Juan & Eva Peron:
‘Tis Better To Look Good Than Feel Good
A painted portrait epitomizing the alluring charm of Argentina’s former President and First Lady both born beneath Venus ruled signs, Juan and Eva Peron.
The lives of Argentina’s President and First Lady who governed over South America’s second largest country from 1946 through 1952 have been likened by many to be the stuff of fairy tales. And indeed, the mythological aura that revolves around one half of this politically powerful couple has only catapulted further and further into the realm of fairy-taled legend with the passage of time. So much so, the former First Lady of Argentina has been recently bequeathed with the storybook-ish title of “The Sleeping Beauty of South America”.
But beneath the fairy-taled exterior of Juan and Eva Peron lay hints of an insidious horror story that concluded with an ending which was anything but happy.
“And as for Fortune and as for Fame
I never invited them in.
Though it seemed to the world
They were all I desired
They are illusions.
They’re not the solutions
They promise to be.”
– “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” from the musical “Evita” by Andrew Lloyd Weber
While appearing on the Johnny Carson Show, Latin heartthrob Fernando Lamas was quoted as saying, “It’s better to look good than feel good.”
Not surprisingly, Mr. Lamas hails from a country where this sentiment was the law of the land – Argentina. And the Argentinians that best embodied this law of looking good? Former President and First Lady, Juan & Eva Peron.
Mention the surname of the couple that politically ruled over Argentina during the mid-20th century and most people residing outside of South America will draw a blank. The same can be said if merely the husband half of this dynamic duo, Juan Peron is mentioned individually.
Say the name “Evita”, however, and almost everyone has some level of familiarity with Argentina’s former First Lady, be it with the self-entitled musical or with the numerous films and documentaries which depict her larger than life persona. Even to the present day, Eva, or in more endearing Spanish speaking terms, “Evita” Peron is venerated with a level of adoration reserved for saints in her native country. What many non-Argentinians don’t realize is Eva Peron is despised by nearly just as many as those who idolize her and the former First Lady’s magnitude of cultural influence is often dismissed right alongside the rancorous memory of her military regime ruling husband.
Both husband and wife came from humble and restrictive beginnings as illegitimate children. Both struggled and clawed their way out of impoverished obscurity to the very top of political power.
And both political powerhouses were born beneath Venus ruled signs.
Astrologically, the term “Venusian” deals with more than just those areas of life which the ancient goddess traditionally governed over, namely Love and Beauty. In astrology, that which is Venusian also deals with commerce and the “worth” of things, be it financial, aesthetic, or romantic.
Juan, born beneath the Venusian sign of Libra on October 8th, 1895 was the debonnaire military man who instead of avoiding or directly clashing with the press, used his charm and disarming smile to win them over. His wife, Eva, born beneath the second of the Venus ruled signs, Taurus on May 7th, 1919 became a symbol of national pride by becoming an icon of haute couture fashion and sumptuous style.
The Perons combined their Venusian traits of alluring charm, graciousness, and stylish flair with their good looks to win over a large number of dissidents and govern over a populace whose vast majority politically favored them. Internationally, Juan and Eva’s visual appeal as a political team contributed to placing Argentina on the world map within the global mass consciousness of the Western World. Before the Perons came to power, most Westerners weren’t sure where South America was even located, let alone who governed its individual countries.
But once encountered, the charismatic duo of Argentina’s Venusian President and First Lady made them nearly impossible to forget.
Despite Taurus and Libra sharing the same planetary ruler, the two residents of the Zodiac governed by Venus function from very different astrological foundations. To quote the Taurus & Libra chapter from my book on Astrology and Relationships entitled, “Love in the Stars”:
“Taurus’ astrological quality is “Fixed”. The Bull has quite the hard time finding the initial energy to start things, but once begun, makes sure everything is carried out to full completion. Libra’s astrological quality is “Cardinal”. The Scales are quite good at starting things, but following things through to completion is one of their biggest challenges. When it comes to decisiveness, the Taurus is so resolute upon making decisions, their conclusions tend to be inflexibly set in stone and defined in the most black and white of terms. The best way to describe the waiting process while a Libra comes to making even the slightest hint of a resolute decision would be likening their lack of decisiveness to the changing of the Seasons or listening to one’s hair grow, the weighing back and forth/hemming and hawing can be THAT time consuming. Being the first representative of their element of Earth, Taurus is a sign that is fundamentally basic, right down to their speech. Short and sweet is the best form of Taurean talk, nothing too drawn out, flowery, or over-intellectualized for them. Being the middle representative of the element that utilizes communication the most, Air, the Libra is a master at the art of conversation and delights in language that has intellectual flair and sprinkled with flowery ornamentation. The more basic the talk, the quicker the Libra gets bored.”
Even with the above said, Juan and Eva complemented each other by taking what came naturally to their individual selves and utilizing their inherent strengths to support what was lacking or needed to be augmented within their partner’s personality.
