Later this month, a new presidential election will be held in Argentina to replace Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the widow of the former president, Néstor Kirchner. As long as I have been visiting South America, a Kirchner was at the helm. As far as I could tell from my distant perch in the EEUU, as our country is abbreviated down there, they have been fairly good leaders. And I always enjoyed watching Cristina speak on television, even if I understood a mere fraction of what she had to say.
The previous widow to hold office in Buenos Aires was Isabelita Perón, the wife of former strong man Juan Domingo Perón, who died a scant year after returning from exile in Spain. Isabelita was not nearly in Cristina’s class and was quickly forced out of office.
Because of her looks, Cristina has been the target of some unfair attacks, such as the Italian newspaper Corriere de la Sera publishing a story in 2008 stating that she had gone on a spree at Rome’s famed Enigma Jewelry, purchasing Bulgari earrings, watches, and golden bracelets to the tune of €140,000 while she was attending the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) summit of the United Nations. Today, the Buenos Aires Herald announced that Cristina’s suit for defamation was judged in her favor by the Italian courts and that the story was a complete fabrication. The newspaper had to pay €40,000, which she turned around and donated to the children’s hospital in La Plata, where she was born.
It’s hard to believe that Sra. Fernández de Kirchner was born in 1953. The years have been kind to her.