Argentine Vice president Cristina Fernández Kirchner made her way past the followers gathered at the building entrance of the C5N cable network last night for her first interview in six years. In a rare coincidence, it took place 4 years later to the day of when Kirchner announced Alberto Fernández as the Frente de Todos coalition candidate for the 2019 elections.
In the main studio, she sat across from Pablo Duggan, the TV anchor in charge of conducting the interview for his show, Hard to tame (Duro de domar, in Spanish), and talked about a variety of subjects: the economic situation and the agreement with the IMF, the failed assassination attempt against her, as well as the upcoming elections and the chances of the Frente de Todos (FdT) coalition.
Expectations were high in the days and hours leading up to the interview. Last Friday, Cristina Kirchner published a letter on her website saying she would not be running for president, or any other office. Kirchner had accused the judiciary and the Supreme Court of imposing a “political ban” not only against her but the Peronist party as a whole.
Kirchner reiterated that she will not run for any elected office in the upcoming elections. “What I published the other day is very clear,” she said, despite repeated requests from her followers for her to reconsider.
Even though she acknowledged that the love and affection between them is strong, Kirchner never wavered in her commitment, and said she hoped “the children of the decimated generation will be the ones to follow,” in reference to the descendants of the political activists and militants that were persecuted and disappeared by the 1976-1983 dictatorship.
Here are some of the most important definitions she gave on economy, elections, and the Judiciary in the interview, which went on for almost an hour and a half:
- “In a dual-currency economy, the debt in dollars worsens the balance of payments constraint.”
- “[The Macri government’s agreement with the IMF] was outrageous.”
- “The agreement with the IMF will need to be reviewed.”
- “We need to discuss how to get out of the dual-currency economy with all the political parties that have parliamentary representation.”
- “If we want to win the elections, we have to get society to fall in love with us again.”
- “The Frente de Todos government was better than what an eventual second term of Macri would have been.”
- “Being able to eat four times a day is neither ideological nor populist.”
- “The 2023 elections are going to revolve around an electorate separated in three parts,” in reference to the Frente de Todos coalition, the Juntos por el Cambio coalition, and the La Libertad Avanza party.
- “One third of the electorate is voting out of anger,” referring to the popularity of right-wing candidate Javier Milei.
- “In these elections I will play the role I have always played, as a political activist, in order to help bring about what I think will be the best for the Argentine people.”
- “My daughter needs me, and if something were to happen to me, she would suffer greatly.” Her daughter Florencia Kirchner has had repeated health problems. She was hospitalized in Cuba between 2019 and 2020, and Kirchner visited her on several occasions. The Argentine media has published intimate information about Florencia and even went as far as directly blaming CFK for her daughter’s health problems. This generated a condemnation by journalists’ associations.
- “Luckily, I didn’t see when the gunmen pulled the trigger. The [failed assassination attempt] shocked and changed me. I never thought something like that could ever happen again in Argentina.”
- “The Supreme Court is a device of persecution.”
- “[The Judiciary] is coming for the democratic system.”
- “What I published the other day is very clear. It’s the confirmation of what I had already said on December 6. When I speak, I know a two-time president who is the leader of a political force must handle their words responsibly.”