Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quiz with Chamara Sumanapala. Part 31: Isabel Peron, 'La Presidente'

Isabel Peron, the third wife of the former Argentine President Juan Peron, became the President of Argentina forty years ago, on July 1, 1974. She had been sworn in as acting president on June 29 when the health of President Juan Peron, her husband, was failing. By becoming the President of her country, she became the first ever female president in the world.

Born in a lower middle class family in La Rioja in Argentina, Isabel Martinez Cartas did not complete school. She later became a dancer and met the exiled former Argentine President Juan Peron in Panama. They moved to Spain and got married there in 1961, despite the fact that he was much older than her.

In October 1973, Peron returned to the presidency in Argentina. He appointed his wife as his Vice President. She served as acting president during ill health of her husband on several occasions.

Isabel Peron remained as president until March 1976, when the military removed her from power.

1. Both the first and second wives of Juan Peron died of cancer. Although Isabel became the president of the country, she was never popular as the second wife of Juan Peron, Eva. She was extremely popular especially among the poor of the country. Eva Peron died at 33 years of age in 1952, but had taken a leading role in the country’s politics. What was the name by which she became famous?

2. After getting married to Juan Peron, Isabel became the main contact between Argentina and her husband, since her husband was banned from visiting the country. Isabel met José López Rega, who was a former policeman with an interest in occultism and fortune-telling, during a visit to Argentina in 1964. This started a long association and Isabel fell under the influence of astrology. Even during her presidency, she was said to be relying on astrological predictions to determine national policy. Rega was the Minister of Social Welfare under the presidency of Isabel Peron and had a large influence upon her even then. It was his policies and inexperience of Isabel Peron which earned her many enemies. Ultimately, protests forced him out of office in late 1975. Bu which name he was known among the public? This name reminds of his association with occult beliefs.

3. The military coup of March 1976 was led by the General Commander of the Army. His rule ended in 1981, when he relinquished power. His period as President of Argentina was known for widespread human rights violations. In the last years of his life he spent in prison, after being convicted of kidnappings and deaths. He died in 2012. Who was he?

4. Isabel Peron was living under house arrest after being removed from power. In 1981, she was exiled and still lives in the country. After the fall of the military regime in 1982, she did visit Argentina but never settled there. However, she remained the titular head of the Justicialist Party created by her husband. In which country did she settle down in Europe?

5. Isabel Peron was not the first elected female president, as she came to the position after her husband died. The first democratically elected female president (or head of state) was Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland. She was president of that country from 1980 to 1996. The current President of Argentina is the first democratically elected female president of the country. Incidentally, she is from the Justicialist Party and she came to politics in place of her husband, who could not run for presidency. In effect, she is also a successor of her husband, like Isabel Peron was. Who is the current President of Argentina?

Answers to Quiz 30: Football World Cup 2002

1. Bruno Metsu
2. Byron Moreno
3. Hakan Sukur
4. Oliver Kahn
5. Yokohama

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