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Varela, Juan Cruz (1794–1839)

Varela, Juan Cruz (1794–1839)

Juan Cruz Varela (b. 23 November 1794; d. 23 January 1839), Argentine journalist, politician, poet. In 1810 Varela, a native of Buenos Aires, entered the Montserrat seminary in Córdoba to study for the priesthood; he graduated in 1816 but did not take holy orders. Varela instead turned to love poetry, writing "La Elvira" (1817), "Mi pasión" (1817), and "El enojo" (1819) among others. In 1818 he returned to Buenos Aires, where he staunchly supported liberal politics. He was a friend of Bernardino Rivadavia, becoming his press spokesman and the secretary of the General Congress of 1826. Varela wrote for El Centinela and El Mensajero Argentino and supported Rivadavia's reforms. He supported the upstart General Juan Galo Lavalle against the legitimate governor of Buenos Aires, Manuel Dorrego, who was executed in 1828 with the encouragement of Varela among others. This act only served to fortify the very forces Lavalle sought to defeat, and by 1829 Varela had to abandon Buenos Aires for exile in Montevideo. In Uruguay he continued to write articles and poetry opposing Juan Manuel de Rosas. Varela lived a spartan life in Montevideo and tried unsuccessfully to return to Buenos Aires. He died in Montevideo.

See alsoRivadavia, Bernardino .


Juan María Gutiérrez, Juan Cruz Varela: Su vida—sus obras—su época (1918) and Los poetas de la revolución (1941).

Additional Bibliography

Chávez, Fermín, Angel Núñez, and Francisco Javier Muñiz. Historia y antología de la poesía gauchesca. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Ediciones Margus, 2004.

                                     Nicholas P. Cushner

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