Francesc Cambó and CHADE: What was a «new» politician doing as chair of a multinational?

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© Asociación de Historia Contemporánea Marcial Pons, Ediciones de Historia, S. A. The Catalan politician Francesc Cambó was the president of the Hispanic American Electricity Company (CHADE), the most important foreign Spanish investment of its time, and the principal electric company in Latin America. The economic success of CHADE was largely due to the influence achieved by the company in Argentina through political corruption. As a result, Cambó became remarkably rich. He was fully aware of the procedures used by his company, such as secretly paying expenses to journalists and officials, bribes to politicians, tax advantages, etc. Although he disliked these practices, he never condemned them. He considered corruption a very difficult disease to treat and, therefore, it required discretion, prudence, and, above all, the avoidance of public scandal. Cambó and his biographers intentionally hid that in 1945 he was accused of bribery and defrauding the public administration, although he managed to avoid prosecution due to the personal intervention of Juan Domingo Perón. The responsibility of Cambó —an ambitious «new politician» of the early twentieth century— in the corrupt management of CHADE undoubtedly led him to become a wealthy conservative, unable to assume any political risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-130
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Argentina
  • CADE
  • Cambó
  • Perón
  • Political corruption
  • Sofina


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