Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Today's Video: "Isabelita"

On this day in 1974 Isabel Peron became interim president of Argentina after taking over for her infirm husband, Juan. She would lose the "interim" label after Juan died on July the 1st.

A former cabaret dancer, Isabel became Juan's third wife while he was in exile in Panama and then first lady shortly after he returned to Argentina. She was given the nickname of "Isabelita" but she could not live up to the mythical status of Juan's late wife Evita. Isabel's presidency was problematic from the beginning including deepening political divisions among the Peronists, a weakened economy that kept worsening, and increased violence by guerillas and paramilitaries. She would be overthrown in a military coup in March 1976, thus ushering in the repressive "Dirty War" period.

The following video on Isabel's brief time in the presidency comes from a documentary on Argentine political history. Note that her strengthening of power to the military during her presidency would be an ironic factor that lead to her downfall as well as the focus of a 2007 Spanish investigation.

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