In 1976, Isabelita Perón’s government was replaced by a military dictatorship, the most murderous regime in Argentine history. As in 1955, Borges was so pleased at the end of the Peronist regime that he was happy to support the new one. He had lunch with General Videla and thanked him ‘for what he had done for the patria, having saved it from chaos, from the abject state we were in, and, above all, from idiocy’. This support was noted by Chile; Pinochet offered him an Order of Merit, which he accepted. He then agreed, against the advice of his friends, to visit Chile to accept an honorary doctorate. He attended a private dinner with Pinochet. He made a mad speech praising the sword of his ancestors and the sword that was ‘drawing the Argentine republic out of the quagmire’. This would not have helped him to win the Nobel Prize for which he was heavily tipped that year.[...]
Once the Falklands War was over [...] he revised his position.
"It is true we have had dictators... but they had popular support. These are gangsters. This is a country of madmen. No, this is a country of wise but desperate people in the hands of madmen... I believe our only hope is democracy. Our only way out is an election... If elections are held the Peronists will win... and if they aren’t held we shall continue to be governed by people who are equally discredited."
In the end, when the election was won by Raúl Alfonsín of the Radical Party in 1983, Borges said: ‘We had emerged from a nightmare, and that collective act of faith was what could save us all.’