14 March 1877: Died of Juan Manuel de Rosas
The heroes were, first of all, men. The official story , later, was responsible for creating the side of the good and the bad side, as if any of us were fully good or totally bad in their thoughts, actions and decisions. Juan Manuel de Rosas historically was, for the school manuals, on the side of the bad guys.
Tyrant and dictator for some, restorer of laws for others, Rosas is one of the most controversial figures in Argentine history . His end seems to confirm his fame as a bloodthirsty despot: he died defeated and exiled. And in England, precisely, a country with which he had had several mixed interests.
After losing the Battle of Caseros in 1852, Rosas sought asylum at the British Consulate, from where he was sent to England on the warship Conflict. He settled on a farm on the outskirts of Southampton . He tried, perhaps, to recreate a little bit of the Pampas plain in those lands so far and so strange.
He died there on March 14, 1877 , at the age of 83. He had — for sure — plenty of time to review his life, his mistakes and his triumphs, his successes and his defeats. His decisions that, for better or for worse, helped shape what we are today as a nation.
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