6. Memorandum From William J. Jorden of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1
- Argentine President Resigns
TV stations in Buenos Aires reported this afternoon that recently elected President Cámpora has resigned. This paves the way for Juan Perón to assume official power as opposed to the de facto leadership he already clearly wielded. The Vice President and President pro tempore of the Senate also are said to have resigned. That means that the President of the Chamber of Deputies will act as temporary President until elections can be held within the required 30-day limit.
Commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force are said to have gone into emergency session. The Army CINC, General Carcagno, met with Perón for more than an hour night before last. The reason now becomes more obvious. Perón will need full military support if the transition period is to be peaceful.
Perón’s labor supporters, under the leadership of the General Confederation of Workers (CGT), are said to be mobilizing for massive street demonstrations in Buenos Aires. This will obviously be a pro-Perón solidarity feast.
Shortly after Cámpora’s election, we had some reporting that the above scenario would be carried out. The real surprise is the timing, since Perón’s health has been reported as not too good. It appears he has recovered from the “nervous attack” he suffered shortly after his triumphal return was disrupted by rioting and a large-scale gunfight.
Summary: Jorden reported that President Cámpora’s resignation would pave the way for Perón to assume power.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 769, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina, 1 September 1971–31 December 1973. Secret. Sent for information. A stamped note reads, “HAK has seen.” On July 13, the Argentine Congress accepted Cámpora’s and Solano Lima’s resignations and appointed Raul Lastiri Provisional President. (Telegram 5032 from Buenos Aires, July 14; ibid., RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, [no film number])↩