- Roberto Eduardo Viola
Infobox_President | name=Roberto Viola
President of Argentina
10 December 1981
Jorge Rafael Videla
death_date=death date and age|1994|9|30|1924|10|13|mf=y
Roberto Eduardo Viola Prevedini (
October 13 1924– September 30 1994) was a military officer who briefly served as president of Argentinafrom March 29to December 11, 1981during a period of military rule.
Lorenzo Sigautas finance minister, and it became clear that Sigaut (and his protegé Domingo Cavallo) were looking for ways to reverse some of the economic policies of Videla's minister José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz. Notably, Sigaut abandoned the sliding exchange ratemechanism 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 Masserastarted looking for a political space to call his own, even contacting some Montoneroscadres 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 maneouvering 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 Alemannas finance minister and presided over the build-up and pursuit of the Falklands War.
After the collapse of the military regime and the election of
Raúl Alfonsínin 1983, Viola was arrested, judged for human rightsviolations committed by the military junta during the Dirty War, and sentenced to 17 years in prison. His health deteriorated in prison; Viola was pardoned by Carlos Menemin 1990 together with all junta members.
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