NEW YORK (May. 26)
A new extreme right-wing group in Argentina, which is actively recruiting members and plastering Nazi-like posters all over Buenos Aires, has declared that its aim is to “combat the Marxist-Zionist offensive to save Argentina from its enemies,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned from knowledge able sources here. According to the sources, the group, which calls itself “El Caudillo” (The Strongman), is cause for serious concern in the Jewish community in Buenos Aires.
The movement is associated with a rightwing ultra-nationalist periodical, “El Caudillo,” which suspended publication in March after declaring that the time for words is over and the time for action is at hand. Its posters, carrying the slogan “the best enemy is a dead enemy” also bears an eagle reminiscent of the Nazi Party posters of the 1930s. Felipe Romeo, a spokesman for the group, claimed it was ultra-Peronist but admitted it was also based partly on European Fascist ideology.
According to the sources, El Caudillo is the latest of a variety of right-wing groups and movements to emerge in Argentina along with counterparts on the extreme left. It is reportedly made up of dissident sectors of the Alianza Libertadora Nacionalista, an openly anti-Semitic group, and the National High School Students Union.
The sources said that El Caudillo announced itself as being vigorously pro-Arab though disclaiming that it was against Jews per se. But Jewish community leaders in Buenos Aires are well aware that anti-Zionism has becomes a code-word for anti-Semitism among extremist groups of both right and left. The staff of the defunct “El Caudillo” issued a new publication on April 9 called “El Puntal” (The Pillar) which carried advertisements from several trade unions, the Social Bank of Cordoba and the Ministry of Social Welfare. On April 30, the center of Buenos Aires was plastered with El Caudillo recruiting posters.
The new movement has created considerable unease within Argentina’s 500,000-member Jewish community because of its blatant calls to violence, the sources said. The final issue of “El Caudillo” published a “poem” by one Gabriel Ruiz de Los Llanos, urging followers of the movement to “sack and burn” the quarters of the “usurers.” The latter was taken to be a clear reference to Jews.
Meanwhile, police are still investigating a bomb attack that severely damaged the Zhitlovsky School, a Jewish school in Buenos Aires, last Sunday. The JTA learned, however, that the movie “Los Gauchos Judios” (The Jewish Gauchos) is still playing to packed houses in downtown Buenos Aires despite attempts to disrupt a performance last Thursday. There were catcalled and some seats were burned in the theater, possibly by incendiary devices. But police intervened promptly and the performances have continued without further incident.