Thursdoy, July 26, 1973
THE SUMMER DAILY
Thursday, July 26, 1973 THE SUMMER DAILY Page Nine
- Juan P
he is still
love him r
May r. E
The Godfather returns to power
S AIRES, Argentina (A) His hold over labor survived. and quick, barbed, and p r o- blend of right-wing Catholic intel- And in 1954, when the clergy
'eron, at 77 pushing 78, Leftist youths chose Peronism found. lectuals, radical youths, d a y opposed his plans to organize
ad laughing teen-agers as a unifying banner against His thick hair is black and his laborers and young toughs who Peronist youths corps, he fought
own in motor scooter military rule. shoulders are broad. Ie chain- beat up anti-Peronists and Jews. the Roman Catholic Church.
s anymore. As the economy slipped and smokes black cigarettes as he A WEEK AFTER leaving pri- Laws legalized divorce and pro-
ter 18 years in exile, nothing seemed to be working, always did, drinking as moder- son, Peron married Maria Eva stitution and the split grew wider.
Peron and apparently Gen. Alejandro Lanusse, t h e n ately as before and eating care- .Dufrte, a beautiful if not over- The Church, with heavy intlu-
r one of the most spec- president, ordered elections for fully but well. He's a walker and ly successful actress with a back- ence in the military, lent i t s
omebacks of modern March 1973. He ruled that any- talker. ground of poverty. Peron's first weight to the opposition. The,
his return as president one out of the country on August Peron's power base was bnitt wife had died. first coup failed, and mobs set
tina. 25 - such as Peron - couldn't up slowly and thoroughly, he was Evita, as she was soon called, at least six churches on fire. The
BABLY isn't even sur- run. the poor man's champion, and was quickly as popular as Peron. second coup, months later, sic-
out it. Then, to nail down Peronism then the conservative's friend and Humble families sometimes plac- ceeded.
s the godfather to 24 once and for all, Lanusse declar- finally a superstar heading an ed lighted candles next to her FOR THE MILLIONS who re-
rgentines, whether they ed that Peron was free to visit emperor-sized personality ^lut. portraits as they would do for a joiced to see him go, there were
or hate him. Argentina if he had the .courage. HIS RISE started in 1943 after saint. countless others who knew they
previous nine years in Lanusse guessed wrong. he returned from two years in She died of cancer in 1952, would miss him.
u eddby foMussolini's Italy on an Argentine - and Argentine walls still carry ' If many repeated with distaste
e cng m side his dorce PERON NOT ONLY showed up army mission studying how to ap- fresh posters quoting her words, the stories of his weakness for
pdreds in the Plaza de for a 28-day visit, .but he also ply Alpine infantry tactics to the "I will return, dead or alive." teen-aged schoolgirls, athers
den th e a z eg huddled continuously in smoke- Andes. PERON'S government set out seemed to hold a strange admira-
IVa L. L 1 " Ql uv l,
and he hung on a few months
FINALLY FOUR DAYS of fight-
ing in September 1955 forced
Peron to hurry onto a Paraguay-
an gunboat tied up for repairs.
He escaped with his life, and,
some say, millions of dollars in
a private fortune.
He first went to Panama,tand
then to Venezuela and the Do-
minican Republic before settling
down in Spain in 1960.
A string of military and civil-
ian governments tried hard to
de-Peronize the country.
But for Argentina a Peron gone
was hardly a Peron forgotten.
fiiled rooms witn nis organization
in Buenos Aires and with h i s
former political opponents.
Peron went back to Spain, but
when electionscame, a 64-year-
old dentist named Hector Cam-
pora won with a slogan: "Cam-
pora to government, Peron to
Campora resigned this month
paving the way for Permo to be-
come president again in new
UP CLOSE IT'S easy t see
how he does it. Fatherly, affable,
burly and handsome, Peron ex-
udes natural charm like an idol
of the silent screen. His jokes
Peron's power base was built up slowly and thoroughly, he was the
poor man's champion, and then the conservative's friend and finally a
superstar heading an emperor-sized personality cult.
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Millions expected to
honor Eva Peron
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (P)
-Peronists by the thousands are
expected to pay homage today to
Eva Peron who died of cancer
21 years ago at the peak of an
incredible rags-to-riches career.
