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Argentines yearn for Evita, 70 years after her death

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Argentines yearn for Evita, 70 years after her death


BUENOS AIRES (AP) — María Eva Noble says she is inheriting her namesake while working in a handout kitchen in a working-class neighborhood of Buenos Aires legacy.

She is named after the iconic former first lady of Argentina, María Eva Duarte de Perón, also known as Eva Perón or Evita, who was born 70 years ago in Died on Tuesday. Noble’s volunteer kitchen in Flores serves lunch to about 200 people a day and is run by an organization also named after the late leader.

Although not related to Eva Perón, Noble said, “I have Evita in my DNA.” And she’s not alone in feeling this way.

Seventy years after her death, Evita continues to spark enthusiasm in Argentina as her followers see her as a saviour at a time of rising inequality and poverty, and an economy stagnant amid rampant inflation. Your image as an advocate for the poor is more important than ever.

Evita has been the subject of countless books, movies, TV shows and even a Broadway musical, but for some of her oldest and most ardent followers, the connection to the actress-turned-political leader is more personal.

Juana Marta Barro was one of dozens of people who lined up to lay flowers and pay their respects at Evita’s tomb in Argentina’s capital, Recoleta, on Tuesday morning.

With tears in her eyes, Barrow, 84, the daughter of a housekeeper, recalled how her life in northern Tucuman province had improved since Evita entered politics, when she suddenly received better shoes and school uniforms.

“Thanks to her, I had my first backpack,” said Barrow, who still remembers the excitement of seeing Evita take the train past her town. “She is the torch in my heart.”

Evita was born into a modest home in Los Toldos, a small town about 300 kilometers (186 miles) from the capital, where she moved at the age of 15 to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. Ten years later, she met Juan Domingo Perón, a military officer who had served as a government official.

When Peron won the 1946 presidential election, Evita was by his side and continued to serve as an unprecedentedly powerful first lady, placing herself at the forefront of the cause of women’s rights, including the suffrage ratified a year later, and establishing created a foundation to help workers and the poor.

While Evita is beloved, many of the country’s wealthy and powerful are equally hated by her, wary of her growing popularity and influence.

Her time in the spotlight was brief but brief as she died of cervical cancer at the age of 33, with grief on the streets as the South American country entered a state of mourning.

Peron was eventually elected president twice more and was the founder of a political movement – Peronism – which still dominates Argentine political life today, with many ideologically diverse leaders claiming allegiance to the former general.

“Peron was respected, he was obeyed—you either agree with him or you disagree. But Evita was loved or hated, and ultimately contributed strongly to Peronism,” historian Felipe Felipe Pigna said he has written extensively about the former first lady.

For some, the sentiment has persisted.

María Eva Sapire dressed as Evita with nearly 100 people a day before the anniversary of her death as part of a performance that paid tribute to the former first lady.

Sapire, named after Evita, now talks about her with her own daughter.

“When you listen to her talk, it’s amazing how much still fits after all these years,” Sapir said.

Others who came to appreciate Evita later in life often say that it was her progress on many issues, especially women’s rights, that brought them to her fan base.

“Especially when young people see a rebel in Evita, a character who doesn’t bow his head or give up,” and ends up dying “young and beautiful,” helps build a “pop icon,” Pigna said.

“Eva is a fascinating character,” says Alejandro March, director of the new series “Santa Evita,” based on the 1995 novel by Argentine author Thomas Eloy Martinez. , which premiered Tuesday on Disney’s streaming service.

Perón and Evita continue to be the object of criticism in Argentina and abroad. For example, it has been said that Evita used state money for what she described as charitable work to establish herself as a saint and to help raise her husband’s profile. Others have also pointed out that the couple received money from the Nazis to help hide the perpetrators of war crimes in Argentina after World War II.

Cristina Alvarez Rodríguez, Evita’s great-niece and now a minister in the provincial government of Buenos Aires, said she was particularly moved by the number of “young girls with Evita tattooed on their skin” and now “took her as a Be a guiding light.”

Many people now also yearn for a character like Evita.

For some, the current administration of self-described Peronist President Alberto Fernandez has strayed from those principles.

“The Argentine people feel betrayed. Peronism has never starved people, that’s what’s happening now,” said Matteo Nieto, his pizzeria in the northern city of Posadas, near the Paraguayan border There are pictures of Peron and Evita.

“The government in power claims to be Peronist, but it’s not actually Peronist,” Nieto said.

“We really miss people like Evita, and it’s great to have a leader like her at this time,” he said.

Director Maci sees Evita as an “interesting metaphor” for thinking about what kind of country Argentines want at a time of growing poverty and inequality.

“This lady proposes a more fluid society, which is what Argentina doesn’t currently have. It lacks any kind of social mobility, if anything, it’s downward,” he said.

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