One of the most beloved characters who has passed by the Casa Rosada
Un vicepresidente argentino que dio todo por su país sin recibir nada a cambio.
To visit the Recoleta Cemetery is to take a short walk through our history which, instead of being chronological, is divided by families and personalities. If we pay attention and get away from the most prominent surnames, we can also discover unknown events and figures who, with a very low profile, did great things for our country. In the Pantheon of the Fallen of the Revolution of 1890, for example, we have a very important one.
Between Yrigoyen, Illia, Alem and Alfonsín, there are also the remains of Elpidio González, one of the most honoured and beloved characters to have passed through the Casa Rosada. And, sadly, one of the less famous. Elpidio was vice-president of the Nation during the government of Marcelo T. de Alvear. For him, having the honor of that position was too much, so he gave up his salary and kept selling aniline, shoe polish and shoe polish on the street.
His integrity, his vocation to the civil service and his dignity were not shattered even during times of need. At the end of Alvear's term, Elpidio González retired from politics. Years later, a legislator crossed it at the subway door selling his products, as he had always done. In shock, the deputy did what he thought was right: he presented a bill to grant a lifetime pension to former presidents and vice-presidents. Elpidius would be the first beneficiary.
True to his convictions, Gonzalez rejected the pension: as long as he had two hands to work with, he would not need alms, he said. He spent his last days in poverty, without a home, without family and with a few friends around him. All this - and much more - was what led to Elpidio González being recognized by his party and today he is occupying the same space as the great leaders of the Radical Civic Union.
For those who did not know, the news is this: there was an Argentine vice president named Elpidio González who gave everything for his country without receiving anything in return. It is no coincidence, then, that the nickname with which the people had baptized him: the Beloved One.