My Century Home Page
on Tuesday 28th September 1999
ALVAREZ RODRIGUEZ IN SPANISH ENGLISH VOICEOVER
name is Christina Alvarez Rodriguez. I am the President of the Eva
Peron Historical Investigation Foundation. I am also related to
Evita. I am her grand-niece. My grandmother, Blanca Eduarda Rodriguez,
was the sister of Eva Peron. My knowledge of her is one of the heart,
because I couldn't know her personally, as I was born in 1967 and
Evita died in 1952. Her life was made up of great decisions. She
decided to go to live in the capital, to be an artist, at a time
when it was difficult to be an artist, and more difficult still
for a woman. Ten years later, she met Peron. Her public life was
demanding. Her working day would run from seven in the morning until
two or three the next morning. For example, she would directly attend
the people that would go to the Peron Social Help Foundation. They
went there knowing they could wait and be seen by Evita, and that
they were going to be able to explain their needs. She had a lot
of contact with people and felt the pain of people as if it were
her own. When Eva became the First Lady of Argentina, all of her
family came to live in the capital with her - including my grandmother,
who was a teacher and worked in the Ministry of Education.
I can speak about Evita's childhood. Evita was a very lively child.
And my grandmother says that she spent her childhood playing and
creating. She was very creative and was always reciting and singing.
And my great-grandmother would call the five children "her little
tribe". And Evita was the leader. One sister tells of when Evita
was eight. There was no television, only the radio. And Evita came
into the room which she shared wth her sister Herminda. And this
was when she was just eight. She was all dressed up, with a long
dress and with her hair braided and with my great-grandmother's
lipstick on. And so the rest of her sisters said: "Evita, what are
you doing? Are you going to a party?" And she replied: "No, girls.
Don't you know that Braslavsky's playing tonight on the radio, and
we have to listen and we have to dress up?" If we think about the
most famous events in which Evita took part, there are certain strong
images which come into my head. An image of the political Evita
is that, on the 22nd of August 1951, when Evita announced that she
was not going to accept the position of Vice-President, in front
of 2,000 people, she made her announcement from the heart and head.
This is the strongest thing I remember about her: that she rejected
the honour but not the political fight. I think that they have constructed
many myths about Evita. There is a white myth, which was constructed
within the Peronist movement, in which they speak of a Saint Evita.
After, we have the black myth, which is the myth constructed after
1955, when the military overthrew the constitutional government
of Peron. And this myth is one of an absolute monarch Evita. She's
a prostitute, without scruples - an ambitious person. And after
there is the red Evita, the Evita of the '70s, the revolution. After
this, we have a transparent Evita. It's an Evita of the films, the
operas, the musicals, of fashion, who is logically represented by
Well, if we have to speak or think about the true Evita, it seems
that we have to think about a woman of action who, in just six years
of work, without occupying a political post, did a great work of
social work for Argentina and the world. An Evita who made mistakes
and abused power. But she was a very ethical woman, because she
believed fundamentally in what she did: to try to make equal all
the people of Argentina.
E N D