(Daniel Politi’s article appeared on the AP, 7/27; via the Drudge Report.)
BUENOS AIRES (AP) — María Eva Noble says she is carrying out the legacy of her namesake as she labors in a soup kitchen in a working class neighborhood of Buenos Aires.
She was named after iconic Argentine former first lady María Eva Duarte de Perón, better known as Eva Perón, or Evita, who died 70 years ago Tuesday. The soup kitchen where Noble does volunteer duty in the Flores district gives daily lunches to about 200 people and is run by an organization that also carries the name of the late leader.
Though not related to Eva Perón, Noble says, “I carry Evita in my DNA.” And she is hardly the only one who feels this way.
Seven decades after her death, Evita continues to awaken passions in Argentina as her followers believe her image as a champion of the poor is more relevant than ever at a time when inequality and poverty are rising as the economy remains stagnated amid galloping inflation.
Evita has been the subject of countless books, movies, TV shows and even a Broadway musical but for some of her oldest, most ardent followers the connection with the actress turned political leader is much more personal.
Juana Marta Barro was one of dozens of people who lined up Tuesday morning to leave flowers and pay her respects at Evita’s tomb, located in the Recoleta neighborhood in Argentina’s capital.
With tears in her eyes, the 84-year-old Barro, daughter of a housekeeper, recalled how her life in northern Tucumán province improved after Evita came on the political scene, and she suddenly received better shoes and school uniform.
“It was thanks to her that I had my first backpack,” said Barro, who still recalls the excitement of seeing Evita pass by her town on a train. “She is a torch that shines in my heart.”