Eva Perón Channeled by Karl Mollison 18June2019
Eva Perón 7 May 1919 – 26 July 1952 was the wife of Argentine President Juan Perón (1895–1974) and First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She is usually referred to as Eva Perón or Evita.
She was born in poverty in the rural village of Los Toldos, in the Pampas, as the youngest of five children. At 15 in 1934, she moved to the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires to pursue a career as a stage, radio, and film actress. She met Colonel Juan Perón there on 22 January 1944 during a charity event at
the Luna Park Stadium to benefit the victims of an earthquake in San Juan, Argentina.
She had no political clout with the various labor unions, and it is claimed that she was not well liked within Perón’s inner circle, nor was she liked by many within the film and radio business at this point. When Juan Perón was imprisoned, Eva Duarte was suddenly disenfranchised. In reality, the massive rally that freed Perón from prison was organized by the various unions. What followed was shocking and nearly unheard of. Juan Perón, the well-connected and politically rising star, married Eva.
Despite Eva’s childhood illegitimacy, and having an uncertain reputation, Perón was in love with Eva, and her loyal devotion to him even while he had been under arrest touched him deeply, and so he married her, providing a respectability she had never known. The two were married the following year.
Juan Perón was elected President of Argentina in 1946; during the next six years, Eva Perón became powerful within the pro-Peronist trade unions, primarily for speaking on behalf of labor rights. She also ran the Ministries of Labor and Health, founded and ran the charitable Eva Perón Foundation, championed women’s suffrage in Argentina, and founded and ran the nation’s first large-scale female political party, the Female Peronist Party.
The Eva Perón Foundation began with 10,000 pesos provided by Evita herself. Within a few years, the foundation had assets over $200 million at the exchange rate of the late 1940s.
It employed 14,000 workers, of whom 6,000 were construction workers and 26 were priests. It purchased and distributed annually 400,000 pairs of shoes, 500,000 sewing machines, and 200,000 cooking pots. The foundation also gave scholarships, built homes, hospitals, and other charitable
institutions. Every aspect of the foundation was under Evita’s supervision. The foundation also built entire communities, such as Evita City, which still exists today.
In 1951, Eva Perón announced her candidacy for the Peronist nomination for the office of Vice President of Argentina, receiving great support from the Peronist political base, low-income and working-class Argentines who were referred to as descamisados or “shirtless ones”. Opposition from the nation’s military and bourgeoisie, coupled with her declining health, ultimately forced her to withdraw her candidacy.
In 1952, shortly before her death from cancer at 33, Eva Perón was given the title of “Spiritual Leader of the Nation” by the Argentine Congress. She was given a state funeral upon her death, a prerogative generally reserved for heads of state.
Eva Perón has become a part of international popular culture, most famously as the subject of the musical Evita. Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez claims that Evita has never left the collective consciousness of Argentines. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the first woman elected President of Argentina, claims that women of her generation owe a debt to Eva for “her example of passion and combativeness”.