Posts Tagged ‘Eva Peron’

I have never and will not tolerate those who, never having researched the true history of Eva Perón, slap back the comparisons with Hillary Clinton. I do not mean this in the popular context [Eva:bad = Hillary:bad.]  I mean it in the context of both women fighting for the people. Those who have bought the US propaganda against Evita need to do a little reading to discover who she really was: her values, her aspirations, her achievements.

On that note, I celebrate the San Diego Rep revival of the Rice-Weber opus “Evita” which I classify as more than a musical since there are no spoken words. I consider it an opera. I have seen five productions – two on Broadway. At one time I knew every word of the libretto and also completely blew my voice singing it. I wish I could see this production. If you live in SoCal, you are very lucky!

The U.S. presidential race was still raging last year when San Diego Rep and its artistic director, Sam Woodhouse, chose a show that seemed ideal for the times: “Evita.”

After all, Woodhouse points out, “the quest of a powerful woman to make change in the country she loves is at the core of this piece,” and the parallels between Eva Perón and Hillary Clinton — two popular but polarizing figures who were first ladies — seemed too rich to pass up.


… Eva Perón — known adoringly as “Evita” in Argentina — was a champion of the working class and social reform in ways that went far beyond mere pose or populist rhetoric.

Woodhouse cites a long list of social reforms that the Peróns rolled out between 1946 and Eva’s death from cancer in 1952: social security, a minimum wage, universal free education and health care, paid vacation for workers, maternity leave.

“Eva was the leader of the first feminist political party in South America,” he continues. “Women’s right to vote passed during their reign. You know how horrified segments of the American population get when the concept of universal health care is mentioned? (Well), it was instituted in Argentina in the ’40s.

“That’s a short list, (but) it’s an amazing list of social and political transformation. Regardless of what the military or the aristocrats said, that happened.

Read more and get ticket information >>>>

I could not agree more with Sam Woodhouse’s interpretation of Evita – the woman. She was a social reformer remembered lovingly and with reverence by those who benefited from her works but remains despised and disparaged by the oligarchs and all those who chose to stand by them.

I was a very little girl when Eva Perón died. I remember my mother and my aunts being devastated and weeping. In the black and white press and on TV her hair looked white. I thought she was old and could not understand why everyone thought she was so young, but I knew she was important. Much later I learned who she really was.

I grieved that we did not have our own Evita until Hillary came along. But then, there she was! Proposing similar policies. A First Lady fighting for health care, collaborating with Mother Teresa (who would/must have loved Evita). All the better that she was not older than I – she was my contemporary. I rejoiced!

History tends to run roughshod over women like Evita and Hillary. Even now, we see efforts to destroy Hillary’s legacy in the same way Evita’s has been altered.

I am not Sam Woodhouse. I think I might love his production. One change I would make: I would fashion the Che character after Bernie Sanders. The fit is perfect. The socialist v. the democratic/progressive Eva. I can hear the Bernie/Che character singling “Oh What a Circus” about Hillary. He is singing it now. He should be banned for life from the Democratic Party. But I would love to see a white-haired Bernie in rumpled fatigues following Evita around onstage. That, after all, is who he is, an aging wannabe Che.

I wish I could be in SD to see this.  The tickets are reasonable. The production sounds so exciting with student participation. I think I would love it!

Break a leg, you guys! My heart is with you!

Recommended reading:

Fraser, Nicholas; Navarro, Marysa (1996). Evita: The Real Life of Eva Perón. W.W. Norton & Company.

Naipaul, V.S. (1980). The Return of Eva Perón. Alfred A. Knopf

Perón, Eva (1952). La Razón de mi vida. Buro Editors.

I have more titles, but they are in the attic. I will supply them upon request.

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Should it be any surprise that people who never got Evita do not get Hillary?  I think not.  Eva Perón was not a musical.  She was a passionate human being,  smart beyond her education,  who managed to relay her talents into a means to help the unfortunate in her country.  Those who do not know her effect upon her country need to go here and see what she accomplished.

Our Hillary ventured into Latino territory – not for the first time  – yesterday.  Those in-the-know know that she was there many years ago registering voters with Bill Clinton before anybody ever heard of them, and before they had two dollars between them.  So don’t go saying any stupid stuff about Hillary in Texas – especially if you were born after 1972 because she beat you there even if you were born there.

We have an amazing American culture in this country blended of so many immigrant traditions.  If campaigns reach out to the subcultures in our cities and states, good for them!  It shows that they know the voters.

When I began researching Eva Perón in the late 1970s I used to wish for an American Evita. We already had one that I did not know about then.  But she, in the ensuing years, has become more. She is our American Hillary.  She lives, works, and exemplifies our American values and dreams.  Further, she knows that dreams can and should be realized.  She has plans to help every American make that happen.

Hillary is not Evita.  But the comparison should not be seen as negative.  It might be a good idea to know more about Evita than a Rice -Weber opera (which is what it is) conveys.

October 15, 2015 5:29 PM ET

New posters featuring Hillary Clinton seem to be trying to make her “high flying, adored” with voters.

The new images appeared at a campaign stop in San Antonio, Texas, where Clinton wooed Latino voters on Thursday. But according to NPR’s Tamara Keith, the campaign says they don’t know where the likeness came from. Banners were plastered all over the venue along with smaller signs and t-shirts.

A new Clinton campaign poster unveiled at an event in San Antonio says "I'm with you" in Spanish.

A new Clinton campaign poster unveiled at an event in San Antonio says “I’m with you” in Spanish.

