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Frondizi, Arturo

Argentine politician (b. Oct. 28, 1908, Paso de Los Libres, Corrientes, Arg.--d. April 18, 1995, Buenos Aires, Arg.), was a political firebrand who participated in hundreds of demonstrations against the dictatorial regime of Juan Peron while a law student at the University of Buenos Aires. Yet he adopted a pragmatic approach in his presidential election campaign by calling for democratization while at the same time incorporating Peronists into the political process. This philosophy caused a split in Frondizi's Radical Civic Union, and in the 1958 elections he represented the leftist faction of that party, defeating the rightist candidate, Ricardo Balbin. As president, Frondizi implemented a series of austerity measures that placed a severe burden on the poor and middle class, resulting in strikes, demonstrations, and confrontations with police. Though his economic policies were harsh, they would eventually lead to rapid industrialization and economic resurgence. His political undoing occurred when he attempted to lift a ban on Peronist parties and candidates and secretly met with Ernesto ("Che") Guevara, an emissary of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The military withdrew its support, and Frondizi was forced to resign in March 1962. Frondizi, who continued to take a keen interest in economics, formed a small party, the Movement for Integration and Development, which promoted state protection for industrialization.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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