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July 26, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014

President: ideologies are still alive

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is seen yesterday at the Metropolitan Cathedral following eight years of absence. During the last few years, the head of state and her late husband Néstor Kirchner stopped attending the traditional annual ceremony after former archbishop Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) gave a harsh homily in 2006.

Fernández de Kirchner heads May Day celebrations in Plaza de Mayo after cathedral homily

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner yesterday made a balance of her administration during the May Day celebrations and told the people “not to forget” the country’s situation before Kirchnerism arrived to power.

“Some say ideologies are a thing of the past — but those who say so, do it because they also have ‘ideas.’ They might not be able to tell them, because they are not convenient for the majority of the population,” Fernández de Kirchner said. “I call (the people) not to forget the way they were” before former late president Néstor Kirchner took office in 2003.

The head of state launched a plea for “national unity... with clear ideas and without aggressions” during a speech transmitted via national broadcast.

CFK spoke in front of Government House accompanied by several Cabinet members, as the square in downtown Buenos Aires heaved with thousands of activists and other groups who attended to celebrate the landmark date. Many of them carried flags of social organizations such as Kolina, Movimiento Evita and La Cámpora youth organization.

“Here we are once again in this historic square which belongs to all Argentines, to celebrate a new anniversary for the nation,” Fernández de Kirchner stressed during her speech, before calling to remember all the people who helped create an independent nation and adding that “without the people, there can be no revolution.”

“I want to focus on this word, revolution and May, because when we remember May 25 we only do so remembering a handful of patriots. But we forget the people, because the efforts of a handful of men do not build a nation — they can only do so accompanied by the people.”

Amid a recent debate over the relationship between the Catholic Church and the national administration — marked by comings and goings over a letter written by Pope Francis — the president chose to talk about “faith”.

“You need to put (more) faith in the country, you need to believe in our history, in our possibilities, in hopes for the future,” the president said.

She also aimed at the role of politicians in a context of social depravation and said that “as long as there is one poor person in the country, we’ll be in debt with it.”

She then mentioned the 40th anniversary of Argentine writer and historian Arturo Jauretche, “the country’s last great intellectual”, who according to the president “shaped the thoughts of several generations, such as the (so-called) May Generation.”

“What a challenge for the twenty-first century,” Fernández de Kirchner remarked.

“The future is here to stay and we’ll keep carrying it on,” Fernández de Kirchner said, making a nod at the next steps of the ruling Victory Front (FpV) after the leader completes her term in December, 2015.

She then asked the crowd for “forgiveness” because of her manners, her “style” and her “harsh” words.

“I’ll never betray the interests of the people,” she concluded.

Defying the cold weather

Despite the cold, groups of pro-government activists had occupied Plaza de Mayo since early yesterday morning, carrying flags, drums and other musical instruments. Among them were the representatives from the Tupac Amaru social organization led by Milagro Sala.

Roads in downtown Buenos Aires were closed to traffic throughout the day.

Musical gigs began at 4pm but the main event was the president’s speech, that began two hours later as the sun went down.

Herald staff with DyN, Télam

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