It will be the first time they
will be allowed to do so openly
and on such a large scale since
the ouster of her husband Juan
Peron in a military coup in 1955.
AMONG THOSE honoring her
memory will be Peron himself,
who at 77 once again stands on
the threshold of the presidency
he held with a firm group from
1946 until the military forced him
into exile abroad.
He is scheduled to go to City
Council, where Eva first estab-
lished the Eva Peron Charity
Foundation, and there receive an
Argentine flag that admirers had
spirited away from her office
after the coup.
Other ceremonies were planned
throughout the country, includ-
ing a Roman aCtholic Mass at
the Metropolitan Cathedral at-
tended by ProvisionalPresident
Raid Lastiri and his Cabinet.
AT 8:25 P.M. - the moment
Eva died at the age of 33-the
government television channel
will begin showing a film of her
life. And at the same time a
memorial service will open at the
headquarters of the General La-
bor Confederation where her
body had lain in state until it
was secretly removed after the
coup and buried in a cemetery
at Milan, Italy.
A Mass also will be held in
Madrid, Spain, where her body
is now but at an undisclosed site.
Many believe it is still in the
mansion that Peron lived in in
Spain before returning here June
20 after nearly 18 years in exile.
Others say it is in a small chapel
near the Madrid home. But only
Peron and high Spanish govern-
ment officials know.
UNTIL NOW public homages
to Evita-as she was affection-
ately known-were forbidden.
Last year, with the military
junta still in power, two police-
men and a youth were killed
and a half dozen other firemen
and policemen were wounded
during gunfights or by bomb
blasts in an angry commemora-
tion of her death.
Now, flags are flying and walls
are plastered with posters show-
ing Eva smiling on the masses,
her blonde hair back on a bun.
Labels read, "I will return, dead
SLOGANS, SPRAY painted by
youths who were not even born
when Eva died, reflect the mys-
tical power her image still has.
"Evita lives," they say. "Evita
is with us," and "Evita, our
And they are the same youths
that chant, "We feel it, we feel
it, Evita is present," at the ral-
lies that are common since he
Peronists regained p o w e r in
elections last March.
AT THE TIME of his wife's
death, Peron asked the Vatican
to declare her a martyr. The re-
quest was refused but to her
followers among the poor and the
middle class she became a saint
anyway. They placed portraits of
her in their homes and burned
candles beside them.
A colonel then, Peron joined
the GOU United Officers Group, a
secret society of nationalist of- -
ficers which was known to be
sympathetic to the Nazis and the
The group overthrew Ramon
Castillo's conservative govern-
ment. Peron, to the amusement
of brother officers who thought
more of him, asked only to be
Secretary of Labor.
HIS COLLEAGUES soon saw
Pay raises and labor laws "dig-
nified the worker," as Peron put
it, and millions of Argentines
were suddenly eating steak and
going to the theater.
By late 1945, he was virtual
ruler under a figurehead presi-
dent. But liberal officers remov-
ed him as vice president a n d
threw him in prison on an island
in the River Plate.
BUT PERON'S people - t h e
"shirtless ones" who are still on
his side 28 years later - came
to the rescue. A general strike
paralyzed the country, an d
workers poured out for a rally
at government house. Months
later, on Feb. 24, 1946, Peron
was elected president.
His electors were a strawige
to develop nationalism. It took
over some foreign holdings. Lo-
cal manufacturing was encour-
aged, changing the traditional
cattle, wool and wheat economy.
There was inflation but, also
prosperity, along with n e w
schools, hospitals, middle class
resorts and public projects.
Peron jailed dissidents and
cracked down on the press.
PERON WAS re-elected in
1952, and he launched even more
deeply into his personal brand
of government. He grew tougher
with opponents. Schoolbooks car-
ried sentences like, "I love Per-
tion that he could - if the stories
were true - get away with it.
The 1973 Peron is a little chang-
ed, but not much. His third wife,
Isabelita, was a dancer in Pan-
ama and now she intends to take
over Eva's work among the por.
HE STILL KEEPS followers
a little confused and off balance,
relying on advisers but leaving no
question about who is Peron.
And he is back because those
who thought they had a better
way just couldn't pull it off.
"I wasn't that good," Peron
reportedly told friends in Spain.
"It's just that everyone else did
such a bad job afterward .. ."
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