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Roberto Eduardo Viola


Roberto Eduardo Viola was a military officer who briefly served as president of Argentina from March 29 to December 11, 1981 during a period of military rule.

Viola appointed Lorenzo Sigaut as finance minister, and it became clear that Sigaut (and his protege Domingo Cavallo) were looking for ways to reverse some of the economic policies of Videla's minister Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz. Notably, Sigaut abandoned the sliding exchange rate mechanism and devalued the peso, after boasting that "they who gamble on the dollar, will lose". Argentines braced for a recession after the excesses of the plata dulce ("sweet money") years, which destabilized Viola's position.

Viola was also the victim of infighting within the armed forces. After being replaced as Navy chief, Eduardo Massera started looking for a political space to call his own, even contacting some Montoneros cadres held in detention by the regime. The mainstream of the Junta's support was strongly opposed to Massera's designs and to any attempt to bring about more "populist" economic policies. Viola found his maneuvering space greatly reduced, and was ousted by a military coup in December 1981, led by the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Lieutenant General Leopoldo Galtieri, who soon became President. The official explanation given for the ousting was Viola's alleged health problems. Galtieri swiftly appointed Roberto Alemann as finance minister and presided over the build-up and pursuit of the Falklands War.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Roberto Eduardo Viola


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