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Putin the Perónist

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin has been compared to many strongmen of the past – Joseph Stalin, Leonid Brezhnev, and Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, to name a few. But, after nearly 14 years in power, perhaps the best comparison now may be a transgender cross between the former Argentine leader Juan Perón and his legendary wife, Eva (“Evita”).

In the early 1940’s, Colonel Perón, as Minister of Labor and Secretary of War, was a “gray cardinal” to Argentina’s rulers. Before communism collapsed in 1989, Colonel Putin, also memorably gray, was a devoted KGB operative, entrusted with spreading disinformation and recruiting Soviet and foreign agents in East Germany.