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November 12, 1971
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Sanitized Copy Approved forl Release 2011/01/07 : 1.. CIA-RDP85T00875R00150003 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07 : CIA-RDP85T00875R00150003 ,VVVvh1RW, $141?1-;A474:54?to, Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 a e r. Secret DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY Special Report Uruguay's Elections: Tradition vs. the Left OSIR FRE COPY ilETUrill TO 1E-61 Secret N?. 642 12 November 1971 No. 0396/71B Sanitized copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 25X1 25x .Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 Az46". ViERMIN %MIN Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 40) .t,,V4;t7Vfrif, uv,Zrf." (ro [if zt.0 ? u- u Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 SECRET Political placidity and a practically uninterrupted tradition of democratic practices have typified 20th century Uruguay. Today, however, the country finds itself grappling with Latin America's most formidable terrorist movement and a third-force political coalition, the Frente Amplio, that hopes to emulate Allende's victory in Chile. The 28 November presidential election pits the incumbent Colorado Party, headed by the hard-lining rightist Presideni Pacheco, against its traditional rivals, the Blancos, and the new leftist coalition. After more than 100 years of Colorado and Blanco rule, the Frente is attempting what would literally be, in Uruguayan terms, the upset of the century. The government's stumbling record has given the left cause for optimism. The administration has lost ground to the Tupamaro guerrillas, and the moderate economic growth of the past two years has been bought at considerable political cost. Further, Uruguay's political system has institutionalized factional politics, and the strong-willed President has added to the disarray by seeking a constitutional amendment that would permit him a second consecutive term. With the Blancos fielding no odds-on favorite candidate, the specter is raised of a tight three-way race of the type that allowed Chile's Allende to squeeze to victory. The Frente, sup- ported by the terrorist Tupamaros, is hoping that, by offering an alternative to the traditional parties, it will be able to take advantage of the general disgruntlement with the country's lack of direction. The Frente, is likely to fall considerably short in its first bid to overturn the establishment. The complex electoral system heavily favors the two major parties, and the Frente is not likely to woo voters from Bianco and Colorado strongholds in the interior where party ties are strong. This should again allow the Colorados and Blancos to dominate the national vote, with the incumbent Colorados being con- ceded a slight edge over their traditional rival's. The Frente bid, which will be stronger in the important contests in the capital, makes it apparent that the country's long-term economic decline is edging toward a political crisis which must be confronted with new attitudes and new policies. The Communist-backed Frente should be able to establish itself as a viable third force that?like te terrorist activities of the formidable Tupamaro guerrilla organization?will serve as a reminder that reliance upon custom and tradition will no longer be sufficient to meet a growing challenge. Special Report 25X1 -2 - 12 November 1971 SECRET Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/97: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 i?Vqt, ? Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 SECRET The Setting Uruguay, with a proud heritage of a prosper- ous and thriving economy and a smoothly func- tioning two-party political system, has fallen upon hard times. The difficulties began to appear during the 1950s, when the cost of a massive public welfare system began to overburden an essentially pastoral economy. Earnings began to fall as meat and wool, the principal export com- modities, suffered from fluctuating prices, dwin- dling world markets, and an overvalued exchange rate. Inefficient government enterprises and the failure to increase productivity commensurate with higher levels of spending contributed to the pinch. Successive administrations found it more expedient to pay 'need to politics rather than economics and opted for continued spending rather than fiscal responsibility. Budget deficits, a spiraling cost of living, and stagnating per capita gross domestic product characterized the eco- nomic picture in the 1960s. Inflation picked up speed and prices rose 1,600 percent between 1963 and 1969, peaking at an annual rate of 165 percent in the first half of 1968. The economic distress inevitably gave rise to political unease. Many Uruguayans yearned for the peace and prosperity of yesteryear. Dis- satisfied youth began to question whether progress would ever come via the creaking Uruguayan machinery. The startling anj dramatic rise of the Tupamaros in the late 1960s gave further urgency to re-examination of traditional practices. Early in this century, the father of Uru- guay's modern political institutions and architect of its social reforms, Jose