* A few activists figures...:
Evita is unquestionably the leading Argentinian female figure. She made Colonel Juan Peron's acquaintance at a charity sale in favour of the victims of an earthquake in the district of San Juan. Soon she became Peron's mistress, then his wife on October 21st 1945.
Her quite humble origins soon enabled her to act as a social and political link between her husband and the working classes, those she used to call "descamisados" (shirtless), which became Peron's basic political support in 1946, she played an important part in Peron's presidential campaign. Through the medium of her private radio broadcast, taking advantage of her humble roots, she launched fiery diatribes enticing the poorer classes to get back, thus disclosing her empathy with the most unfavoured.
After Peron's election, Evita's political influence increased tremendously. She created her own foundation (Fondacion Eva Peron) to support and assist the poorer classes. At 33, she died of a womb cancer. Her corpse was embalmed and stayed lying in state until 1955 when Peron was compelled to dismiss by a military junta. Eva's body was transported to Milan, in Italy, and then buried under a forged identity (Maria Maggi de Magestris). Sixteen years later, in 1971, her corpse was exhumed and sent to Spain. In the meantime, Peron had returned from exile, and become anew President of Argentina, where he died in 1974. Evita's corpse was then brought back to her mother country, briefly displayed to the public devotion, and then finally buried in the family tomb, in Recoleta cemetary in Buenos Aires.
While travelling in Argentina, you may not have the opportunity to visit Rosario, the third city in the country as regards its population. The town is nearly devoid of any touristic interest, although it both stands for one of the emblems of Argentina as a nation - its flag - and for one leading Argentinian figures: Manuel Belgrano.
The Argentinian flag has two light blue horizontal stripes, separated by one white stripe. In the middle, there is a golden sun. According to the legend, it might have been designed by Manuel Belgrano, an intellectual later appointed general, best known as one of the main leaders in the War of Independence. In 1812 Standing from the Parana coast, in the town of Rosario, he is reported to have stared at the Sun...
When the time had come to choose their own flags, several Latin American peoples have been tempted to emulate the Argentinian design. Thence it was chosen by the United Provinces of Central America. That's the reason why the respective flags of Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and even Guatemala are quite similar to the Argentinian flag.
Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna, best known as Che Guevara or even "El Che" was born on June 14th 1928 in Rosario, and executed on October 9th 1967 in La Higuera (Bolivia). He is best known as a Latin American politician and Marxist revolutionary. As a young medical student, he travelled through Latin America, being in close contact with the extreme poverty of the populations he encountered. From such a vivid experience, he came to the personal conclusion that such a situation could only be changed thanks to sheer Revolution.
Altough mainly Cuba is more concerned by El Che's revolutionary actions, maybe is it important to underline that Guevara was born Argentinian. His great concealed plan was to diffuse revolutionary precepts all over South America. One may even think tha he would have personnally led revolutionary feats in Argentina, taking Bolivia as a base camp. Destiny, and more likely some materialistic interests have utterly thwarted such plans. Many books have been written about him. In my opinion, the most moving is by far The Che's Survivors, by Ariel Alarcon Ramirez (nicknamed "Benigno") in which are evoked the last moments of his life and his companions'escape to Bolivia.
Let's quote now Regis Debray (a French leftist philosopher, and latin America specialist) : "The Che reminds us of the fact that the hard desire to last is not the beginning and the end of History, so much so as there may lie deep into some happy few, the hard desire to reach purity. Sure we need such examples, to try and challenge time while keeping up the least degraded condition possible".
Born in an upper middle class Chilean family, Salvador Allende was 25 when he founded the Chilean Socialist party, in 1933. At first, his political carreer went sky rocketing: at 29, he was elected to the lower chamber of the Congress, at 31, he was appointed Health Ministry (as such, he promoted social security for the working classes), at 37, he became Senator, and remained in office for twenty five years.
In spite SOF such successful beginnings, Salvador Allende became head of the Chilean government only in 1970. It was the first time a socialist leader had been democratically elected to rule a country in South America. But Allende was by no means a fiery revolutionary orator, fond of rhetoric. He was rather a pragmatic politician moulded by everyday social struggling. Therefore, taking advantage of realistic political alliances in favour of his leftist options, he aimed mainly at gaining popular support for his social policy. But never did he forsake his original socialist credo, and his sharp criticism of capitalism.
His position was quite different from the current Chilean Socialist party's, member of the Democratic Coalition which has been in charge of the country since the end of dictatorship. Allende's conception of realism did not imply either a negation of future, or a "pragmatic" compromise. He never ended his presidential mandate which was due until 1976. On September 11 1973, his government was overturned by a military coup, and replaced by a military regime. He shooted himself whiles the Moneda palace was bombed by the insurgents...
Patagonia in all seasons menu. For example, according to the climate, from Bariloche, in Patagonia Argentina, it is possible to go to Puerto Montt, in Chile, crossing successively three lakes by boat, as did the Jesuits and the first German settlers. I offer a tour that leads to the Pacific Ocean. It is quite long, but the beauty of the sites - forests, volcanoes and crystalline lakes - is such that it is worth to be carried. The Argentine side, cross the west arm of Nahuel Huapi and Lake Puerto Alegre and, the chilen side, Lake Todos los Santos. Moving from one lake to another by bus. This tour is feasible in all seasons, but in winter, it takes two days to reach Puerto Montt, stopping for one night at Peulla. We returned to Bariloche by air or by the same way, after a night in Puerto Montt. Borispatagonia is also responsible for visas to go to Chile and to book hotels. In Patagonia, winter and summer are tourist seasons. In summer, besides explore the surrounding, many activities are available: climbing, torrent fishing, sailing, horseback riding, hiking, rides, visits to Aciendas... In winter, the main activity is, of course, skiing, especially in July and August on the side of the Andes, but not only: snowshoe hikes, thematic tours, many walks to admire the beauty of Patagonia Argentina and Chile in this season, due a unique light, the warmth of the people of Patagonia... Just to talk about, I get goose bumps!