‘Fernández-Fernández’ Ticket Vows To ‘Lift Argentina Up from Ashes’ in This Year’s Elections
May 27, 2019 (EIRNS)—On May 25, Argentine Independence Day, Presidential candidate Alberto Fernández and his running mate former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-2015), made their first public appearance, after Fernández de Kirchner’s surprise announcement May 18 that she would be running as number two on the Presidential ticket for this year’s elections.
The goal, as explained, is to build the broadest possible opposition coalition to defeat the hated neoliberal President Mauricio Macri in the first round of Presidential elections in October. This means bringing in opposition forces that would not otherwise have backed a Cristina Fernández Presidential bid. The more pragmatic Alberto Fernández is working on bringing other opposition leaders into the coalition. All agree that, under IMF tutelage, Macri has plunged the country into a crisis far worse than 2001, when it defaulted on $75 billion in foreign debt. What their program is beyond that, has yet to be enunciated, and it’s unclear whether this strategy is a workable one.
Although not billed as a campaign rally, the May 25 event attracted 30,000 people, who came to the Merlo district of Buenos Aires to witness the inauguration of a municipal park named after the late President Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007), Cristina Fernández’s predecessor and husband. In her remarks, Cristina Fernández recalled the May 25, 2010 celebration of Argentina’s Bicentennial, when “we had a different Argentina,” when people had jobs, schools, an economy that was growing, and “there was a future.” Today, that’s all gone. She recalled that during that Bicentennial, tens of thousands of citizens came out into the streets to joyfully celebrate, and nine visiting Ibero-American Presidents “walked through the multitudes, without any security.... So, let’s revive the spirit of the Bicentennial,” she said.
Alberto Fernández, who was President Nestor Kirchner’s chief of staff from 2003-2007, pointed out in his remarks that, today, four in ten Argentines live in poverty. Things are as bad, he said, as they were on May 25, 2003 when Nestor Kirchner took office. And, a new government will deal with today’s crisis as Nestor Kirchner did in 2003.
“With Nestor we did it once, and now we’re going to do it again, together. We were able to get out of debt, without one Argentine suffering,” he said. We got out of a labyrinth in 2003, and “we’re going to pull people out of the hole they’re in today.” In his first TV ad, Alberto Fernández vowed, “We’re going to lift ourselves up from the ashes; once again we’re going to pull our brothers out of poverty ... we’re going to bring Argentina back to a dignified place in the world.”