Eva Perón the Soul of the People

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Occasionally, a birthday crops up to give one pause for thought and for me May 7 was no exception. The date is just a year short of the centenary of the birth of Eva Peron (1919 – 1952), a figure who has frustrated left and right since she inspired belief in the power of women worldwide.

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Toledo

When after World War II the United Nations (UN) imposed a trade embargo on Francoist Spain in an attempt to starve it into submission, Juan Peron’s Argentine government came to Spain’s aid. Vital foods and medicines got through.

Spain survived the blockade that targeted not so much the governing power but the people of Spain. For this reason, Eva Peron is still a revered icon for many in Spain.

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In June 1947, Eva travelled to Spain at the invitation of President Francisco Franco (1892 – 1975). Argentina was the only nation that maintained a diplomatic relationship with Spain following WWII and offered aid to the trade embargoed country.

Upon her arrival in Madrid, Eva was welcomed by more than three million people. After 15 days in Spain, Eva went on to tour Italy, Portugal, France, and Switzerland. After becoming well-known in Europe, Eva Perón also featured on the cover of Time magazine in July 1947.

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Eva Perón, the wife of Argentine president Juan Perón, was the first lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. Eva Perón, fondly called “Evita” by many, played a major role in her husband’s administration.

She is widely remembered for her efforts to help the poor and for her role in getting women the vote. Eva Perón was adored by the multi-ethnic peoples of Argentina but her government’s anti-Stalinist stance hardly endeared her to the liberal-left.

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This was their problem rather than hers for Evita symbolised everything the left claimed to revere. It is difficult to imagine a more humble background than that of the woman who was to become a fabulous success in her own right long before she met her future husband.

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In scanning Eva’s biography one is impressed by the impact made by this dirt-poor daughter of an impoverished single mother before her sad death from cancer when just 33-years of age.

A clue lies in the words of a woman who achieved far more in a shorter period of time than did darling of the left, Spanish Republican pro-Stalinist firebrand Dolores Ibarruri. When interviewed, the woman who inspired women whatever their political views, said, “One cannot accomplish anything without fanaticism.

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Eva’s socialist credentials were based on her faith in the power of the people if inspired, mentored and brought to believe in themselves.

“There is nothing stronger than a town. All it takes is to be fair, free and sovereign.”

Therein lays the paradox of faux socialism and real socialism; which should give the illiberal-left pause for thought.

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