Argentina’s Fernandez returns to the spotlight after attempt on her life

By Veronica Dalto

Buenos Aires, Nov 4 (EFE).- Two months after surviving an attempt on her life, Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernandez received an enthusiastic reception Friday at her major first event since the incident.

Delegates to the congress of the UOM metalworkers union in the capital suburb of Pilar received the former two-term head of state with chants of “Cristina President.”

The vice president spoke for more than 40 minutes and much of the speech was devoted to highlighting the achievements of her 2007-2015 tenure and those of the 2003-2007 administration of her late husband, Nestor Kirchner.

“I am going to do what I have to do so our people, our society can organize itself in a national project that restores the hope, the strength and the joy of our people,” the 69-year-old Fernandez said.

Three people are in custody in connection with the Sept. 1 attack on the vice president outside her apartment in Buenos Aires and she was accompanied to Friday’s event by a large security detail.

During the 12 years of the Kirchner-Fernandez government, she said, the Argentine economy emerged from the depression of 1998-2002 and the country paid off its debt to the International Monetary Fund.

“We restored the middle class in Argentina. It’s possible to do it because we have already done it,” Fernandez told the crowd.

She went on to blame the 2015-2019 administration of conservative Mauricio Macri for the country’s current economic woes, which include inflation running at 85 percent and a poverty rate of just under 40 percent.

The vice president defended her decision to back Alberto Fernandez (no relation) for president in 2019, notwithstanding the differences that have emerged between them during the current administration.

“I don’t repent it,” Cristina Fernandez said. “Political decisions must be judged and evaluated in the moment when they are made.”

Commenting on the Sept. 1 attack, which she survived because the assailant’s gun jammed when he pulled the trigger, Fernandez suggested that the perpetrators were funded by wealthy supporters of Macri.

The people in custody for the assassination attempt had connections to a group called Federal Revolution that is known for violent anti-government protests and threats against the vice president.

“Those ostensible outraged people who assaulted, who insulted, who hurled lit torches at the Casa Rosada (the presidential palace) were not outraged people. They were people paid by business-owners who identified with the previous government, with Macri-ism,” Fernandez said. EFE vd/dr

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