Bathe y Ordonez, lob- bied vigorously in favor of a system of shared executive power via a plural presidency. From 1918 onward, the country experimented with varieties of a curtailed executive system or "rule by committee." In periods of calm and prosperity the system functioned?tolerably if not effi- Special Report 3 25X1 ciently?but it proved unable to cope with crises. In the 1950s the foundering prompted a search for new solutions. A nine-man Council of Govern- ment system was adopted in 1951, but it pro- vided little relief. In 1958 and again in 1962 the voters turned from the Colorados, who had held power for 93 consecutive years, to their tradi- tional rivals, the Blancos. The Blancos fared no better, and in 1966 the voters scrapped the coun- cil and adopted a single presidential system, returning the Colorados to power at the same time. While the voters experimented with specific mechanisms for governing the country, the unique system designed to ensure the dominance of the Colorado and Blanco parties continued to function. The system recognizes the legal and separate existence of factions within a party and allows them to field candidates and gain repre- sentation while remaining officially under the party banner. The presidential election combines both a primary and general contest in which the most-voted candidate of the most-voted party wins. In 1966 the victorious Gestido-Pacheco ticket was one of several slates of differing ideo- logical persuasions fielded by the Colorados. Pacheco 's Troubled Presidency Jorge Pacheco Areco succeeded to the presi- dency in 1967 on the death of retired General Oscar Gestido. Pacheco was generlIly considered to be a dull, colorless, and mediocre running mate for Gestido, but he approached his inherited post with determination and dedication. As President he moved forcefully in both tho economic and political spheres, and recorded several midterm successes. By the use of restrictive controls his admin- istration slowed the near-ruinous inflation that raged during much of the period from 1955 through 1967. Efforts in 1968 to trim wage SECRET 12 November 1971 Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 '...144t et. ? ,rilak3Nkilki .4?? Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 SECRET 150 Uruguay: Cost of Living Real GDP Per Capita 1960 =100 100 50t 1965 '66 '67 '68 '69 '70 increases and a subsequent devaluation were fol- lowed by more stringent wage and price freezes distasteful to both labor unions and the general public. The cost-of-living index was held down to a 14-percent rise in 1969 and to 20 percent in 1970, but Pacheco got little mileage out of it. He failed to publicize the positive aspects of the program or to consult with other political leaders so as to emphasize the national, bipartisan aspects of the administration's policies. This has been a continuing weakness during Pacheco's tenure. His term has been a one-man show. Political compromise has been an all but alien art. The cabinet has had no continuity; ministerial changes have averaged at least iwo a month and totaled more than 60 since 1967. The administration is identifiable not by a coherent Special Report 1960 =100 1965 '66 3,600 3.200 2,800 2,400 2,000 1,600 1,200 800 I i i 1400 '67 '68 '69 '70 552096 11-71 25X1 program, but by the personal policies of its President. Relations with the legislature, which has opposed many of these policies, have been stormy. The congress, accustomed to deference and a position almost coequal with the president, reacted defensively to Pacheco's rough tactics. Matters nearly reached the breaking point on sev- eral occasions although the legislature usually backed off at the implied threat that Pacheco, supported by the military, might close the con- gress and rule by decree. The ill-feeling gave rise to an abortive congressional attempt this year to impeach the President for allegedly overstepping his constitutional authority in ignoring legislative wishes and imposing emergency security meas- ures. -4 - 12 November 1971 SECRET Saniti7ed CODV Aooroved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 :xF14 7P2.7*.;-7-4-'irk ? t Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 SECRET The President's obstinacy, as defined by his critics, or his determination, according to his sup- porters, has been put to its severest test over his public-order policies. In this area, Pacheco has suffered his most serious setbacks, yet he has made and staked a political reputation on the issue of law and order. The government's reaction to unrest, and specifically to the terrorism of the Tupamaros, has been vigorous but woefully inadequate to the task. Bypassing the legislature, Pacheco has made liberal use of emergency security measures that suspend certain constitutional provisions. When the wave of spectacular Tupamaro kidnapings began in 1968, Pacheco became the first Latin American leader to refuse to negotiate. He has not budged from this public stance. The govern- ment, however, has failed to wrest the initiative from the guerrillas and has suffered frequent pub- lic embarrassment at their hands. Most recently, in September, the terrorists staged a mass jail- break of 106 of their fellows, including