Prior to the Perons taking power, the role of Argentina’s First Lady was utilized primarily for decorative ornamentation. Born beneath the sign that functions best through partnership, Juan Peron not only supported his wife in a marriage of mutual equality, the Libran Lieutenant General fully backed all of Evita’s individual political endeavors as well, and for good reason.
Peron’s military background provided the necessary credibility which allowed for his wife’s endeavors to not just succeed but to be taken seriously. By providing the “balance” of credible validation to Eva’s pursuits, Peron’s backing and support from voting constituents was further enhanced and made significantly stronger by the pervasive influence of his wildly popular wife.
The most substantial of these pursuits was Eva’s instrumental impact regarding the women of Argentina being given the right to vote in 1947. When the suffrage law passed, Peron’s political popularity soared to new heights since Eva had created a new political party of which she became President, The Female Peronist Party.
“I am only a simple woman who lives to serve Peron and my people.” – Eva Peron
Evita’s presence as First Lady was a phenomenon never before experienced in neither Argentina’s nor South America’s history. The Taurean’s designer dresses and evening gowns, along with her perfectly coiffed chignon of dyed platinum hair framed by decoratively ornate hats demanded that everyone’s attentions be first drawn to her highly stylized self followed by all agog parties being directed to her husband’s aspiring political ambitions.
Before meeting her husband, Eva Duarte was an acclaimed actress and Argentine radio personality of renown. During Juan’s first run for President, Eva added a political show to her radio line-up called “Towards A Better Tomorrow,” which consisted solely of content designed to promote Peron. It was while hosting this radio show that Evita found her voice which spoke directly to the hearts of “los descamisados”, “the shirtless ones”, Argentina’s low income and working class that eventually became the political base for the Peronist Party.
Intriguingly, the First Lady’s biographers, Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro, describe Evita’s short and sweet communicative style from these early radio shows in the most Taurean of terms:
“Using the most ordinary language, designed to appeal to the working class, Eva conveyed what she wanted people to believe about Peron.”
But the pretty pleasantries of the political fairy-tale generated by the good looking husband and wife become blurred over and splattered when considering the controversial complexities that lay just beneath the powdered sugar surface of the Peronist political landscape. The same Venusian qualities which the Perons used to their full advantage in order to reach the pinnacle of power in Argentina eventually would be the cause behind the couple’s political and personal demise.
“I just use the money for the poor. I can’t stop to count it.” – Eva Peron
Eva Peron may have been the epitome of haute couture for the purpose of having her glamorous image instill a sense of national pride among the poorest of her people but at the height of her power many began to question the First Lady’s extreme Taurean needs for the tangible. This was evidenced by the Presidential Palace having an entire room dedicated strictly to Eva’s fur coats, another room reserved just for her dresses and evening gowns, and yet another for the First Lady’s elaborate hats and their accompanying boxes.
The fairy tale becomes far more dark and disturbingly complex when the unevolved actions displayed by Juan Peron are taken into account both personally and politically during the height of his power as President of Argentina. Despite embracing a political doctrine that mirrored the astrological foundation of his Libran Sun sign, that being “Justicialismo”, or “Social Justice”, Juan Peron was outspoken in his admiration for the Fascist regimes that rose to power in the 1930’s which eventually became World War II’s Axis Forces, namely Mussolini’s Italy and Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
As the War drew to a close, Peron’s Fascist admiration gave way to active compliance.
“Everything for a friend, not even justice for an enemy.” – Juan Peron
During his time as President of Argentina in the years which directly followed World War II, it’s generally believed Juan Peron granted political asylum and safe refuge to numerous Nazi and Fascist war criminals. The Libran leader who promoted Social Justice within his country willingly opened Argentina’s borders to some of the most monstrously unjust men in history, such as the designer of the Nazi “Final Solution”, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi bequeathed with the murderous title, “The Butcher of Lyon”, Klaus Barbie, and most perverse of all, the Chief Medical Officer of the Auschwitz extermination camp, whom many called “The Angel of Death”, Dr. Josef Mengele.
With General Peron’s assistance, these criminals of the darkest kind were able to flee Europe, escape Justice, and begin new lives complete with fabricated names and false working papers, courtesy of the safe haven provided by Argentina and the Peronist government.
Additionally, in 1946 investigations went underway involving stolen works of art, cash, and precious stones that were looted by the Nazis from wealthy Jewish families and subsequently brought to Argentina to be stored at two of Buenos Aires’ more prominent banks, Banco Germanico (German Bank) and Banco Tournquist. Oddly enough, the investigations were abruptly terminated in September of that same year “by presidential decree.”
One of the biggest pitfalls of romantic potential associated with the Taurus Libra union which both Venus ruled parties are prone to individually is non-confrontation. Libras are generally known to avoid any kind of confrontation at all costs, however there are some extremely unevolved examples of those born beneath the sign of the Scales whose prissy natures will have them avoiding any and all kinds of discomfort and even ugliness altogether, as well.
