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Cooke, John William (1919–1968) and Argentine revolutionary Peronism

Geoffroy de Laforcade


It is fitting that John William Cooke's year of birth, 1919, should coincide in Argentine history with the Semana Trágica , one of the bloodiest crackdowns on organized labor and popular resistance to occur in Buenos Aires between the two wars. As a 20-year-old law student in the law faculty of his hometown La Plata, Cooke used the pro-democratic Radical Civic Union (UCR) platform of the Unión Universitaria Intransigente to launch a passionate and stellar political career at the forefront of the struggle against dictatorship and government corruption. It began with a youthful engagement on the side of the Allies against Argentine neutrality in World War II, and culminated in his participation in a plan for a continental socialist revolution elaborated by Ernesto “Che” Guevara in the late 1960s. For more than two decades Cooke was a prominent leader of the movement founded by Juan Domingo Perón, labor and welfare minister from 1943 to 1945, president from 1946 to 1955, and enduring symbol of Argentine national liberation struggles thereafter. Cooke was initiated into politics by his father, an Alvearist official of Irish descent who was Argentina's minister of foreign affairs between August 1945 and June 1946; and by his friend César Marcos, a son of Asturian immigrants, director of the Argentine Film Institute after 1943, who championed the cultural nationalism of the historical ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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