835.00/2–246: Telegram

The Chargé in Argentina ( Cabot ) to the Secretary of State

secret

354. 1. It is generally agreed by observers that Perón has seriously lost ground in recent days.

2. Several reports from fairly reliable sources indicate that he is running short of money. Seven Laborista Committees have closed. Another source says this is not so but is being deliberately spread by Peronistas.

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3. From two good sources, it is reported that he is planning a second march of the “Descamisados”38 next week. There are rumors and speculation of a Peronista coup d’etat.

4. At the meeting on Jan 31 of the generals and admirals who are to supervise elections, these officers insisted on elections on Feb 24 with proper guarantees. It was openly stated that Perón had no chance in such elections and that he would have to accept the situation.

5. A reliable source quotes Admiral Zuloaga39 as saying that elections in Buenos Aires Province will be guaranteed by 20,000 soldiers, properly distributed.

6. The Navy is frankly disregarding Govt’s orders. A prominent retired Naval Officer describes it picturesquely as being “in a state of belligerency with the Government.”

7. A report of unknown authenticity says that Velazco’s40 resignation has been demanded as of Tuesday.

8. General opinion sharply reversing itself now is that elections will be held and that they will be reasonably honest.

9. For first time, one is beginning to hear openly expressed opinion that democratic union will carry elections.

Cabot
  1. The shirtless and ragged ones, a term applied to the followers of Perón in the laboring classes.
  2. Vice Adm. José Zuloaga, Electoral Commander of Buenos Aires.
  3. Col. Filomeno Velazco, Chief of Federal Police.