This, Juan Peron did to his own wife.
Around the age of 30, Eva Peron began having fainting spells and bouts of extreme bleeding. Upon further medical examination, Argentina’s President was told that his wife had advanced cervical cancer.
Peron never informed Eva of her health condition.
Rather than face the extreme discomfort of having to confront the First Lady with a grim prognosis of her advancing illness and still needing Evita’s presence for a second Presidential re-election, Peron instead told his wife she would be having an appendectomy that would in turn remedy her recent bouts of extreme pain.
When her pain advanced to excruciating levels, Juan Peron lied once again to Eva, saying she would next be having a routine hysterectomy procedure that would in all likelihood end her profuse bleeding – the hysterectomy did actually occur, but the cancer had now spread throughout the First Lady’s abdomen and lower organs.
Even when it became more than abundantly clear that something was very wrong by virtue of Eva’s body not recovering but fully disintegrating, Juan Peron withheld the truth from his wife. As her emaciated body lay dying, the man born beneath the sign of Partnership abandoned his partner altogether by avoiding his wife and barely visiting Eva on her deathbed.
Eva Peron died of cervical cancer at the age of 33 in 1952. She left this world never knowing the true nature of what killed her.
It must be mentioned that Eva Duarte was not Juan Peron’s only marriage. The Libran military leader was previously married to a schoolteacher named Aurelia Tizón, who like Evita, died of cervical cancer at an extremely young age of 29. Today, many medical authorities have concluded that both women’s lives ended so tragically young due to both contracting the human papilloma virus which was given directly to them via one solitary source.
Juan Peron, himself.
Be they considered salacious sinners or sanctified saints whose lives were the stuff of dreams of either the sweet or nightmarish variety, Juan and Eva Peron made an impressionable impact that cannot be easily forgotten both within their country and throughout the world. Although her husband’s notoriety remains limited, Argentinians will continue to keep the memory of their “Evita” within the heights of the heavens. For as they see it, an extremely short lived but bedazzling moment took place within their country’s History when a woman born beneath the influence of Venus became the physical embodiment of the Goddess, whose legend grows ever stronger within the hearts of her countrymen and women with the passage of Time.
Although humbly self described as a “simple woman of the people” Eva Peron did her utmost to project an image of royal personage in public, as in this gala event photo in 1950 where the First Lady wore a purple velvet cape framed in the fur of kings, ermine.
The Royal Crown Jewels of a “Simple Woman” – Continuing the air of faux royalty, for one who also meekly described herself as a mere “sparrow among many sparrows”, the Venusian first Lady of Argentina apparently didn’t mind setting herself apart from the common folk by parading in public like the most royal of preening peacocks. In 1951 Holland’s Royal Family gave Evita a set of her own crowned jewels consisting of a set of diamond rings, matching diamond earrings, and a tiara made for a queen (pictured above) which unto itself was worth $3.5 million. In December of 2009, Serbian thieves posing as Arabian sheiks literally picked up the jewels and ran with them from a jewelry store in Valencia Spain where Evita’s heirs had hocked them decades earlier for cash. Evita’s precious jewels were eventually all retrieved in various heists in Milan two years later in June of 2011.
The Libran military leader whose disarmingly charming smile alone could win over the most dissident of news reporters – Juan Peron.
With hats that high, it should be no surprise an entire room was reserved for just the First Lady’s head gear .
Because of his Fascist sympathies which gave refuge to some of the most notorious Nazi war criminals, many anti-Peronists have bequeathed Argentina’s former President with the title, “El Fuhrer“.
Falling in obedient line by mirroring her husband’s political leanings, Evita had no problem being affiliated and hob-nobbing with Fascists as the photo above shows Argentina’s First Lady being the guest of honor at a luncheon in post-War Spain hosted by the wife of that country’s Fascist dictator Francisco Franco, Carmen(left). Madrid, 1947.
Peron not only granted those accused of World War II’s most notorious war crimes safe entry into Argentina, the former President landed many of them well paying jobs as well, such as the position of the First Lady’s bodyguard being given to the man known as “Hitler’s Henchman”, Otto “Scarface” Skorzeny.
Otto Skorzeny pictured above with his former boss just prior to finding gainful employment with the Perons.
Numerous theories have emerged as to why Juan Peron kept his wife unaware of her terminal illness. Many believe the General refused to confront Evita’s health crisis due to needing his wife’s popular presence for his re-election campaign. The picture above was taken at a political rally a mere five months before the First Lady’s death. No one at the time was aware that Peron had to literally hold his wife up for display due to Evita no longer being able to stand on her own from the advanced state of cancer which riddled her body.
Love them or hate them, the Venus ruled political pair of Juan and Eva Peron had a stylish flair that cannot readily be forgotten.
*Brad Kronen’s book “Love in the Stars” published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Inc. is available for purchase at your local book seller or online at amazon.com at the link listed below.