December 12, 2013
CFK embraces pope’s speech to pilgrims
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner yesterday included Pope Francis in the electoral campaign. Citing his comment on Thursday that the young should take to the streets, the president said it was time to fight for ideas and convictions and compared the pontiff with her late husband, the former president Néstor Kirchner.
Two days before meeting the pope who has gathered cheering crowds in Brazil, the president decided to use Jorge Bergoglio’s words as an appeal to voters who will go to the polls on August 11, when the PASO primaries will be held.
“He asked you to take to the streets to fight for your ideas and convictions and he also said that the Church is not an NGO. That is exactly what we say about politics,” the president highlighted.
The president reacted to the pope’s speech, delivered on Thursday before Argentine pilgrims in Rio de Janeiro, on inaugurating Morón’s soccer stadium joined by two local leaders, Morón Mayor Lucas Ghi and the former mayor and current AFSCA media watchdog Martín Sabbatella. Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli and Lomas de Zamora Mayor Martín Insaurralde, who is heading the Victory Front (FpV) ticket for the Lower House of Congress, also went to the stadium.
“Politics is not an NGO. It is made of ideas and convictions. It needs preachers to spread them,” she added, mixing politics and religion.
The president, who maintained for years a controversy with Bergoglio that stopped her and Kirchner from attending the Te Deum held at the Metropolitan Cathedral, yesterday set the pontiff as a model to follow and compared his predicament with Kirchner’s ideas.
“Néstor also called on you, the young, to take the streets, to transgress,” the president said in what appeared to be an effort to embrace the pope’s stance.
“Néstor had a sixth sense, he even had it when he was a mayor and he established a front with several political parties. It was not because he did not like to debate, it was because he knew when to overcome ideological barriers,” she said.
Fernández de Kirchner will be travelling today to meet Pope Francis in Brazil. It was reported that Insaurralde would join her to attend to the Mass that the pontiff will hold tomorrow.
Without addressing him, Fernández de Kirchner criticized Insau-rralde’s main rival in the October’s midterm vote, Tigre Mayor Sergio Massa, who used to be Fernández de Kirchner Cabinet chief in 2008 but recently launched the Renewal Front to compete against the ruling coalition in the Buenos Aires province and is currently leading the electoral polls.
“Many of them, recycled, renewed or rejuvenated, are part of the policies of the past, that brought us sorrow and failures,” she pointed out. “In these postmodern times, when nobody says anything not to lose a vote, I really liked Francis’ idea,” she said.
As part of the electoral campaign, Fernández de Kirchner praised her own economic policies and called on Argentines to protect the “national project.”
“I have already told you I am not eternal. Economic policies are not eternal. If a different economic policy is implemented, as the ones we previously had which were ordered by corporations and accepted by presidents, problems will be here again,” she warned.
“We are glad of the things we have already done but we are also have plans for the pending issues,” she said. The president said that her government wants to do something about the 32 percent of the work force that is still not on the books.
Fernández de Kirchner yesterday also commented on General César Milani’s appointment as the head of the Army. During the dictatorship that ruled the country between 1976 and 1983, Milani served as a sub-lieutenant at a La Rioja’s battalion and was transferred to Tucumán province to take part in the so-called Independence Operation, which aimed to wipe out armed rebels. Milani was also reported by a survivor as the military officer who took part in the kidnapping of his father in La Rioja province.
“We can say that we took the necessary steps to achieve Memory, Truth and Justice because they cannot be only a claim voiced by Mothers, Grandmothers, relatives and friends. It had to be a demand by all 40 million Argentines that feel they are part of a modern and plural democracy,” Fernández de Kirchner said at the stadium, which is located near the former Mansión Seré clandestine detention centre.
The president expressed her gratitude to the human rights organizations that backed her decision to promote Milani and that expressed their support to Human Rights secretary Martín Fresneda, who was reported by Radical senators for allegedly having hidden information that linked Milani to crimes against humanity committed during the military regime.
After the inauguration, Insau-rralde visited the place where the concentration camp operated in western Greater Buenos Aires during the seventies and praised Fernández de Kirchner for her human rights policy.
“It was not only then president Kirchner who led this process with the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo and all the Argentines that were claiming for Memory, Truth and Justice,” he said echoing the president. Insaurralde highlighted the Kirchnerite administrations goals in this issue in a moment when opposition leaders are attacking the officials due to the support given to Milani.
— Herald with DyN. Télam