Tamara Keith/NPR

The image of the black-clad Clinton profile may seem familiar to those who love either Argentinean history or musical theater — specifically Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Evita.”

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It is a big country and diverse as all of nature.  Yes, maybe this does appeal to some populations.  Rather than turning up our noses, perhaps it is wise to step back, look at the bigger picture, and understand why.

Here is some of what Eva Perón did with thanks to her grandniece, Cristina Alvarez Rodriguez for the history.


Evita s Peron Legacy

“Foreign Aid for America!” Don’t Tell the Russians by Dolane Larson

In September 1949 Mrs. Fay Vawters began again to make the rounds of the Washington embassies. After a hot summer, autumn stood at the doorstep of the Children’s Aid Society and with autumn came school. Although built on land donated by the southern state of Maryland, Washington did experience cold spells, below zero temperatures-even occasional blizzards. If the Reverend Ralph and Mrs. Fay Vawters did not want “their” children to shiver on the way to school, the time had come to ask for donations to buy warm winter coats and sturdy shoes. Even with over a thousand children to feed and clothe, Mrs. Vawters harbored no grandiose expectations. “We had five or ten dollars in mind. We solicit thousands of people for help.”1

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We need to stop doing and thinking stupid things, and we can start by being smarter about some of the press we have been fed.  We were fed very bad press about Evita in the 1940s and 50s.  It is believed today like a credo.  It is packed with lies for political reasons.

A Hillary friend told me years ago that when Hillary became FLOAR she came to my friend’s step-mom’s school in Little Rock with boxes full of coats because she heard the children did not have coats.  She unloaded the trunk of the car she drove herself, asked for the Principal (my friend’s step-mom),  and said she would be back with more. She was.  That reminds me of Evita.

Children should not be cold and hungry.  You cannot grow properly never mind learn and excel in school if you are hungry and shivering.

There are basics in this very affluent society of ours to which some are not privy, and that is a sin.

Hillary knows the people with whom she met in Texas yesterday – has known them for a very long time  She registered voters there when she was still in law school.  They also know her.  They make their own campaign banners – we all do in this campaign which is a very free and creative one.

I like what they did.  They know what they are doing. They know who Hillary is.  She is our American Hillary.  Our American girl.  Funny how my 2008 themes return.  Happens more and more every day!  Yikes!  I made this in 2008 when I was playing with Blingee out of grief and frustration!


Here is another all-American girl who understands completely.

OK this girl is Irish, but she also gets it.  Irish people understand.

FTR here is Patti.





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What a way to begin Women’s History Month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hillary’s travel plans changed today.

When her itinerary was made public, and Argentina was not on it, I was disappointed. As it happened, due to the earthquake in Chile, there was a change in the itinerary. Rather than spending the night in Santiago, she and her entourage flew instead to Buenos Aires where Hillary Rodham Clinton was received by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. How perfect! Here’s why.

Cristina Kirchner was elected President on the heels of her husband Nestor’s service in that post, i.e. she was once First Lady of Argentina, and now Nestor is “First Spouse.” They both, all of their political lives have been and still are members of the Justicialista Party.

The Justicialista Party (a social justice party representing working class people and the poor) was formed by another famous political couple, Juan Domingo Peron and his wife Maria Eva Duarte de Peron aka “Evita.” Here they are on the balcony of the Casa Rosada, Argentina’s equivalent of our White House. Eva Peron did not have the educational advantages of Hillary Clinton, Cristina Kirchner, or Michelle Bachelet, but she WAS smart. She had excellent political instincts and a strong dedication to the disadvantaged. Whatever you may think you know about her, she remains revered by Argentines who actually THANK Americans who visit the tomb where she lies. She did many good things, and most who know about her understand that she really was the brilliant mind behind her husband’s political success.

Eva wanted to run for Vice President and was nominated by the Justicialista Party in 1951, but the military opposed her and forced her off the ballot. She died the following year of cancer. July 26 at 8:20 p.m. many still light a candle and say a prayer for her. Some believe she is a saint and pray TO her for her intercession. I personally would not be unhappy to see the Catholic Church shake off its political chains and beatify her.

After her death, Peron remained in office until he was overthrown in 1954 and Evita’s body disappeared. He remarried in the interim and lived in Spain with his third wife, Isabel Martinez de Peron. In the early 1970’s Eva’s body was found buried in Italy and returned to Peron and Isabelita (as she was called then). The body was perfectly preserved (and remains so as far as we know). In 1973, Juan Peron, Isabelita, and the body of Eva Peron returned to Argentina where Isabel and Eva’s sisters had her properly interred.

Peron went on to run for the presidency in 1973 with Isabel as his Vice Presidential running mate. They won. When he died in office in 1974, Isabel Peron became the first woman president in the world.

She lasted two years, was overthrown by a military coup that began Argentina’s “Dirty War” that led to the rise of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo who demonstrated peacefully in the Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada with pictures of their disappeared children.

The failure of  the Argentine military against U.K. forces in the sovereignty dispute that led to The Falklands War, a topic Cristina may bring up as sovereignty raises its head again, (the Argentines call these islands the Malvinas)in 1982 was the beginning of the end of military rule in Argentina.  The next year, Raul Alfonsin, a civilian, was elected.

So this post is to celebrate Hillary and Cristina in the Casa Rosada – so RICH with women’s history, and the help they plan to offer Michelle Bachelet, outgoing President of Chile, and all the spirit – the very STRONG spirit  of Evita that must permeate the room we see in the pictures below.

I am blown away!  Happy March 1!  Happy Women’s History Month!

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