all of the top leaders imprisoned by the government over the last three years. As an additional insult, the guerrillas freed their hostage of eight months, British Ambassador Jackson, saying there were "no longer any prisoners whose safety his deten- tion had guaranteed." The Tupamaros still hold four Uruguayan captives, including a close adviser to the President whom they have senhnced to "life imprisonment." The President's reaction to the September debacle was characteristic of his hard line. Pledging his own life in the battle, Pacheco trans- ferred responsibility for dealing with the terrorists from the police to the army, but the measures adopted have not yet had encouraging results. Nonetheless, Pacheco's unyielding deter- mination in the face of adversity has won him a degree of respect from the electorate and a meas- ure of popular support. Most of the blame for the reverses suffered by the administration in its counterterrorism campaign have been attributed to the inefficiency and corruption of the govern- ment machine rather than to him personally. Special Report - 5 - 25X1 If necessary at the cost of my own life, I will lift this country out of the situation it is currently facing. From now on, more than ever, the administration, the decision making, and the responsibility for the state will be mine and mine alone. President Pacheco, 11 Sept. 1971, following Tuparmaro mass jail break. 12 November 1971 SECRET Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 1.-tnty?tzt 7S, Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 gela a ,,,reino SECRET In sum, Pacheco's inflexibility has been both strength and weakness. Persistent efforts in the economic sphere brought Uruguay back from the brink of economic chaos in 1968, but no early end is predicted for the financial squeeze. The stabilization program has been a political mill- stone. The respect occasioned by Pacheco's tough stand on terrorism is balanced off by the absence of sorely needed national political leadership. The Colorados?On the Right Pacheco's close-to-the-vest style and his re- luctance to consider or consult others have gov- erned his relations with his own party as well. For example, only in the closing months of the cur- rent campaign did he reveal his decision to seek re-election. That decision and his choice of a running mate were made without party consulta- tions. The re-election effort, via a constitutional amendment permitting a second consecutive term, is sponsored by the Unity and Reform faction, probably the strongest single group in the Colorado Party. The theme of its campaign, "Pacheco or Chaos," accurately reflects Pacheco's presidential philosophy. To take account of the possibility that the amendment may fail, Pacheco has named a stand-in candidate, Agriculture Min- ister Bordaberry. A citizen will vote yes or no on a constitutional amendment, mark one ballot that will include Pacheco, and a second Flate that will list Bordaberry instead. The second will be valid if the amendment fails. The President's last-minute unilateral decision to tap Bordaberry for the alternate slot triggered several high-level defections, including Vice President Abdala and several cabinet offi- cials. Those in opposition to Bordaberry cited his former membership in the Blanco Party and his lack of real Colorado credentials. Here again, the President's brusque style cost him an opportunity to capitalize fully on both his and an alternate's strength. Special Report 25X1 The tuincoats are likely to take the bulk of their supporters into other Colorado groups rather than to the Blancos or Frente. The Colora- dos will be fielding four other candidates. Jorge Bathe, head of the long-prominent Bathe political clan and a well-known newspaper publisher of moderate political persuasion, is Pacheco's prin- cipal Colorado rival. He has a strong base of support in his powerful List-15 faction and is running with another widely respected Colorado politician in the vice-presidential slot. Previously, his presidential aspirations have been foiled by an inability to expand his appeal beyond this solid base. In the final weeks of the campaign, Bathe's strategy will be to attempt to convince Colorados who name Pacheco on their primary ballot to choose him rather than the officially anointed Bordaberry as a second choice. The Vasconcellos' "third-front" ticket can- not compete with the Bathe or Pacheco machines. The Vasconcellos' slate opposes the Pacheco administration policies across the board and, therefore, furnishes an important escape valve for liberal Colorado votes that might otherwise be lost to Blanco and Frente appeals. The final Colorado candidate, retired General Juan Ribas, has made a big publicity splash but is unlikely to score heavily with the voters. He is competing with better known names for the law and order vote. The New Left Frente Amplio With the Colorados staked out on the right of the political spectrum in this election, the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) has emerged as a counterforce on the left. Opposing Pacheco at every turn, the Frente contends that the blame for the country's ills rests with the sterile, cor- rupt, and inefficient system that has given the voters only a choice between do-nothing look a I i kes, the tweedledum Colorados and the tweedledee Blancos. The left, principally the Communists, recognized the growing manifestations of - 6 - 12 November 1971 SECRET Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 a " '0" --IX?itx.141VAlr.41-; -7`s,...144.24.1W4.7-446:!