This was Eva Perón’s last speech
(CNN Spanish) — On May 1, 1952, a sick but at the same time energetic Eva Perón publicly reappeared on the balcony of the Casa Rosada, where she addressed her “descamisados” gathered in the Plaza de Mayo for the last time, before her death. death just two months later.
Accompanied by her husband Juan Domingo Perón, then president of Argentina, who held her by the waist due to the weakness of her body, as can be seen in the pictures of that day“Evita” delivered a memorable speech in which he sent a forceful message to “traitors”, called for them to come out in defense of the Peronist government and reunited with the people.
The then first lady, who would die of uterine cancer two months after that speech, on July 26, 1952, is one of the most influential women in Argentine history. She, along with her husband, embodied a political movement that emerged in the mid-1940s – Peronism – and which, to this day, continues to play a leading role in the political life of the Latin American country. In addition, Evita’s foray into politics allowed her advocating for the most disadvantaged, especially through its foundation, and managed to get the law approved in Congress that gave it the right and enabled all Argentine women to vote.
On the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the death of Eva María Duarte de Perón, we remember the last words she gave before thousands of workers, whom she called her “shirtless”.
A speech against “the traitors” and in defense of Perón
“By May 1952 the disease was very advanced, but she did not want to stop seeing and questioning her ‘shirtless'”, explains Ailén Díaz, lawyer, professor of Constitutional History at the Faculty of Legal and Social Sciences of the University National of La Plata in a academic article where he gives his impressions on the last speech of “Evita”.
“I, after a long time that I do not have contact with the people like today, I want to say these things to my descamisados, to the humble ones that I carry so close to my heart,” said Evita before thousands of workers who gathered in the Plaza de Mayo to listen to it on May 1, 1952, Workers’ Day.
For Díaz, it is a statement in which she gives “strong support to her husband”, considering that a few months before the first two coup attempts against Peronism had taken place.
“I want to speak today, despite the fact that the general asks me to be brief, because I want my people to know that we are willing to die for Perón and for the traitors to know that we will no longer come here to say ‘present’ to Perón, as on September 28, but we will go and take justice into our own hands,” said Eva.
The first failed coup attempt occurred on September 28, 1951 and almost 5 months later, on February 3, 1952, former Colonel José F. Suárez had among his plans to storm the presidential residence and kill Perón and his wife. However, this did not happen because the authorities were alerted before the plan was launched.
“They will not succeed… they will not succeed as the envy of the toads has never managed to silence the song of the nightingales or the vipers to contain the flight of the condors,” said Evita, referring once again to “the coup plotters.”
“This message was directed at the coup plotters in particular, but it included opponents in general,” says Díaz.
A show of strength and “love” to the people
Towards the end of her speech, Evita assures the people that “I am in the fight again, I am with you again, like yesterday, like today, and like tomorrow.” This is a “show of strength,” Díaz considers, facing to the political times ahead.
His words were also “a sign of passion and love for the dedication to the people and the country, and the fierce fight against those, nationals or foreigners, who oppressed them, and unfortunately still oppress them,” says the professor of the Faculty of Legal Sciences and Social of the National University of La Plata.
“The traitors from within, who sell themselves for four coins, are also on the lookout to strike at any moment. But we are the people and I know that when the people are alert we are invincible because we are the country itself”. Thus ended his speech on May 1, 1952, when he had only a few weeks to live but always in the heart of “his descamisados de el” of him.
With information from Marcelo Longobardi