Roberto Eduardo Viola


Roberto Eduardo Viola

Infobox_President | name=Roberto Viola


nationality=Argentine
order= 44th President of Argentina
term_start=29 March
term_end=10 December 1981
predecessor=Jorge Rafael Videla
successor=Leopoldo Galtieri
birth_date=birth date|1924|10|13|mf=y
birth_place=
death_date=death date and age|1994|9|30|1924|10|13|mf=y
death_place=
spouse=
party=
vicepresident=
profession=Military

Roberto Eduardo Viola Prevedini (October 13 1924 – September 30 1994) 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 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 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 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 Alemann as 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 Alfonsín in 1983, Viola was arrested, judged for human rights violations 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 Menem in 1990 together with all junta members.


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