`44 ii4g-Tylif416?:;10,,:,.. 44, Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 SECRET uneasiness?the search for new governing mechan- isms, the turn to the Blancos in 1958, and the dramatic rise of the Tupamaro organization since 1968. Especially in its earlier years, that terrorist organization skillfully parlayed vague disgruntle- ment into popular sympathy in the battle against what was portrayed as government corruption. The fledgling Frente effort hopes to harness that same frustration and disenchantment. Efforts by the left to effect election coali- tions date back to the 1950s but have gained only minimal _success. In 1966 the Communist Leftist Liberation Front (FIDEL) attracted only six per- cent of the vote. The Communists failed to expand their role beyond a limited ideological following, and "front" ploys were generally rec- ognized as tactical smoke screens. Respectable groups on the left, such as the Christian Demo- crats, shied away from such alliances, fearful of Communist contamination and domination. This apprehension was eased by the victory of Allende's united front in Chile. The Commu- nist Party of Uruguay held out the prospect of a coalition including "Marxists and non-Marxists alike," and an independent group of intellectuals took the lead in calling for unity late last year. The Christian Democrats were also outspoken advocates of the need for a coalition. Thus, the Frente Amplio came into being in February. The coalition includes the Communists, Christian Democrats, Socialists, Independents, the Revolu- tionary Movement of Uruguay, and several rene- gade factions from the Blancos and Colorados. Sony, dissidents left the major parties more because of oppnrtunism than any other factor. Ex-Colorado Senator Michelini joined the Frente as his weight within Colorado Party councils was diminishing, partly as a result of the drop in his vote between the 1962 and 1966 elections. He envisions a role for himself as the foremost leader of the non-Communist elements of the Frente, but when he bolted he suffered defections from his group. Others shed their party labels more from ideological conviction and distress at Special Report 25X1 Pacheco's brand of leadership. They, too, did not pull major segments from the traditional parties. Even the Christian Democrats were not able to lure all of their adherents into the Frente fold, and their offshoot Radical Christian Union is fielding its own presidential candidate. The Frente, however, is counting on a huge protest vote to swell its following. The Communists, although maintaining a low public profile, are supplying the money, drive, and organization for the Frente. Although the former independent groups and major party dissidents optimistically claim that the election results will allow the democratic forces in the Frente to emerge as the controlling force, their confidence is contradicted by such examples as the formation of the Frente's central and coor- dinating committees earlier this year which showed that only the Communist Party was capa- ble of stocking all of the committees with per- sonnel. The party's large organization?aboui 40,000 members in one of South America's small- est nations?its financial resources, and its na- tional political network make its domination of leftist groupings very likely. The various factions of the Frente are run- ning separate slates for the Senate and the Cham- ber of Deputies, and the squabbling over potential political spoils, added to the differences natural in such a mixed ideological bag, have put a strain on unity. Nothing however, currently threatens the breakup of the Frente. To foster the unity image, the Frente is putting up a single presidential can- didate, the left-leaning, retired General Liber Seregni. Seregni was a capable soldier, sometimes described as brilliant, whose rumored "pro-Com- munist" political beliefs and political aspirations led to his retirement from the military. He filled the Frente need for a non-Communist com- promise candidate. Seregni has handled himself well in public, and the Frente has concentrated on attacking Pacheco's policies. It contends that it can halt the terrorist violence and emphasizes that the country - 7 - 12 November 1971 SECRET Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07 : CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 r? ? Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/01/07: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500030041-4 Urriguidan'a SECRET 25X1 -Artigas BRAZIL r' ?Salto 'Paysandu , Tacuarembor.' !Pampa Acogua 1' 4,0 N, .Melo . ? titfoung glo Mercedes Paso de Dan Rio Negro v 5f`c Rio Branc Santa Clara ? -URfUGUAY Trinidad,: Carmelo /BUENOS AIRES 1) ? Colonia ve 4,5 ARGENTINA 552083 11-71 Special Report 4,0 40 48 Miles Duran? .1 ?SanJoe -toCanelones ? MONTEVIDEu - yFlorida Minas Logupa 1-;1(1 Treinta Tre ?2.7 Rocha