, and Chile at the Rise of the Cold War

Sunday, January 8, 2012: 11:00 AM
River North Room (Chicago Marriott Downtown)
Ernesto Bohoslavsky, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento
This paper analyzes the political and intellectual processes which conditioned and framed the arrival of the Cold War in Argentina, Brazil and Chile in the late 1940's and early 1950's. The paper provides a look on politicians and intellectuals who shifted their ideological position from Liberal antifascism to catholic or Liberal anticommunism. These figures supported explicit anti communist measures, such as banning Communist Party or incarcerating real or supposed Communist leaders and representatives. During the early years of the Cold War radical rightist groups and intellectuals emerged in these three countries, aiming at spreading their new self-image, and situate themselves as far as possible from Fascism and –al least apparently- appear as compatible with democratic principles. My point is that the Cold War arrived not just earlier but more intensely to Brazil and Chile than at Argentina, not just because of the linkages and affinities between Brazilian and Chilean governments with the US during and after WWII, but because of the fact that the bitter conflict between Peronism and Anti-peronism left small political and ideological room for Anticommunist rhetoric and obsessions.
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