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Don’t Cry For Me Argentina

Don’t Cry For Me Argentina; the phrase flows harmoniously through my ipod headphones every long distance trip I take. Whenever I travel, I usually like to listen to full Broadway CDs to pass the time. One of my personal favorites is Evita. Originally featured on Broadway in 1979 (being revived this year with Ricky Martin) and made famous with a motion picture in 1996 by Madonna, concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Peron, second wife of former President Juan Peron. The show and movie chronicles Eva Duarte Peron from her humble beginnings as a poor girl in the countryside to her rise to power and early death. Dreams of being an actress, her first love takes her from her home to Buenos Aires, where she sleeps her way to the top, and eventually cross paths with then military Colonel Juan Peron. With her marriage to Peron and introduction to the Argentine bourgeois, Eva assists Peron on his path to the Presidency. The show culminates to the most infamous scene in the story that displays Eva, on the balcony of the Casa Rosada singing “Dont Cry for Me Argentina” in which she wins over the Argentine people.

So, I wont bore you with anymore details of the story line, despite the fact I could recall the entire story and every word to every song by heart, upon seeing the movie for the first time, I was immediately obsessed. Pretty sure I saw the movie for the first time when I was in elementary school, but if you look back at all my Spanish biography reports, they were on Eva Peron. Although I found some differences between her actual history and the musical, I was still fascinated by her rise to stardom and fame, and the controversies surrounding her European Tour and Peron’s ultimate election to the presidency. I watch the movie over and over again, and I cant’ help but want to see the streets she paraded down, the Casa Rosada and the tomb where she now rests. Although I do not think I will make it down to South America anytime soon, this blog prompt has given me the opportunity to explore the country through a new lens.

By utilizing the resources on the Kennedy School Directory, I was able to find information about Argentina’s current political leaders through the Council on Foreign Relations. This particular think tank is comprised of 70 full-time and adjunct fellows who report and analyze the major issues that shape the current international landscape. In its mission statement says that the CFR is dedicated to, “being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.” In the section about Argentina, most of the articles displayed concern current President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. I was immediately drawn to these articles due in part because Kirchner’s political influence and strong feminine character reminds me of Eva Peron.

In the article, Argentina’s Democratic Dynasty, Stephanie Hanson opens her piece prior to Kirchner’s victory. Kirchner’s husband, Nestor Kirchner, previously held the Presidential position and many said that Kirchner’s political agendas would mirror those of her husbands. A substantial focus on the article directs attention to the assumption that Kirchner would place greater emphasis on foreign policy then her spouse. Because of the country’s economic collapse in 2001, she has been working diligently to spur investment in the Argentine economy. Although there is speculation that she might distant herself from Venezuela’s President Huge Chavez, herself, Chavez and Brazilian President Lula are all in favor of integrating into a unified regional bloc. There is speculation that Kirchner might narrow herself if she only focuses on foreign policy and not on the growing inflation problems that plague the nation.

Overall, the analysis and primary sources included in the Argentine section of the Council on Foreign Relations I found simple and direct. They enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of what type of political leader Kirchner is, and how she would approach the Presidency.


About Dana Silverstein

I am a Senior Management and History major at Bucknell University. I currently live in Westchester, New York and am hoping to start a career in advertising upon graduation.


4 thoughts on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina

  1. Dana, I like how the vast majority of your posts are consistently about women and feminism. This one in particular caught my interest because I am a fan of the show as well. I think that would definitely be an interesting trip as you could apply your favorite historical figure to a current strong woman. Obviously Argentina has had a tumultuous political history, and it is interesting to see how a strong female political figure can impact this. Furthermore, seeing how her changes may have been different than those implemented by a male counterpart.

    Posted by Catherine Gibbons | March 20, 2012, 5:16 pm
  2. Dana, your post demonstrates that a trip to Argentina would definitely align with your interests. I, too, watched Evita in high school and was very impressed by the film. I think that she represents a strong female character and surely a role model for Argentina’s current president Kirchner. If you were to visit the country, would you be more inclined to head to the tourist sites and other famous places featured in the movie or would you be more curious to see how the government operates under Kirchner (or both)?

    Posted by Lauren McGuiggan | March 20, 2012, 5:31 pm
  3. Joey – I thought about your question. I think that people responded the way they did to her death because she was considered a saint in the eyes of the Argentine people. She was loved by the people for her dedication to the working class, due in part because of her poor upbringing. She created the Eva Peron Foundation which provided monetary assistance to under privileged children and their families. According to my friend who studied abroad in Argentina and took a whole class on Peronism, Juan did not place as much emphasis on the well being of the working class as Eva did.

    Posted by Dana Silverstein | March 20, 2012, 8:21 pm
  4. Lauren – If I were to go to Buenos Aires, I would probably see everything I could see. When I travel, I want to hit every site, every museum and eat at all the famous restaurants. I will say though that I would probably get the most excited about the places that she effected the most.

    Catherine – In all honesty, I did not even make the connection between my passion for feminism and this blog post. I will say though that some people have believed that Eva was a feminists, but at the same time, she always put her husbands needs and interests before her own.

    Posted by Dana Silverstein | March 20, 2012, 8:25 pm

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Blog 5 before session 6 What (interest) or Who (person) Inspires You? For this week’s prompt, the Blog Council wants you to examine how this class relates to your own interests. So, please write about how this class relates to some of your own intellectual or other learning interests. We are NOT interested in how it relates to a specific career goal. Plan B: same idea, but based on a person. See whole post for details.

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